Source World Socialist
MICHIGAN, US:The glowing reception from the crowd, which ostensibly gathers the more “respectable” layers of the oligarchy and establishment, adds to the signs of a shift toward fascism in the entire ruling class.
US billionaire Elon Musk praised Wednesday’s speech, describing it as a “good explanation of what makes countries more or less prosperous.”
Similarly, Fox News and other right-wing media outlets hailed Milei, declaring he had “dazzled Davos” with “truth bombs” and “common sense.”
Having called it “a forum contaminated by the 2030 socialist agenda” on his way to Davos, Milei was warmly presented by WEF founder Klaus Schwab, who said Milei is “introducing a new spirit to Argentina.”
The former Argentine TV personality said: “I’m here to tell you that the Western world is in danger. And it is in danger because those who are supposed to have to defend the values of the West are co-opted by a vision of the world that inexorably leads to socialism.”
He proceeded to tell a fairy tale straight out of Disney. Since 1800, capitalism had pulled 95 percent of the world’s population out of extreme poverty and created a paradise. “Today’s world is freer, richer, more peaceful and more prosperous than at any other time in our history.” Making this possible, “business people are the heroes” of his tale.
But in the southern corner of the world, a curse had befallen the land. “Argentina became a world power thanks to the embrace of the liberal model in 1860, but collapsed due to collectivism in the last 100 years,” he asserted. He was referring to the establishment of education, healthcare, regulatory bodies and other public institutions after the Radical and then Peronist governments replaced the hegemonic regime of the agro-export oligarchy in 1916.
Milei claimed that these reforms are the result of the self-interest of a corrupt “caste” or the mistaken premises of reformist ideologues. But he failed to even utter the name of the real target of his crusade. The Argentine ruling class, as in much of the world, implemented limited social reforms in response to the emergence of a powerful working class, which waged decades of militant battles inspired above all by the Russian Revolution of 1917.
These forced concessions had led to chaos, poverty, death and “opened the door to socialism,” said Milei, portraying Argentina as the case study of why capitalism should be allowed to develop unfettered to achieve its supposed natural potential.
He then lambasted any restriction on corporations, declaring the enemy to be an amalgam of “communists, fascists, nazis, socialists, social-democrats, national socialists, Christian Democrats, Keynesians, neo-Keynesians, progressives, populists, nationalists or globalist.” He stressed: “In substance, there are no differences.” In other words, all should be dealt with as an existential threat, responsible for having “killed more than 100 million human beings.”
He highlighted the threat that “regulating monopolies, destroying profits, and destroying increasing returns would automatically destroy economic growth.”
This was a veiled reference to a report by Oxfam that had cast a shadow over the forum by documenting the stranglehold over the world economy by a tiny group of oligarchs and financial groups. The report points to record profits while 5 billion people are worse off than before the pandemic, and 800 million are losing to inflation the equivalent of almost a month of wages per year, among other findings.
“To conclude, I would like to leave a message to all entrepreneurs,” concluded Milei. “Do not back down against the political caste or the parasites that live off the state.”
Milei’s euphoric reception at Davos and from most of the corporate media points to a significant shift.
A thunderous applause followed his speech. Barron’s writes, “some in the audience gathered to shake his hand and take pictures.” A reporter for the German outlet DW said, “I have never seen a reception like the one I saw here for Javier Milei from the attendees of this World Economic Forum.” The Wall Street Journal published his speech under the title “Argentina’s Milei Gives the Davos Crowd a Spine Transplant.”
The Financial Times found broad enthusiasm for Milei’s presence, and cited Daniel Pinto, JP Morgan president. Milei “may be creating a new beginning for the country,” Pinto said, but warned that his plans “require the population to be willing to go through the pain of [austerity].”
Bloomberg columnist Juan Pablo Spinetto recalled that even Donald Trump had made a token mention of building “the most inclusive economy ever to exist,” in his 2020 Davos speech, which “Milei would probably deem a form of socialism.”
Such a prominent global platform and glowing reception has not been provided by the ruling class for an openly fascist manifesto since the 1930s.
Highlighting this shift in the attitudes of the ruling class, last year’s Latin American guests were the pseudo-left Colombian President Gustavo Petro and two ministers from the administration of Brazil’s “left” nationalist president, Lula da Silva, who also made hypocritical mentions of social equality and the protection of the environment.
Placed in the global and Argentine political contexts, the message “do not back down” clearly translates into a call for all-out war against working class opposition to the policies of war, genocide, re-colonization and mass inequality.