June 19, 2024
Individual freedom vs. collective good? Argentina's election offers a great choice of ideas


Updated on November 20, 2023 at 12:55 pm

,Analysis-

Buenos Aires – Riding a creed of unbridled individual freedom, far-right populist liberal candidate Javier Meili has won a landslide victory to become Argentina’s next president. Miley’s opponent in Sunday’s second-round runoff, Economy Minister Sergio Massa, asked her to concede, trailing by 10 points after nearly 90% of the votes were counted.

It’s another populist victory in a major country (indeed, former US President Donald Trump immediately congratulated Miley, whom he said would “make Argentina great again!”), and pollsters and the political establishment. Challenged by Trump, who questioned whether voters would choose someone who vowed to “blow up” the central bank and make major changes to the economy and politics.

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It appears that Miley had influenced a significant portion of public opinion by promising to usher in a new era where individual freedom would reign supreme. Regularly exercising his freedom to shout at the audience, he had declared that if elected, he would maximize freedom at the expense of the powers of the state. But after October’s first round results showed Miei trailing Massa, the runoff realized many people’s worst fears that a society based almost entirely on individualism was here to stay in Argentina.

against the establishment

It is easy to criticize the Argentine Republic today, as it is mired in economic problems and unable to assure citizens the minimum level of public goods necessary for a peaceful life. The economy is in crisis, inflation is at abnormal rates, roads are unsafe and inequalities have increased.

Meanwhile, social media warriors continue to promote the primacy of individual rights over the collective. They are aided by the grammar of the Internet that allows individuals to create autonomous online networks without requiring References and nods From authority figures about what to think and who to follow.

In parallel, there is a growing rejection of established structures – from the state to political parties, trade unions, and even courts of law – that functioned as, or less than, representing the disparate sections and stakeholders of Argentine society. Was considered less than.

Thus the discourse is moving towards paradigms that present the individual as the arbiter of legitimacy and reject the “imposition” of institutions. Increasingly, people are becoming intolerant of any imposition. The younger generation, raised and fed by social media stories, is quick to reject established power structures and bureaucracy, which many no longer consider legitimate.

Many Argentines view the state and its institutions as a dictatorship that must be overthrown.

In 1548, a very young French thinker, Étienne de la Boétie, wrote in his Discourse on Voluntary Slavery ,Discourse de la servitude volontaire), that he would like to know Who gave it to him...” This is a relevant question today. De la Boétie, who died of plague at the age of 32, believed that refusing to surrender was the first step toward achieving freedom. He told his readers urged them to no longer “uphold” tyranny with a simple and non-violent resolution “to reject subordination,” and “you will see how, like a giant separated from his base,” The tyranny “will collapse and break under its own weight.”

Today, many Argentines view the state and its institutions as a Dictator It should be dropped for this rather disturbing By giving orders, their lives.

A voter from Masa crying after Sunday’s election

Daniela Fernandez Realin/Zuma

meaning of freedom

An inefficient state and people’s engagement with politics, rule of law and a struggling economy show that the institutions that shape the life of the nation must be open to change. This is a strong sentiment among voters something new We need to replace the endless, endemic crisis we have been dealing with for decades. Miley’s campaign, no matter how hyperbolic, tried to capture the moment when personal freedom became the moral principle on which Argentina’s governance is based and evaluated.

Can people be truly free when they lack education, when their health is not secure?

Still, we need to ask some urgent questions about the state of individual freedom given Argentina’s socioeconomic realities.

Can people be truly free when they lack education, or when only the rich are educated? When can you be free? you are not healthy Protected or if there is no state to ensure arms control? What happens when the state fails to guarantee equal opportunities? Doesn’t the culture of freedom need de la boétie as a component Friendship or ‘Friendship’ is called, There is no friendship, he wrote, where “there is cruelty, disloyalty, injustice; among the wicked when they are together there is not company but conspiracy; they do not like each other, but fear each other. They are. They are not friends but companions.”

We are at a point in the evolution of our society when the old is ending and the new is emerging yet to be clearly revealed, The future is open, and the public can still shape it with their long-term choices. These choices will determine whether we have a freer or more restrictive country, and whether we become more or less responsible for our own destiny.

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