Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Peron and his example...

There’s definitely a view out there - in 18th century terms a Jacobin one compared to my own more Whiggish perspective - that economic freedom is necessarily exploitative until the material bases of society have been appropriately ‘socialised’.

This is a point of view that, even when confronted with the developmental disparities between North and South Korea, insists that rising tides NEVER lift all boats. 

Perhaps in order to better appreciate how prosperity waxes in developing nations, it is instructive to look at what happens when the process shifts into reverse. 

Argentina was wealthier than France and Germany as WWI got under way: today it is poorer than Mexico. As far as I am aware no other modern nation has done the first to third world descent.

Long before a son of that land became the region’s long term poster boy for hardcore communist ideals, Argentina had, in the person of Juan Perón, an autocrat who bears resemblance to modern populists like Donald Trump. 

There are many different reasons for Argentina’s decline, but Perón is as good place as any to start the inquiry. His was a personal autocracy that mobilised the ‘dispossessed’ and other malcontents, right wing politics in the garb of the left which converted the will of the people into the power and inefficiency of the state, and featured a rigorously anti-trade economic nationalism paired with vigorous bouts of foreigner baiting and blaming. 

Today it is the example of Perón not of Guevara that presents the most clear and present danger to our democratic freedoms.

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