The political world is wondering how it is possible that the candidate nicknamed in high school as The Fool and described as “extravagant”, “iconoclastic”, “provocative”, who asked his dead dog for advice and who shouted “Long live freedom, damn it!”
Without a doubt, from now on, analyzes and conjectures will multiply. We will delve again into the biography and political itinerary of the winner who has defeated the Goliath of Peronism that seemed immortal.
Although we do not yet have all the data, everything suggests that young people voted en masse for Milei, those who by nature love disruption, the new, whether good or bad. Young people look for the new, the different. It is today and it always was. They are fascinated by freedom. The young man is iconoclastic and extremist. Freud already explained it with the Oedipus complex.
The great mistake of today’s politics, world politics, is having cornered young people by populating them with veterans who refuse to leave the chair to the new generations. It is young people who best assimilate, for example, the novelty of technologies, which is why they love digital novelties.
Young people love freedom by essence. Also at work. They no longer want, like their parents in the past, to spend their entire lives working on the same thing. They like to change. Have your own company. Be free to choose.
And today, if democracy in the world is in crisis and the extremists win, it is because there is a tiredness of what Milei knew very well how to define as “the caste.” A political caste that is perpetuated, from parents to children, as in monarchies. Veterans do not leave room for young people and when they include them in politics it is to infect and perpetuate their old defects. They have to accept caste.
In Brazil, the political class was very well defined as “the mechanism”, in which if you enter you will not leave. Either you accept it and become corrupt with it or they expel you. Hence, those young people who we call rebels, who are not satisfied with imitating their elders, who need to invent their own lives, run the risk of turning into idols those whom we elders call eccentric or crazy.
Not that young people are better or worse in politics than veterans. It is true that they have less experience and are more nonconformist. They carry it in their veins. And this is not new. The leaders whom young people have revered were iconoclasts, rebels. And that in everything. The popular adage that a human being is born an arsonist and dies a firefighter expresses it very well.
In politics as in religion, young people have been fascinated above all by extremes. That is why they can even be more violent than adults. Why do you like movies with blood, horror games so much?
Today, we adults know who the mythical Che Guevara really was, with his idealisms and also with his load of violence and cruelty. And yet, for millions of young people he represented a new god on earth. They revered him as a saint.
In the other field, the religious one, which has shaped humanity so much, it is enough to remember that, for example, the figure of the Jew Jesus of Nazareth, founder of Christianity born from the bowels of Judaism, was not the sweet lamb that a certain religious piety has captured. He was an iconoclast with the political and religious caste of his time. He revolutionized and scandalized with his criticism of the tyrannical power of King Herod, whom he challenged and called him a “bitch.”
Rebellion nests in the heart of Christianity. It is not a religion of conformity. “Be cold or hot, for if you are lukewarm I will spew you out of my mouth,” says the Bible. And also the Jew who revolutionized his own religion encouraged people to be “wily as serpents.”
Jesus, the meek one for the devout, was the young man capable of scandalizing in his time with his revolution in favor of women, even prostitutes. He was capable, knowing that he was risking his life, as he did, when in a gesture of rebellion against the priestly caste that exploited the poorest, he overturned the money changers’ tables inside the sacred Temple of the Jews.
They crucified him young because he defied the religious and political castes. Later, when primitive and revolutionary Christianity began to become bourgeois and to be more the Church of the privileged than of those abandoned in the ditches of life, when it began to masculinize itself and corner women, relegating them to objects of sin, it lost its charm and lost the young people.
No, please, I’m not crazy to compare Milei and his unexpected triumph with the great world political and religious leaders adored by young people. But perhaps we will discover that this time in Argentina it has been above all those young people and women, always the Cinderellas in caste politics, who have preferred the pseudo-revolutionary, Milei, to the classic Massa, son of the caste, neat, calm , without surprises and without hopes of revolutionizing today’s worn-out, tired and corrupt democracy.
There is an interesting passage in the Christian gospels that is relevant today in politics. The intellectual Pharisee Nicodemus was intrigued by the fascination that the ragged prophet Jesus created in him, always surrounded by illiterate people and those disinherited from power, what we call today the ragtag.
The intellectual and cultured Nicodemus became intrigued by that iconoclastic Jesus who was amused by paradoxes and scandalized when he cursed a fig tree that was barren of fruit even though it was not time for figs. He was so intrigued by this young revolutionary that he asked to meet him, but at night, secretly.
Jesus defeated the intellectual when he told him that what he needed was to return to his mother’s womb in order to be reborn. It was a provocation. It was telling him that he needed to review his life, forget about belonging to a caste that resisted change, to improve, to open his eyes, to understand that in some way religion, politics and its democratic and social justice values need to be reborn or are called to die.
Perhaps the surprise of the Argentine elections has been a knock that will resonate throughout the world, that will force the old intellectual academy, the already tired bureaucratized and corrupt politics and the derailed train of democracy to return to its origins. And whether they like it or not.
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