Argentinian Agustina Vergara Cid, an associate fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, has penned an excellent op-ed on Javier Milei’s reformation of the Argentinian government, observing that:
Milei seems to understand that eliminating government’s control over the economy is a must for human flourishing and prosperity – that government must get out of the way of individuals who want to produce and live freely (for instance, he’s eliminated the price controls that plagued the Argentinian economy for years). But as a self-described “anarcho-capitalist,” he holds a mistaken view of government: as recently as September, he’s stated that government is inherently evil and that true freedom can be only achieved through anarchism.
Not so, says Vergara Cid, “… government is not an unnecessary evil, but a necessary good,” writing that “Argentina’s anarcho-capitalist president Javier Milei must build, not just tear down”:
A civilized society should ban force from social relations, and to enforce this ban there needs to be an institution that holds a monopoly on force. Government is needed to guarantee freedom from physical force by protecting individual rights. To do this it must use force in retaliation against those who initiate it.
[…]Building strong government institutions is necessary to protect the rights of Argentinians. Argentina desperately needs a better police force and court system to implement better rule of law. Criminals run rampant, making safety a top concern leading up to the presidential election. Those criminals who are apprehended are routinely freed by judges. Judicial procedures take a long time, often rendering obsolete verdicts. Judges and other justice system workers often see their independence compromised, especially in cases involving challenges to the political power of corrupt officials.
While most of Milei’s proposed reforms have been about tearing down improper government controls, the new president is also making moves to actively protect the rights of Argentinians by specifying proper governmental actions. For instance, Milei’s government has empowered the police force to prevent and break up the massive pickets and public street blockades that for decades have been restricting Argentinians right to move and causing untold damage.
While the new reforms are overall good signs, the question of Milei’s anarcho-capitalism remains. Freedom isn’t compatible with anarchy. Freedom requires a good government limited to protecting the rights of individuals. Government should leave people free – by guaranteeing their rights. Milei, who’s shown signs of intellectual growth, will hopefully continue to help build the necessary governmental institutions to do just that and to be persuaded of the need to rebuild the good, not just tear down the bad
Learn more about the importance of good government by reading Ayn Rand’s essay The Nature of Government.