Javier Milei and the risk of platonic democracy

Javier Milei and the risk of platonic democracy

On November 19, Javier Milei became the 19th democratic president since the implementation of the Sáenz Peña law. Since his inauguration, he has demonstrated or rather ratified, not only his disruptive style, but also his particular vision of democracy, vision on which one could try to draw a parallel with the Platonic vision of democracy and consequently the risks that the philosopher warned about that could generate its poor performance.

This system, which we today call liberal democracy, traces its origins to ancient Greece, around 370 years before Christ. Philosophers like Plato characterized democracy in a very particular way; This characterization directs us to the central point of this article, not because it coincides with the Platonic vision of democracy, but to warn that President Milei’s own characteristics can lead our democracy to the deformation that Plato warned about two thousand four hundred years ago.

In his book the Republic, Plato said about democracy: “If democracy is understood as a form of State in which the demo or people are masters of themselves, its conception is unrealizable, absurd and ridiculous.” Nothing could be further from the vision of democracy that anyone who considers democracy to be the best system of government can have. With Plato, the ideal regime is an aristocracy where knowledge and reason dominate.

Plato He spoke about freedom, a neuralgic theme for our President; However, he warned the following: “once people have freedom, they want even more. If freedom at any price is the only goal, an excess of freedom results, generating an excess of factions and a multiplicity of perspectives, most of which are blinded by narrow interests.” However, he reached the central point and He maintained: “Whoever wishes to be a leader must then flatter those factions, please their passions, and that is fertile ground for the tyrant, who manipulates the masses to “dominate democracy.””.

It is highly likely that the reader, at this point in the article, will try to find a logic that allows him to string together everything that has been said so far. The first thing I have to tell you is that this article is a conceptual, ideological and comparative development that attempts to demonstrate, using the reasoning of the most famous Western philosopher of ancient Greece, the risk of going from a democracy to a tyrannywhen certain and certain conditions are met that make it possible.

Below we will name some actions of President Milei that could be framed in a Platonic vision of democracy and its subsequent mutation into a tyranny:

  • First presidential message with his back turned not only to Congressbut to the deputies who are the representatives of the people, the senators who are the representatives of the provinces, added to the governors who are the greatest exponents of the provinces that gave birth to the Argentine nation.
  • A DNU that as its main characteristic It intends to manage, by way of exception, a significant number of delegated powers and powers, which allow it to manage public affairs in an absolutely discretionary manner, which are manifestly prohibited by our national constitution.
  • A so-called Base Law and starting points for the freedom of Argentines that acted as a mirror to the DNU and that sought through legislative sanction to give it a framework of legality greater than the intention expressed in the DNU.
  • Denigration of mass political parties or popular, such as the Radical Civic Union and the Justicialist Party, accusing both of being directly responsible for the Argentine decadence from the emergence of both in the political life of our country, repudiating that they have been the main protagonists of the most transcendental events in our contemporary history.
  • Denial of social justice. “Social justice” is a determination of the federal Constitution of Argentina, according to the current text that was reformed in 1994. The eminent objective of general well-being for all citizens (not for a group of the rich), enshrined in the Preamble , is inextricably linked to the urgent benefits of social justice, determined in article 75, paragraph 19. The entire task of Congress, especially its legislation, must be directed towards the promotion of human development, economic progress with social justice. Therefore, all federal authorities, with the President in the foreground, must comply and carry out this “realization” of the constituent mandate. Its denial or rejection would seriously imply aborting social justice, that is, abolishing, by an absolutist and irrational act, a fundamental principle of our fundamental Scripture.
  • Impoverishment of savings in local currency of local savers, offering them a highly negative interest rate compared to inflation indicators. It is important to mention at this point that while the BCRA offers the saver 110% annually, it pays the banks 171% annually for lending their depositors’ money, thus generating a transfer of net profit to the financial sector to the detriment of small and medium savers.
  • Definition of the State as a violent criminal organization and not defining it as the legal structure that allows it to contain the people and the nation and that, consequently, positions it as the most complex organization of a modern society.
  • Finally, defines himself as anarcho-capitalist. Definition that is clearly a contradiction in itself. Anarchism, put simply, is a political, economic and social philosophy that calls not only for opposition to the State, but also for its abolition. Anarcho-capitalism expresses in its gold (private property) and black (anarchy) flag a clear contradiction, given that private property is the result of capitalism and, consequently, the creation of the modern capitalist state through the monopoly of force in a delimited territory, guarantees, among other things, private property. Anarchism goes against that State and proposes its abolition, consequently it proposes the dissolution of private property, the market and the capitalist system. In short, the libertarian anarcho-capitalism that the President of the nation tries to represent is impossible to put into practice and demonstrates a clear inconsistency of political, sociological, cultural and economic conceptions.

According to Plato, we would go from timocracy to oligarchy, from here to democracy, and this would engender tyranny. That is, the logic of government systems leads to a gradual increase in degradation and a process towards the worst. That is why there is no solution other than the ideal State governed by those who know, that is, the philosophers.

Today we find the logic that explains a transition from democracy to tyranny curious, so perhaps it is interesting to see what it is about and consider what it is that, according to Plato, makes the logic of current democracy lead to tyranny. At the same time we could see some of the characteristics that Plato attributes to tyranny, in case they can help us to also evaluate our contemporary Western democracies, taking into account the distances that must be bridged.

After Plato clarified that, for the defenders of democracy, freedom is the most beautiful of all, however, it is the desire for freedom that ends up leading to tyranny, since it happens that democracy, which changes governments, at some point At the moment it is managed by bad rulers under whom excesses occur in the name of freedom.

In short, is it possible that our current democracy, after four uninterrupted decades of governments elected by popular vote, could become, following Plato, a tyranny? The answer that first appears in your mind is no; However, there are certain indicators that may be more or less relevant depending on each person’s conception, which should make us alert to this possibility. Our country lived through times of tyranny under governments that broke the democratic order and had extremely detrimental results for our people as a whole.

Our democratic system, strengthened after four decades, has the necessary mechanisms that can operate against an attempt to deform democracy. The legislative power, the judicial power, the political parties, the union, social, religious, cultural, business, professional organizations and fundamentally the people in all their dimensions, must be the antibodies that prevent any messianic deformation of our democracy.. A challenge depends on them that allows us to give the nation a framework of democratic predictability that lays the foundations for the development of our people in the face of any fundamentalist attempt that puts not only democracy at risk, but the future of millions of Argentines who deserve a future not only of freedom, of individual and collective development, of prosperity, of democracy and essentially of equal conditions. This is the historical challenge of the masses against the oppressors.

(The author has a degree in Political Science and Government -National University of Lanús-, professor in Higher Education -UTN-, member of the Argentine Society of Political Analysis -SAAP- and the Argentine Association of Political Consultants -ASACOP-. @fidalgomarcelo )

Source: Ambito

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