A Rothbardian Dissection of Javier Milei – Part II

Milei and the Chances of Privatization

Though privatizations have not yet arrived, the state-owned airline is on the agenda. The company was renationalized in 2008, forcing taxpayers to prop up an airline that has been directly bailed out by the government since 2021. For true privatization, all regulation prohibiting competition and all taxation in the industry should be abolished—falling short of this, it should come with deregulation and less taxation. Milei has proposed to give the company’s shares to its employees and thereby transfer ownership to them. They would either bear responsibility for the company or sell their shares. While this may be the most expedient method toward privatization in a country where unions have so much influence and power to negotiate, it is not a just course of action.

According to the homestead principle, assets belong to those who have worked on them, but the airline would not have been possible without the initial aggression against taxpayer property. The government legally owns the airline, but it does not justly own it. As for the workers, their only possible claim concerns their salaries, and even these, and all other costs involved in the operation of the airline, are primarily financed by taxpayers. As a matter of fact, to do what Milei proposes would constitute a moral outrage. Rothbard would state that the principle of privatization that should take priority wherever it applies would require the government “to return all stolen, confiscated property to its original owners, or to their heirs,” because property rights imply above all restoring stolen property to the original owners. Only those who have been aggressed into financing the airline have a justifiable claim to restitution.

If possible, legal ownership should always be restored to expropriated private owners or their heirs of socialized factors of production. But in this case, even though we know that the taxpayers are the rightful owners, legal ownership cannot work in the same way for tax-funded enterprises. The most just and sensible solution would seem to involve the distribution of shares among taxpayers in proportion to the taxes paid since 2008. However, an airline needs hierarchy and expert knowledge on its inner workings. For assets to be used, liquidated, or dismantled, some agreement among the owners about many complicated matters would still be required. Such a process would hinder any possible gains from this solution. If an entire bureau were created to go through tax documents and calculate a fair distribution of shares, this would impose an unjustifiable burden on taxpayers. The perpetrator of the injustice, in charging the victim a price for justice, would commit a further injustice. Moreover, the government, as usual, could err in its task by, for example, giving more or less than is due to the taxpayers, which could complicate the process of getting the company back in business or liquidated.

Benjamin Seevers proposes to combine the joint stock company and syndicalist approaches. Milei, he argues, should cease all government transfers to the airline and eliminate all government-granted privileges. The company should not be pardoned for its willing participation in taxation and expropriation, and taxpayers should be free to make claims against the now private airline. Milei could give the company to the bureaucrats who currently run it, but taxpayers should be able to bring claims against it in civil court for restitution in the form of payments, bonds, or shares. Seevers recognizes taxpayers’ legitimate claims to the company and wants to relegate its division to the “free market” rather than the government—mirroring the syndicalist solution first, turning it into a mixed system afterward. Following Seevers, the airline “should be cut off from the government altogether without caring how the former public employees organize the company,” and some legally binding order (perhaps an executive order) would state that the company’s expropriations of taxpayers are no longer legally protected, allowing them to extract rectification.

Assuming the cooperation of the airline employees and his political opponents, Milei’s plan would be quick, easy, and preferable to the status quo—but it would be unjust. Seevers’ proposal is more just, but it is neither faster nor easier than Milei’s. Besides, justice in Seevers’ plan would depend on the efforts made by the taxpayers, especially as funders of court expenses, while the workers have done nothing to be the first owners of the new company. Furthermore, each claim could only be awarded relative to the potential claims of the other taxpayers, which would require someone to perform the calculations—whether the company, the government, or the claimants. But there is also a more fundamental inconvenience that virtually rules out Seevers’ plan: the more taxpayers seek compensation, the fewer the benefits for the workers. The latter could foresee this problem and require conditions, thus changing the very essence of Seevers’ proposal.

Nonetheless, we can propose another plan, one faster and easier than Seevers’, significantly more just than Milei’s and not necessarily less just than Seevers’. It would be feasible, entail immediate economic benefits, and avoid judicial and bureaucratic efforts. Milei’s administration would sell the company on the market to the highest bidder, and bidding would start at the market price if possible. As a condition, the company could only be sold to taxpayers who have been paying taxes since at least 2008, and the sale would have to be in cash. Of course, the new owners would get total control of the company and have no particular legal obligation to the workers—they could keep them or let them go. One could expect these taxpayers to be happy with their acquisition, because they chose to buy it, and the government would no longer have to run the company and bear its costs. The workers, now free, could accept new contracts from the new owners or anybody else. With the money from the sale, the unemployed would continue to receive half their salaries for a period preestablished in the plan—say, six months—or until they find a new job. They are not victims, but income expectations and pressure from the union will be taken into consideration.

After the period given to the unemployed, the government would burn what cash remains in the most transparent way possible, thereby alleviating inflation and preventing the government from diverting resources to non-market wishes. This way, there would be no time-consuming and painstaking processes of distribution and reassignment, and workers could continue to work in the company or find new value-generating jobs. This plan can also be applied to other privatizations.

Argentina and Peso Hyperinflation

Let us explain the general situation Argentina was already in when Milei assumed the presidency. With the government constantly spending more than it collects, and printing money to finance the overspending, inflation beyond what is normal for the inflationist monetary system was to be expected. As Rothbard’s great teacher, Ludwig von Mises, wrote, “The inflation can continue only so long as the conviction persists that it will one day cease. Once people are persuaded that the inflation will not stop, they turn from the use of this money.” So there is an ultimate limit on inflation, though a wide one, that will conquer any inflation—the phenomenon of hyperinflation.

Inflation from the government and the banking system is usually aided unconsciously by the people, who generally believe that some moderate periodic rise in prices is normal. If prices could decrease due to economic growth (price deflation as an outcome of increased productivity), people would be able to keep more of their income in the form of cash balances for some future advantage not possible in the present—they could plan further ahead and save more money without having to worry about significant decreases in its value. And if the social demand for money increases, any increase in prices could be proportionally less than the increase in the quantity of money.

Argentinians know that their government is always causing inflation, and due to the constant increase in peso prices, they prefer to plan, save, and calculate in another currency—the dollar. They often rush to exchange their pesos for goods or dollars as a store of value for the future. As the social demand for pesos falls, and the social demand for dollars increases, the dollar price rises in terms of pesos. At the same time, the confiscation effect of inflation will be lower than the government expects—that is, a lower demand for pesos will allow fewer resources to be extracted by the government—because the rise in prices means a reduced purchasing power of the peso. At this stage, hyperinflation has already begun—this knowledge of hyperinflation is completely about the actions of individuals as money users (no arbitrary percentage is necessary).

Prices keep rising, and the government causes them to rise even faster. However, the government can still obtain resources because the peso must still be used due to legal tender, as in taxes and other expenses. Additionally, the government imposes several exchange rates to extract even more value from the population’s money, picking losers and winners along the way. Thus, the government imposes a price control on the dollar through the peso. The price of the dollar is too high for the government, so it puts obstacles in front of its price in pesos by hindering its free exchange between buyers and sellers. Since some costs must be paid in pesos, which have become more expensive due to the regulation, there is less of an incentive to invest with the dollar—even exports are discouraged because of this. Exporters are forced to lose dollars when reinvesting their profits. To make matters worse, the government puts obstacles in the way of investors who want to take their dollars abroad, further disincentivizing investments. This control generates excess demand and a shortage of dollars. Imports are also discouraged, because getting dollars to buy abroad becomes more difficult. The economy as a whole is impoverished. This process cannot continue forever under a budget deficit, but because another currency is guiding the Argentine market, and because the government can keep the peso alive, it can continue much longer.

As prices rise at an accelerated pace and the flight from pesos continue, and the government is about to print huge amounts of pesos and does it, in a peak of hyperinflation, if the peso were the only money in the market, the demand and value of the peso would approach zero, causing prices to rise exorbitantly. The consequences for the economy would be disastrous if Argentinians did not have the dollar. And not only do they have dollars but their economy essentially runs on them. Capital, savings, and balances are all already valued in dollars. In addition, the productive sector has the least of incentives to use pesos. State agents, however, as first holders of new pesos, and also aware of the need to get rid of pesos, see their salaries increase more constantly than others. As a result, they obtain clear advantages compared to the productive sector, which receives the new pesos later. Since prices do not rise at the same time and at the same rate, as the peso supply increases, first holders (and others) benefit in relation to the later ones to the extent they use their pesos as soon as possible and do not have to sell anything to obtain them—State agents and artificial creditors are not disadvantaged as the ones who must create value for their incomes.

The main goal of Argentinians as money holders, the less dependent they are from government transfers and privileges, has become getting hold of dollars or goods in exchange for their pesos as soon as possible.

Milei and the Nightmare

Argentina’s peso was already in hyperinflation when Milei took office. Notwithstanding this, the recipe for economic prosperity and justice is not to actively reverse this trend through the government, but to let the economy in general, and the peso in particular, bottom out and let the market be as free as possible. This bottoming out is not equal for all, and the death of the peso is permissible. Although the Milei administration has stopped printing pesos for the Treasury, printing for other activities of the central bank has continued to this day. The inflation is still notable. Hence, in his first week, Milei announced that his top priority was to avoid hyperinflation. Since Argentina was already in it, he could only mean a peak of hyperinflation. We will call this peak “the nightmare,” for he said in April 2024 that avoiding this event prevented Argentina from having a 95 percent poverty rate. But a libertarian and adherent of Austrian economics would never strive for such a goal nor believe in such an event.

First, it must be recognized that Argentina is used to this inflationary hell and that this nightmare, in the short run, would be much less harmful there than it would in other countries that are not used to a similar economic situation. The purchasing power of the peso will tend to zero in the nightmare, but as virtually no one is storing value in pesos, the difference in economic well-being before and after the nightmare will tend to zero too—that is, the availability of all goods and services and social wealth will remain virtually unchanged.

The economy could never break down because of the nightmare. Its market will not revert to an impoverished state of barter, and there will be no need to slowly build up commodities to use as a means of exchange because there is already another general medium of exchange available. If the government gets out of the way and lets the market run the economy, the demand for pesos will eventually fall so low that government money will be worthless, and Argentinians will rid themselves of its inflation burden. Indeed, this is the only legitimate route through which the government could adopt a commodity money exchanged in the free market, the dollar, or a new currency. New government money, however, cannot be established in the market unless it can be exchanged for previously existing money—in this case, the dollar. Moreover, apart from giving Argentinians a way-out of hyperinflation today, economic calculation is already secured through the dollar.

Of course, the nightmare would generate unfortunate effects for the people who most benefit from government transfers and privileges through the peso. For instance, the benefits of peso printing, taxes in pesos, currency-exchange schemes, being a first holder of pesos, and the influence and control that pesos give State agents over the rest of society would be lost in the nightmare. So when Milei warned about the multiplication of poverty, more than that, it was the fact that State agents and other privileged people would be left for a moment without their spurious income. Therefore, it is really the government—the political caste that Milei claims to confront all the time—that benefits most from avoiding the nightmare and reverting the trend.

If Milei’s goal is to get out of hyperinflation and stabilize the peso so that the people can freely demand pesos to plan, calculate, and save, his efforts to achieve this goal through the government must work against actual market desires. Neither a dramatic cessation of the expansion of the peso supply that could turn off the peso tap and decelerate the inflationary expectations of the people, nor a dramatic end to monetary inflation that could induce the people to hold peso balances again, will stabilize the peso until the majority of productive people in Argentina feel as comfortable with the peso as they do with the dollar without any government policy forcing its use.

Milei and the 100 Percent Dollarization

It would be inconvenient for the political caste to abolish the central bank. Any dollarization reform would take away the monopoly on the production of pesos from the Argentine government. But dollarizing also helps advance the hegemony of American monetary imperialism and the menace of its global monopoly on the production of money. Dollarizing may not promote freedom, but it will offer the Argentine economy better monetary conditions, given the fact that the market has already chosen the international reserve currency over the peso.

All that stands in the way of implementing better reforms than dollarization is a lack of political will. But given the Argentine context and background and Milei’s views, there is a good chance that dollarization can be done in a Rothbardian way—that is, by introducing a 100 percent reserve banking system, a reform that seems to be the most feasible and least risky for the current situation. While it would not save Argentina from FED inflation and credit expansion, it would allow its banking system to get rid of credit expansion and other pernicious effects in its own capital structure. It would also lead to more genuine interest rates that prevent distortion and malinvestments, which are inevitable when fiduciary media are injected by a fractional-reserve system. Artificial booms, deep recessions, and huge losses of assets would be essentially avoided, and the national system would be immunized from the sudden contractions of the money supply that the alternative status quo cyclically generates, which cause greater and more painful deflations and recessions.

Milei and his First Five Months as President

We should hope, as Rothbard would have, that Milei takes more steps toward freeing the people from State power than toward enslaving them even more. In addition, he should do so radically and by the most libertarian-oriented policies possible, including going against political centralization. At the international level, he has gone in the wrong direction, but what about at the national level?

Immediately after taking office, Milei signed a decree and reduced the number of ministries from twenty-two to nine. For now, the reduction is still symbolic because it only ordered some ministries to absorb others and did not significantly reduce public employment. Milei has increased taxes on fuels and imports, and extended the scope of a tax to subscriptions of special bonds, and purchases of foreign currency for the remittance of profits and dividends—even though he had promised not to raise or create taxes (1, 2, 3). Hypocritically, Milei supported in March 2024 a call for a tax rebellion in Buenos Aires against the tax hikes from the governor of the opposition.

Milei deregulated the economy to some extent with a decree that removed or modified hundreds of laws, including several price controls. After repealing the rental law that generated housing shortages, the effect was immediate: supply increased, prices remained below inflation, and contracts are now entirely decided by the parties involved, including what currency will be used in the transaction. In comparison, after removing price controls in private healthcare, only four months later of increases in a context of notable inflation, his administration took a wrong turn and decided to force companies to lower their prices according to imposed criteria. The response to accusations of cartelization should be to continue the process of deregulation rather than put up barriers against free pricing. The Argentine economy is largely cartelized, and as Rothbard explained, compulsory cartelization of industries means granting monopolistic privileges. Freeing prices in this situation removes a policy that addresses previous government interventions in regulating the economy, which restrict competition, discourage investing, deprive consumers of a better satisfaction of their needs, and distort the free allocation of market resources. Part of the regulation problem can be dealt with once the law, “Foundations and Starting Points for the Freedom of Argentinians,” is approved in congress. The bill is intended for privatizations, deregulation, labor market fluidity, and consolidating more power in the executive branch. This bill and a tax package—which restores a category of income tax—have already passed one of the chambers. True, Milei has reduced a few tariffs, but his tax hikes are much more significant, do not benefit the economy and should not be seen as a way to escape the crisis.

After an initial devaluation, inflation has decelerated. The interest rates continue to be manipulated periodically by the central bank to cope with inflation. His administration managed to achieve three consecutive budget surpluses and cut some subsidies. Since Milei took office, public construction has ceased to be financed to a great extent. He closed some government agencies such as the National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism, which persecuted free speech. He reduced the amount of money for the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research, and its questionable investigations. A good part of his adjustments hurts the middle class and retirees who, with the increases in services, have to sell dollars to make ends meet. Milei’s cuts are good, but we can criticize him for having expanded welfare programs and intensified the war on drugs.

Milei and the Surplus Fever

Surpluses happen when more money is collected in taxes than spent by the government over a period of time. A surplus could be hoarded by the government or liquidated through deflation. If one hundred pesos are taken from the milk industry and only seventy are spent on paper, taxation is the larger burden, paying not only for the extracted paper but also for the hoarded or destroyed money. The milk industry’s loss should be considered by the government when it imposes burdens in the budgetary process. When expenditures and receipts differ, the fiscal burden on the private sector can be approximately measured as the greater of the two. But the government burdens the public twice: it appropriates the resources of the private sector first by inflating the money supply and then by taxing back the new money. If surpluses are used for repaying debts, the deflationary effect is impossible. And if they are used for redeeming government debt held by the banks, the deflationary effect will not take the form of a credit contraction and will not correct maladjustments brought about by the previous inflation—in fact, it will create further dislocations and distortions.

Surpluses as well as expenditures should be deducted—both extract funds from the private sector. Total government expenditures or total government receipts should be deducted from the net national product, whichever is higher. This will show the approximate impact of fiscal affairs on the economy (a more precise estimate would compare total depredations with gross private product).

It should be common sense to libertarians that the response to surpluses should be to cut taxes. Though government greed is the norm, one would expect a “libertarian” administration to see surpluses as a reason to cut taxes. But if Milei has not cut taxes, returned any money to where it came from, or burned money to reduce the supply, why would libertarians celebrate his surpluses? To favor the economy, fewer resources should be diverted from the productive sector to the public one. If surpluses are used to reduce debts, insult will be added to injury because debts are also imposed on taxpayers. When asked when he would cut taxes, Milei answered that once they stabilize the economy and there are resources to spare, he will cut taxes and not increase spending. The question: How many resources does he need?

Why should maximizing revenues be the government’s objective? They are resources diverted from the productive sector to governmental activities—including cleaning up the balance sheets of the central bank and the Treasury. Rather, libertarians would be interested in minimizing government revenues by pushing down tax rates, but this is not what Milei has done. Surpluses are part of the money supply, and no money disappears from the money supply unless the monetary unit ceases to exist or fiduciary media used as money disappear in a fractional-reserve system. Milei’s surpluses are still used for plans that do not involve public spending, and his fight against inflation is really harming the productive people who are forced to finance a fight for an unwanted currency.

As Rothbard noted, in our age of government deficits, conservatives—and it seems that Milei too—prefer budget balancing to tax reduction and “oppose any tax cut which is not immediately and strictly accompanied by an equivalent or greater cut in government expenditures.” Certainly, cutting taxes may result in an increased deficit that requires more debt. Now, being taxation an illegitimate act of aggression, any opposition to cutting taxes is impermissible and undermines and contradicts the libertarian goal. Rothbard concluded, then, that the time to oppose expenditures and call for drastic slashes is when the budget is being considered or voted upon.

While balancing the budget can be good if it is through less taxation and less spending, Milei is balancing it with more taxation rather than with more cuts in expenditures. Therefore, his policy of decelerating inflation and balancing the budget is favoring comparatively more State agents and welfare recipients, that is, his actions are actually hurting the economy, because his increased taxation harms the productive people once again. Besides, by keeping the dollar-peso exchange control, his actions become even more detrimental to the same people due to legal tender. In view of the stagnant productivity, people have to resort to their savings to cope with this situation—which also discourages investments.

Lowering inflation and inflationary expectations to escape hyperinflation by revictimizing the peso’s biggest victims is not a libertarian-oriented policy, nor is it sufficient if productive people are ever to choose pesos as freely as they choose dollars. There are other factors regarding the quality of money. Due to Argentina’s monetary history, the productive people do not trust the government, making it difficult to foresee an economic future in terms of pesos. They have suffered a lot because of the decades-long history of their currency. Why not just let the peso die? Even if Milei succeeds in stabilizing the peso and abolishes the central bank to put an end to monetary inflation, he will have saved the peso at the expense of the people who suffered the most to get to this situation.

Milei and the National Debt

As libertarians should know, the only legitimate debts are between groups or individuals and involve property rights. No taxpayer personally or voluntarily incurs public debt. It is the politicians who compromise the genuine income of the people. But those who lend to the government are also corrupt criminals. Private and public bankers have a legal privilege to create money that is not the outcome of productive exchange, and can get rich from this counterfeit money. Because these money printers know that taxpayers pay the costs, public debt cannot be morally equated with private debt. Imagine that A needs to finance a project and borrows money from B. Meanwhile, B knows that A can return the money with interest only by stealing from others. B, then, is not a simple lender but an accomplice in a crime. B benefits from the crime by receiving interest over and above the payment of the debt. Now, if A has given B the exclusive ability to generate money without productive exchange, we have today’s state of affairs.

An administration that wants to go in the right direction must repudiate the public debt. If it succeeds, no one will lend to that government, and it will have to adjust taxation and spending to satisfy the people. This administration will have committed to not making taxpayers and future generations pay any more debt, and the taxpayers will have committed to demanding that the next administrations do the same. Having woken up to the truth, the people, faced with the consequences of an international order that opposes their government, would be prepared to finance their diminished domestic commitments without debt. The consequences may include barriers to international trade, but matters could soon improve because the economic incentives of trade would not disappear. Whether this strategy would be more or less convenient in the short run would depend on the size of the debt and of the country’s economy. But only when these unjust debts begin to be repudiated, the people having rebelled against the machinations of their rulers and the global financial system, will we see the rulers of the world fear a loss of power. Giving in to the statist standard can only mean giving up on a more libertarian future.

Rather than repudiating the national debt, as Rothbard would have appreciated, Milei came to terms with the IMF—thus following the statist recipe of his predecessors. The disbursements from the IMF for carrying out his plans place an unfair burden on the backs of the productive people and future generations. By relying on the IMF, Milei is also favoring the current and future political caste—in Argentina and abroad—that profits from the counterfeiting business. Any deal with the IMF is bound to specific conditions, especially with its main supplier, the United States. Argentina must follow guidelines that would not exist without the agreement, but this can hardly excuse Milei—because he was aligned with the U.S. government interests long before he became president.

Milei’s plans can only come to fruition over a long period, but his administration will not last forever. When the deadlines expire, the IMF’s conditions will apply again, and future administrations could also roll back important improvements made by Milei. This pendulum of democracy alone is sufficient for promoting radical political decentralization and secession, but Milei has not done so.

Milei and his Rhetorical Problems

For the “libertarian” President, there are taxes that are “filthy,” others that have to disappear, and others that depend on the provinces and require tax reform. (It seems that there are taxes that do not have to disappear. Why not radical political decentralization to let provinces compete with their tax conditions?) He said that taxes have gone up, but that they are returning more to the private sector by lowering inflation. (We already know the nature of this deception.) Milei’s idea is to freeze public spending, so that as the economy starts to rebound and grow, the size of spending in terms of GDP will fall. (Why not cut spending further? There seems to be a reasonable percentage of spending to let the economy grow.) Then, the myriad of taxes will move to a simplified system in which there will be about four taxes that are “payable” and “understandable,” and the State will be 25 percent of GDP. (Another tax simplifier? Why not 20 or 30 percent? 25 is good! It seems there are understandable and not understandable taxes. Let us have only the understandable ones!)

There should not be any contradictions in rhetoric as the ones Milei displayed many times—let alone policy recommendations working against the libertarian goal. Even if a libertarian does not feel like calling for some idea at a specific moment, “only harm to the ultimate objective can be achieved by rhetorical flourishes which confuse the public and contradict and violate principle.”


Changes can come from the government when public opinion pushes for them. Whether for anarchy or a less oppressive government, public opinion and pressure are indispensable. Libertarians can go into politics, but they must not give up their libertarian criteria. Milei’s main achievement has been to move the Overton window toward libertarianism, especially in Argentina. Many libertarians around the globe are trying to seize this moment, but an attempt to do so should be criticized if it means supporting Milei without nuances or public corrections of his frequent mistakes. Milei has shown that libertarian ideas can win, and we should recognize that many people have come to libertarianism and Austrian economics because of him. However, as we have seen, this popularization has come with serious problems.

We should point out that an eventual economic transformation is not synonymous with a libertarian transformation. A great deregulation can allow great economic improvement. Regulations can be as destructive of productive output as taxes are. Therefore, as a policy of taxation with less regulation renders a higher monetary return than the same with more regulation, any State might find it appropriate to move in the direction of a more pure taxed and deregulated economy in order to succeed in the international scene. Deregulation seems to be the hallmark of Milei’s presidency. His labor reform will also serve to facilitate formalization vis-à-vis the State and get more people entering the legal market, which will help to collect more taxes. Undoubtedly, to decrease the counterproductive effect of regulations relative to that of taxes can help to achieve more surpluses.

Surely, money from “creditors,” a deregulated economy, and some important reforms will help Milei’s plans. Overcoming the counterproductive effects of politics and getting out of the crisis is possible. Milei’s cuts in expenditures benefit his public image, but a libertarian president would let the economy recover on its own instead of trying to save the peso. According to Milei, “for the first time in Argentina, the righteous do not pay for the sinners.” But as a Yiddish proverb says, “a half-truth is a whole lie.” Instead of radically empowering the people, he is making the productive people pick up the lion’s share of the tab.

It does not take a libertarian president to get out of a crisis, and no libertarian should celebrate a “libertarian” president for doing so when it involves serving statist, warmongering, counterfeiting, genocidal elites. And indeed, Milei is a member of the American-Zionist international establishment of warmongering statism.

Rothbard would have supported Milei enthusiastically in the beginning, when he was a rising figure on TV. He would also have supported Milei’s entry into politics—but not wholeheartedly. He would have begun to notice repeated mistakes and troubling flaws that seem indelible. In time, Rothbard would have had harsh criticism for Milei. Even so, he would have appreciated Milei’s populism, his popularization of Austrian economics and libertarianism, his anger against the political caste, his correct responses to the whining of his opponents, and any reform that went in the right direction.

Rothbard’s populism anticipated Milei’s success. But beyond the similarities, his election manifesto was notvery much in line” with Rothbard’s right-wing populism and paleolibertarianism. Buchanan was not seduced by the Israeli lobby and was viciously attacked by Zionists, but Milei defends Israel and Zionists celebrate him. Rothbard’s support for Buchanan was more or less stable over the years, its backbone being the cause against the liberal and neocon welfare state and warmongering statism. But Milei belongs to that evil group Rothbard fought so hard against. Rothbard would have denounced Milei for his servility to the world’s greatest enemies of peace. And even if he had favored Milei for the presidency in Argentina just as he favored Bush, Rothbard would have become disenchanted with Milei much earlier and more deeply than he did with Buchanan.

As of today, despite the uncertainty of the future, the clear trends and characteristics would likely lead Rothbard to assess and predict Milei’s legacy—being optimistic—as a modest improvement over Reagan and Thatcher. As a matter of fact, Milei admires Reagan and Thatcher (and Churchill), and his foreign policy and deregulation resemble a highly characteristic example of a policy of internal deregulation and increased external aggressiveness as the one provided by Reagan and, to a lesser extent, by Thatcher. We will see if Milei can surpass the “accomplishments” of these two influential leaders. In any event, a “Rothbardian” should have known better than to identify with war criminals. There is a reason why these people are celebrated by the conservatives of the international establishment (the neocons): they take advantage of their anti-communist or anti-socialist rhetoric to support the hegemony of American imperialism. Milei is playing the same role and even failing in promoting a crucial historical revisionism for the libertarian cause.

As an economist, Milei ranks far above the mainstream. He shares many ideas with Austrian economists, including Rothbard himself, despite considering Adam Smith as the Gauss of economics and celebrating him all these years (1, 2, 3)—something Rothbard would have never agreed on. Generally speaking, Milei fails as a “libertarian” president but is better than most presidents. However, it is going too far to call Milei a “full-blown libertarian” and to say that his election signified “a historic day for liberty only comparable to the fall of the Berlin Wall and communism” or even “the rebirth of liberty in Argentina and beyond.”

In consequence, if Rothbard buried Reagan, despite his free-market rhetoric, and did something similar with Thatcher, why would he have let his guard down in the face of Milei’s anti-statist rhetoric? It is completely impossible that Mr. Libertarian would have turned a deaf ear to the resounding bells of truth. Because the truths that have been exposed here are enough to expel Javier Milei from a true libertarian movement, because he is, in reality, a member of the neocons, a regime “libertarian,” a false libertarian—and a fraud.[1]

[1] I want to thank Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Octavio Bermúdez, Thomas DiLorenzo, Stephan Kinsella, Daniel Morena Vitón, and Fernando Chiocca, for having helped me with the elaboration of this article.

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