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Socialism ‘condemns people to poverty’ — Argentina’s Milei tells Western world at WEF

Argentine President Javier Milei delivered a speech at the World Economic Forum advocating free market capitalism as a means to end poverty.



Source: Cointelegraph

Argentine President Javier Milei believes that a shift toward collectivism in the Western world will inevitably lead to socialism and risks “condemning people to poverty.”

The recently elected Argentine economist delivered a speech at the World Economic Forum, arguing that the “Western world” faces a significant threat driven by a shift toward collectivist policies in recent decades.

“It is in danger because those who are supposed to defend the values of the Western world are co-opted by a worldview that inevitably leads to socialism and, consequently, to poverty and economic deprivation,” Milei said.

The speech was shared widely across social media platforms, with one X user posting a translated version of Milei’s address generated by AI video tool HeyGen, which mimicked the president’s accent.

Milei, who became Argentina’s president in December 2023, said that his own country’s economic plight over the past century was a direct result of embracing collectivist ideologies:

“When we embraced collectivism over the past 100 years, we saw how our citizens began to systematically impoverish themselves until they fell to the 140th position in the world.”

The president went on to advocate for free market capitalism as a solution to drive economic prosperity around the world, saying that capitalism has brought the modern world to its most prosperous point in history.

“Today’s world is freer, richer, more peaceful and more prosperous than ever before. This is true for everyone, but particularly for those countries that are free where they respect economic freedom and individual property rights,” Milei said.

The Argentine president said that “free countries” are, on average, 12 times richer than repressed ones. These nations also have 25 times fewer poor people in the standard format and 50 times fewer in the extreme format.

Milei highlighted libertarian ideals as the foundation for free market capitalism, quoting Argentine professor Alberto Benegas Lynch’s definition of libertarianism, which is based on the fundamental rights to life, liberty and property.

The ideology advocates for private property, free markets without state intervention, free competition, division of labor and social cooperation, “where one can only be successful by serving others with goods of better quality at a better price.”

“The capitalist, the successful entrepreneur, is a social benefactor who contributes to the well-being of society as a whole. In short, a successful entrepreneur is a hero.”

Milei also said that more world leaders are beginning to speak out against shifting socioeconomic ideologies, organizations and institutions he believes are systematically oppressing individual liberties.

“Fortunately, more of us dare to raise our voices as we see that if we don’t confront these ideas head-on, the only possible destiny is more state, more regulation, more socialism, more poverty, less freedom and, consequently, a worse quality of life,” the Argentine president said.

Milei conceded that while many social commentators would contend against the premise that “the West has embraced socialism,” he believes contemporary government structures do not need to control production to control the lives of citizens:

“With tools such as monetary issuance, debt subsidies, interest rate control, price controls and regulations to correct alleged market failures, they can control the destinies of millions of human beings.”

Milei reiterated when policies hinder the free functioning of markets, free competition, free price systems and attack private property, “the only possible destination is poverty.”

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