Argentine economist, lawmaker, and current presidential frontrunner Javier Milei in a conversation with Tucker Carlson published online on Thursday advised Americans to “wage the cultural battle day by day” against statists and suggested that former President Donald Trump “redouble his efforts” against socialism.
Carlson traveled to Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital, for an extended conversation with Milei in anticipation of Argentina’s presidential election on October 22. Speaking to Carlson on his Twitter broadcast, Milei explained that the current devastating economic situation in his country – Argentina registered its highest one-month inflation increase this week since 1991 – is a result of over a century of “embracing socialism” and warned Americans to engage in a daily, persistent battle to protect the nation’s educational and cultural institutions from socialists:
Ep. 24 Argentina’s next president could be Javier Milei. Who is he? We traveled to Buenos Aires to speak with him and find out. pic.twitter.com/4WwTZYoWHs
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) September 14, 2023
“Never embrace the ideas of socialism. Never let yourself be seduced by the siren’s call of social justice. Don’t let yourself be trapped by that nefarious phrase that where there is a need, a right is born,” Milei warned, responding to Carlson’s request for advice to the American people. Milei continued by noting that protecting freedom “doesn’t happen on its own – for that, you have to prepare and wage the cultural battle day by day.”
“You have to be careful because they [the socialist] have no problem getting into the state and applying the [Marxist Italian agitator Antonio] Gramsci techniques: seducing artists, seducing the culture, seducing the media, or meddling in the content of education,” Milei continued. “One has to be very careful, cut their financing, and make them compete on a level playing field.”
Milei also suggested that a nation’s private enterprise – its most successful business leaders – cannot simply remain politically neutral, but must be engaged to actively invest in pro-freedom movements.
“Milton Friedman said that the social function of the businessman is to make money. That alone is not enough,” Milei asserted. “Part of the investment has to be to invest in the defenders of the ideas of liberty so that socialists cannot advance.”
“If they do not do this, they [the socialists] will meddle in the state and from the state will impose an agenda that, in the long term, will destroy everything it touches,” he warned. “So a strong commitment is necessary from all the creators of wealth to struggle against socialism, against statism.”
Asked to advise former President Trump on how to continue his presidential ambitions, Milei issued a similar warning: “Don’t give the socialists any respite, not even for a second.”
Trump, Milei told Carlson, “is one of the few who understood fully that the fight is against socialism, it’s against statists, and perfectly understood that the generation of wealth comes from the private sector.”
“The state does not create wealth; it only destroys it. The state cannot give anything because it doesn’t produce anything, and when it wants to do so, it does so badly,” Milei continued. “From my humble position, I would say [to Trump] to redouble efforts from the same position – don’t give the socialists any respite, not even for a second.”
Milei asserted that the struggle against socialists must be ceaseless because socialists are “tireless” in seeking to generate wealth without actually working via theft and violence.
“Since they intend to live off of others without working, they are tireless in pursuing this because their leitmotif in life is to live off of others,” the economist explained, “so they never cede in this mechanism of appropriation of riches and money and the generation of income of others. So that battle has to be fought permanently, one cannot rest because when you rest, socialism advances.”
Beginning his political career as a cable news commentator and economics expert, Milei’s hardline anti-socialism and classical liberalism have fueled a movement that ended the socialist Peronist coalition’s stranglehold on the Argentine Congress in 2021 for the first time since 1983. Milei’s Liberty Advances coalition dramatically outperformed polls to win the nation’s primaries in August – a process called “Simultaneous and Mandatory Open Primaries” (PASO) that determines which presidential candidates appear on the final ballot in October. Candidates need to obtain at least 1.5 percent of the vote to be on the ballot; Milei was the most popular candidate with 30 percent of the votes.
In October, Milei will face off against establishment “center-right” candidate Patricia Bullrich (who obtained 16.98 percent of the vote in the PASO election) and socialist current economic minister Sergio Massa (who received 21.4 percent in the PASO vote). As of this week, nationwide polling shows Milei as the frontrunner in October’s race. The most recent nationwide polling – a survey by the firm Analogía published on Wednesday and taken between September 3 and 5, shows Milei receiving 31.1 percent support, with Massa a close second at 28 percent. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will move on to a runoff election.
Milei identifies as a Latin American “liberal,” a term which in the region refers to right-wing classical liberalism, libertarianism, and religious conservatism. While defending the rights to property and free enterprise, Milei is staunchly against abortion, referring to it simply as “murder” in his conversation with Carlson, and vowed to not engage in any business dealings with any communist or socialist state – including China, one of Argentina’s most influential commercial partners.
“Not only would I not do business with China, I won’t do business with any communist,” Milei told Carlson. “I am a defender of freedom, peace, and democracy. Communists have no place there. The Chinese have no place there. [Russian strongman Vladimir] Putin has no place there. Let’s go further: [socialist Brazilian President] Lula [da Silva] has no place there.”
“We want to be the continent’s moral lighthouse of freedom. We want to be the defenders of freedom, democracy, diversity, and peace,” he concluded, “so from within the state, we will not promote any type of action with communists or socialists.”