Capitalism Attacks Argentine Workers and You May be Next

Image by Marcel Strauß.

As always when a representative of the right wing tells you he or she is campaigning to bring “freedom,” be afraid. Very afraid. For “freedom” in these cases means freedom for the richest financiers and industrialists to do whatever they want.

For them, “Freedom” is for capital, not for human beings without capital to invest. Today’s exhibit is the offensive against working people that is taking place in Argentina, where the new extreme right president, Javier Milei, is determined to see how far capitalist ideology can be pushed. So far, Argentines have pushed back but Milei, cheered on by domestic and international big business leaders, is nothing if not determined to ram through his austerity packages. And he has shown no inclination to allow mere democracy to stand in his way.

Nonetheless, there is no surprise here. President Milei ran on a program of extreme austerity, brandishing a chainsaw at his election rallies. Unfortunately, enough Argentines bought his siren songs, or were desperate enough to try anything given the country’s punishing inflation, to elect him, ending a one-term period in executive office by the ordinarily dominant Peronists. Alas, doing something new for the sake of doing something new, when it is aimed at you, rarely works. And here there is actually nothing new. President Milei simply promoted standard hard right ideology, albeit promoting it with unusual vigor. Snake oil is snake oil, as Argentine working people are already finding out.

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Pete Dolack writes the Systemic Disorder blog and has been an activist with several groups. His first book, It’s Not Over: Learning From the Socialist Experiment, is available from Zero Books and his second book, What Do We Need Bosses For?, is forthcoming from Autonomedia.

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