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The Lockean Project

Argentina elected Milei – who has become the world’s first anarcho-capitalist

“Argentina elected Milei – who has become the world’s first anarcho-capitalist,” LinkedIn — Nov. 17, 2023

Bitcoin itself may not care, but people do: an overwhelming number of people in Argentina elected Milei – who has become the world’s first anarcho-capitalist President. In so doing they rejected years of Peronism and called for Latin America to renew a movement toward liberty. Milei himself has vowed to abolish the central bank, prioritize trade with the U.S. over that with China, and dollarize. Like President Bukele in El Salvador, President Milei is pro-bitcoin, and Argentina still faces economic pain ahead (and dollarization is no silver bullet). But Argentina dodged a bullet by deciding not to elect Massa, who would have (for example) implemented CBDCs and made the situation even worse. Will all the cuts that President Milei favors be enacted? Unlikely, because of the composition of the Argentine legislative body. Still, there are changes he will be able to make and this election sends a sign that Latin America and the rest of the world is waking up to explore new pathways of liberty.

With Argentina now having chosen President Milei, Argentina will not only dollarize, but it will soon make Bitcoin legal tender. The implications of Argentina’s status as a BRICS+ country – one of a number looking for alternatives to the dollar, but with now President Milei having previously made clear he would withdraw the approved application for BRICS membership (Argentina had been invited to join BRICS) – implies an avenue for Argentina to now consider Bitcoin as a settlement layer for its international trade. (Argentina has few dollars in banks, and little credit, which bolsters the case for bitcoin.) A safe assumption would be that President Milei will also declare no capital gains tax on use of bitcoin in Argentina, with a low or no tax treatment similar to that found in El Salvador for bitcoin, which would create a massive free economic zone (and huge areas of opportunity for people of all income levels) in Latin America.

The Peronist model has faced unprecedented pressure in 2023 amid spiralling inflation. Massa, who became the Argentine Minister of Economy on August 3, 2022, resorted to money-printing and strict trade, business regulation, and exchange restrictions. This probably will sound familiar since there is another country where money printing and business regulation / exchange restrictions have become more of a problem, leading to record high inflation and skyrocketing debt-to-GDP: the United States of America.

The federal government in the United States of America, and governments of states like California and New York, are light years behind the government of El Salvador and the Presidency of Argentina, with respect to monetary policy. Ultimately, President Bukele and President Milei will lead the way with their views on bitcoin and the newer relationships of individuals to instruments of exchange, shining a light that hopefully the next administration of the U.S. government will be wise enough to follow.

– Colin Gallagher