There Is a Freer World Beyond the Politics of Messiahs

 Argentina and Venezuela are no longer on the fence. They have rejected populism. (Tony Cyphert
The citizens of Argentina and Venezuela are no longer on the fence; they have rejected populism. (Tony Cyphert)

EspañolDear Argentinean and Venezuelan brothers:

Over the last couple of months, our achievements have been significant. We Argentineans got rid of a government that undermined institutions, trampled on constitutional limits to power, and ignored our fundamental rights for 12 years. Change definitely came to Argentina.

You Venezuelans have taken a major first step in defeating Chavismo. With your vote, you have deprived President Nicolás Maduro of a congressional majority, leaving him without a lackey National Assembly. You have kicked out the thieves from their own lair, the very scene of their plots against all Venezuelans’ freedom, life, and property.

The reversal of Venezuela’s destruction at the socialists’ hands has finally begun.

We Argentineans and Venezuelans both celebrated our latest electoral victories. It’s understandable. Change — or the hint of it — encourages those who had had despaired due to our governments’ obscure handling of public affairs.

Openly authoritarian regimes are on the way out.

However, this journey is just beginning. The initial euphoria over defeating the populists at the polls is a double-edged sword.

The feeling of liberation can be captivating, at first. I felt it myself. But seeking saviors or messiahs is a sure path toward serfdom. All enthusiasm and illusions fade when we realize that we’re living under another regime; it might be similar to the last even if it wears a different mask.

Are we really going to make the same mistake again?

Undoubtedly, our situation is better now, and will continue to be so. Positive results are not hard to achieve when Chavistas and Kirchnerists have set such low standards. But we cannot settle for so little. Watered-down slavery is still slavery.

We have witnessed how hard politicians try to fill their wallets with taxpayer money: a scam, but not the only one. Politics in our countries has been scandalous, but the ideas upon which the government and the state have been built are even more outrageous. They’re criminal.

We must understand that the true nature of government and state is violence. Taxes are how politicians violently take away the fruits of your labor. Trade barriers, obstacles to starting a business — from the silliest regulations to the crippling bureaucracy — are their way to prevent two individuals from freely engaging in voluntary exchange.

The matter gets worse if they live in different countries. Paternalistic measures that supposedly look out for citizens’ own good are an insult to the autonomy and responsibility of adult citizens.

Be it socialist, populist, social-democratic, or conservative, the government always functions thanks to the logic of violence. Fines, penalties, and sanctions are designed to corner citizens. State education turns free and creative children into conformist and obedient adults, sacrificing individual potential.

[adrotate group=”8″]Luckily, there is an alternative that doesn’t rely on violent impositions. It’s to take back control over our lives. It’s to understand that individuals were able to discover and invent everything we see around us despite the government, not thanks to it. The alternative is to understand that our right to choose to live our lives as we wish is sacred, and that involves the right to make mistakes.

We have been told that we already tried free markets and free minds, and that they failed, sinking our countries into poverty. That’s not true. It’s the politicians and their governments who failed by violating free-market principles, impoverishing us materially and spiritually with their stunts and populist policies.

As the saying goes, “if you want different results, you have to try different approaches.” If we keep expecting saviors and messiahs who will arrive to solve all our problems, we’ll be condemned to serfdom of different kinds forever. We will never be free if we don’t know what freedom is.

Let’s look beyond what politicians choose to show us. Let’s think beyond what they tell us to think. Let’s explore the unknown. Beyond politicians, the government, and the state, there is a better life, more abundant and rewarding.

Across the government’s barbed wire fence, there is freedom.

Translated by Daniel Duarte.

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