The Argentinization of Chile

The Argentinization of Chile

In Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud describes the death drive, or Thanatos, as a tendency of “all living beings” to return to a state of negative rest, a tendency to end inner conflict not through an enriching solution (synthesis in the Hegelian sense) but by being in an idyllic state of mind of physical dissolution in which the tensions of the current conflict are non-existent or inert. It is a backward flight, a “hysterical” involution that somatizes into sadomasochistic and self-destructive behavior.

It seems that in this work from 1920 Freud diagnosed what would happen to Chile almost exactly a century lateras in a violent outburst erupted the latent swamps of a society living confidently in its own success, traumatized by an unjust distribution of wealth carried out under a dictatorship that has failed to correct democracy, an original sin the new left has manipulated to poison coexistence.

Without detracting from the dramas this country is wracking, it is evident that current generations have very little appreciation for what has been achieved, and they seem willing to right past injustices, real or imagined Discard the liberal foundations that marked the institutional difference between Chile and the rest of Latin Americawhich in turn are the reason for a prosperity unparalleled on the continent and far superior to that of its “more” beloved neighbor Argentina.

Chile surpasses Argentina in per capita income; inflation rarely exceeds 3% per year, while Argentina is close to 40%; the deficit does not exceed 2%, has a very consolidated fiscal and monetary situation with internationally recognized stability, when Argentina is shown in universities around the world as an example of what a government should not do. Chilean prosperity allowed it Invest 25 times more in Argentina than it could invest in Chile.

But if any dates are important, it is the following: in 2006 Both Chile and Argentina had 29% poverty; In 2018 Argentina’s was up 32% while Chile’s fell to 8%! Are there any doubts as to which country should emulate the other? Well, the Chileans seem to get it, they want to emulate their failed neighbor… and they’re already doing it, at least in monetary terms.

Argentina and Chile were the worst performers when the US Federal Reserve recently hiked interest rates, leading to an automatic devaluation of Latin American currencies.

The Argentine peso being devalued is normal, it’s been happening since statism was installed in the gaucho nation’s collective psyche, making it a victim of demagogy from left and right, but the Chilean peso being devalued is something new , and indicates a qualitative shift in Chile’s integration into the world economy.

If, for some reason, before the triumph of this new Chilean left – presidency and constitutional convention – the attractiveness of repatriating dollars to the United States increased and part of the capital rushed out, causing the devaluation of the Chilean peso, came almost simultaneously other capital in the country to take advantage of the awkwardly favorable exchange rate.

Chile has prevailed, getting rid of short-term investors and welcoming risk-takers and look for real business opportunities in a convenient legal framework that enriches the country.

This automatic mechanism for regulating the value of the Chilean peso with almost no intervention from its central bank, a mechanism bolstered by the highest volume of foreign investment per capita on the continent, is now not working and for the first time in history a dollar cost 1,000 Chilean pesos .

Why? There are many technical explanations, including a looming tax reform, but basically that’s the way it is Investors and businesspeople fear the change in Chile will exceed the legislature of current President Boric. Chileans seem to be opting for a new, “more social and inclusive” institutional framework, leading the axis of power from the market to the state… as in Argentina.

Chile came very close to becoming a first world country like Argentina was before it.but in both cases the thanatos, the death instinct, was irresistible, and if one has to forgive Argentina for its mistake and subsequent decline because “they didn’t know”, how will Chileans today justify Argentinizing their country and its foreseeable ones before future generations Follow the example of your catastrophic neighbor?

We hope that many of them will have time to pass through the chair of a good psychoanalyst, preferably an Argentine, before September, when Chileans decide in the elections whether to make their constitution Argentine.