President Javier Milei of Argentina stormed the stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and seized headlines and imaginations around the world Tuesday in an address at the “Achieving Security and Cooperation in a Fractured World” panel. Addressing the world, the Argentinian libertarian said “Socialism is a phenomenon that creates poverty,” adding, “Free enterprise capitalism is the only tool we have to end hunger and poverty.”
According to Reuters, while en route to the forum in Switzerland from Buenos Aires, Milei told journalists he was attending the WEF in Davos to “plant the idea of freedom in a forum contaminated by the 2030 socialist agenda.”
To say his remarks made waves would be an understatement.
In part, Milei said, “I’m here to tell you that the Western world is in danger and it is endangered because those who are supposed to have to defend the values of the West are co-opted by a vision of the world that inextricably leads to socialism and thereby to poverty.”
“Unfortunately, in recent decades, motivated by some well-meaning individuals willing to help others and others motivated by the wish to belong to a privileged caste … The main leaders of the Western world have abandoned the model of freedom for different versions of what we call collectivism. We are here to tell you that collectivist experiments are never the solution to the problems that afflict the citizens of the world. Rather, they are the root cause.”
According to Forbes, Milei was to share his economic policies that are deeply rooted in his libertarian perspective and the Austrian school of Economics championing the “Freedom to Transact,” emphasizing the individual right to choose a desired medium of exchange, be it fiat currency, cryptocurrency or even barter.
CNN reported that Milei told the business leaders in attendance, “You are social benefactors, you’re heroes,” adding, “Let no one tell you that your ambition is immoral. If you make money, it’s because you offer a better product at a better price.”
Milei argued that Argentina is a case study of the destructive consequences of socialism and that free-market capitalism is the only hope for his nation, and all others.
“The case of Argentina is an empirical demonstration that — no matter how rich you may be, or how much you may have in terms of natural resources… or how many bars of gold you may have in the central bank — if measures are adopted that hinder the free function of markets, free competition, free price systems, if you hinder trade, if you attack private property, the only possible fate is poverty.”
In a powerful closing, Milei said, “Long live liberty, dammit,” a striking statement made right to the faces of the Davos elites, many of whom favor a Marxist blueprint for the world.