Javier Milei loses purism and gains identity

Javier Milei loses purism and gains identity
Javier Milei loses purism and gains identity


There are signs of a change of era in the push for common sense in Argentina. Also in the world. And there are symptoms of the closure of a first stage in the government and in Javier Milei’s Argentina, and beginning of a new phase. The Congress Plaza riots and the new milestones of Milei’s global agenda have just sealed the closing of the inaugural phase and the fixation of political meaning. On the other hand, the start of the new stage of the government can be seen in three events. The acceleration of the deregulation strategy, with the imminent landing of Federico Sturzeneger at his own expense, and the news in the Ministry of Economy, with the announcement of the end of the stage of negative real rates, read blender, and the versions of the eventual arrival of the Chilean José Luis Daza as deputy minister of economy Luis Caputo.

The week that passed and the closing of the first semester of Milei’s presidency begin to consolidate an identity. The possible synthesis is: anti-caste libertarianism in the universe of ideas, pragmatism and realism in the world of management of the local and the global. If both worlds coincide, the better. If not, pragmatism wins. There is evidence of that.

On the one hand, the abandonment of anti-caste purism that condemned the omnibus law and the transition from political adolescence to political adulthood parliamentary negotiation, which saved the Bases Law and the Fiscal Package. The Government left behind the Go for everything to keep what you consider priority. For that, he entered into give and take: that is also governing.

On the other hand, the change in the position towards China also aligns with the government’s new learning. Domestic management requires getting off the ideological horse globally, clinging to the renewed Chinese swap and handing over intangible flags if necessary: from the fight against Chinese communism to Milei’s trip to China, expected by Xi Jinping’s communist government as a sign of a change in climate in the relationship, clearing up the swap issue.

While Congress was in session on Wednesday, the Chief of Staff Guillermo Francos He met with the Chinese ambassador in Argentina, Wang Wei. On both levels, the parliamentary and the Chinese, Francos was the key unraveler: an experienced member of the caste taming, using libertarian language, the caste with the poised style of the caste. Francos, as “the responsible adult” within the government, in the words of Ariel Tarico. She is the acceptance of the pragmatism of power above ideologism. It brings benefits, but it can also have costs, e.g. the loss of political identity.

For now, the Government has been avoiding this risk and managing to mark its symbolic field, both in the Argentine and international context. Locally, on Tuesday of last week, Congress Plaza with the riots and clashes with the police is one of those symptoms in which The Government expressed its desire to win in the fight for meaning. The “law and order” pair did not retreat a millimeter from the Kirchnerist leftist rhetoric, which appealed to the interpretive format “legitimate protest and illegitimate repression.”

The mileist conceptual matrix He advanced shamelessly and won the debate in part of public opinion: on these types of issues, he has the support of a good part of his runoff voters. For that citizenship, Last week’s plaza was a revival of the December 2017 plaza, but with another result. A substantive difference: a government, that of Milei unlike that of Cambiemos, that lives without complexes its position on the right of the ideological spectrum and its almost Weberian demand for the “State and its monopoly on legitimate violence.”

The lack of modesty and complex is a central fact of the mileista politics: this absence is the necessary condition for keep at bay the pretension of hegemony of ideological and political legitimacy what Kirchnerism intends. Because it does not have complexes of progressive political correctness, mileism is more effective than Cambiemos in the bid for Argentine common sense. Mileist excess is the condition of possibility of the change that Milei proposes. For better and for worse.

Both Milei and the vice president Victoria Villarruel They ignore the historical legacy of the last dictatorship and the negative connotation that weighs on the concept of order and legitimate violence. In that, he is in tune with a good part of the voters who voted for him in the runoff, including those he inherited from Together for Change, who saw for years how Kirchnerism exercised the hegemonic will to appropriate political legitimacy.

For Milei voters, the escalation in street disorder and the challenge to the legality of public space, both in 2017 and last week, implies an institutional risk much closer than the memory of any historical coup. Milei wages an equal dispute over the legitimacy of political correctness and is willing to pay the political costs of overturning those legitimacies. These days, those costs seem to work as profits for him.

That the Kirchnerist senators have not been able to stop Tuesday’s session in the midst of the riots – as the Kirchnerist deputies managed to do in 2017 – is a sign of the transformation that Argentina is experiencing. The demands of leaders and civil organizations from the Kirchnerist and progressive world for those detained in last Tuesday’s riots have failed to achieve the degree of legitimacy in public opinion that they achieved during the Cambiemos government.

Patricia Bullrich’s trip to El Salvador as Minister of Security and her weekend posts assuming the Bukele model as an example to follow in terms of reducing insecurity They fit into the same framework. Bullrich’s positioning and the ideas he embraces trace an arc from Macri’s presidency to Milei’s: from the Maldonado case and the resistance to Kirchnerist pressure in those days to his current role, another example of the new legitimacies. According to a new survey by D’Alessio IROL-Berensztein, Bullrich and Villarruel lead the positive image ranking, with 48% and 46% positive image, respectively.

Globally, last week, Milei’s role as a symbol of the new times could be exhibited on a crossover stage: on the libertarian business stage organized by the Cato Institute and the Libertad y Progreso Foundation, with Elon Musk present in Buenos Aires via Zoom, to the G-7 and the Summit for Peace and the classic territory of the concert of the most powerful nations.

Milei finally had his first “family photo” with international governance. “Long live libertà,” the Italian Prime Minister posted on X, Giorgia Meloni, who accompanied the post with a photo of him with Milei at the G-7, both of them laughing. A kind of alliance between the influence of charisma and Mileist excess and the influence and political power of Meloni. Another stitch in the line that connects the leaders of the international right, this time underlined by Meloni, one of the most influential power contenders in the European Union.

The closing of the semiannual exercise is establishing the identity of Milei’s presidency that places him as a very rare global reference. Even, in his controversial encounter with the head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, a reference figure for Kirchnerism, the Argentines are more on his side. According to the latest survey by the consulting firm Escenario, by political scientists Pablo Touzón and Federico Zapata, 41.2% believe that “Javier Milei is right.” Sánchez is 28.39 percent right.

Locally, those who interpret more acutely the meaning of the stage that is about to begin focus on the announcement of the end of negative real rates. The reasoning is this: the negative real interest rate was a bold tool that could have gone wrong but was effective. It made sense while the liquefaction mechanism worked, with high monthly inflation. It stopped working and lost meaning with 4% inflation and with the dollar beginning to escape: the low rate found its limit.

In that context, they praise Caputo’s decision. It’s time to complement the fiscal anchor with the monetary anchor. The circulation of the name of the Chilean economist Daza became a visible sign that Milei’s economy is about to enter that other phase.

The version of his arrival is confirmed off the record in government. However, the appointment, which would have the support of Milei, has not yet been finalized. The delay is due more to the fine print of the Daza moving conditions and personal issues. Daza has lived in the United States for 30 years and today moves between Manhattan and Greenwich, Connecticut. Daza has been talking to Caputo for months. At the end of May, he was at the Ministry of Economy.

Daza grew professionally at JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank, where he met and befriended “Toto” Caputo, and later created his own QFR fund. He is an expert in emerging markets, including Argentina. In fact, it has more social and professional ties with Argentines than with Chile.

He was also born in Argentina, in 1958. He is one of the five children of Pedro Daza, a renowned Chilean career diplomat, now deceased, who arrived assigned to Buenos Aires. His mother, 94 years old, is Carmen Narbona, one of the only two women to study engineering in Chile in those years. Her sister, Paula Daza, was Secretary of Health during the presidency of Sebastián Piñera, in the middle of the pandemic. She was one of the Chilean government officials with the greatest positive image at that time.

From Buenos Aires, Daza arrived in Uruguay with his paternal family to begin primary school at the British Schools of Montevideo, the school attended by the president of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, and part of his cabinet, such as the current Minister of Economy, Azucena Arbeleche, and the former chancellor Ernesto Talvi. He finished high school in Chile, at the Grange School, where a good part of the Chilean leadership was trained. He has doctoral studies in Economics from Georgetown University. In the coming weeks it will be known whether or not his appointment is confirmed.

Against all odds, Milei closed his first stage of government with more successes than the feared errors: lowered the deficit, contained inflation, controlled the dollar, increased reserves and, for the moment, kept the social crisis at bay. On the horizon of the new cycle, there are new challenges: unemployment, recession and lack of investment with a trap that is still in force. “We expect new announcements, and more concrete ones, in the second stage that is opening,” says a macroeconomist who follows the government’s steps from abroad.

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