To change Argentina, first we have to love it

We, liberals, want to change Argentina. And I am sure that we also love our country. Tension is unavoidable. We love something we want to change. We understand that, as we are, we are doing very badly and that profound transformation is necessary. The more we want to transform it, the more the loved object is disfigured before our eyes.

Why is not Argentina what we want it to be? Why, many times, is it so derailed, so contrary to common sense? We are overwhelmed by their ills, which are mostly self-inflicted.

And we get angry. A lot. We are invaded by anger and, much worse, discomfort. “This country doesn’t change anymore,” we say. Or “our destiny is Africa”. The epithets of “unviable country” or to rename ourselves as “Peronia” are never missing either. By the way, our fatalism gives Peronism the character of invincibility. When it is in power, we announce that it will stay forever. And in the moments that it is in the opposition we prophesy its soon return (to stay forever).

Meanwhile, from time to time, the country gives us good news. But nothing is enough. It’s never enough. There are no tentative steps in the right direction. On the contrary, the only thing that awaits us in the future is a new failure, a debacle, a “2001”.

Let it be understood: I am not a deluded person. Argentina is going through a process of 70 years of decline. It is already palpable in everything and everyone. The natural consequence of such a process of national destruction is that the conjuncture is full of problems (in act and potentially). Very serious problems: poverty, corruption, populism, demagogy, statism, taxes. The list is tragically much longer.

What worries me is that, from so much diagnosing frightening diseases, we have forgotten that there is a cure. We are so exhausted by the collective failure of our country that we have become bitter. We lost freshness and joy to communicate our message. And what is our message? What we have to contribute to the national debate are a set of ideas that combine morality and effectiveness. These are the ideas that made our country great and that have turned the contemporary world into the best world that has existed in the history of Humanity. Liberalism is the recipe we have found to rescue human beings from poverty. Our ideas are those that are on the side of innovation, progress, rationality and, of course, individual freedom.

Many of us have lost faith. We forget the positive part of the liberal message. We are angry all the time. We are frothing at the mouth. We see ourselves as a kind of Cassandras: with the gift of seeing the tragedies that lie ahead, but unable to convince anyone to avoid them. Many times we have been…

We must be, above all, the bearers of a Good News. Well, we have a lot to contribute so that the country is much better. Even more at a time like today, when the disastrous failures of those who oppose us are so obvious. It is enough to put the attention on Venezuela or the surrounding areas of Buenos Aires city to understand that the “alternatives” to liberalism only bring misery, hunger and desolation.

But nobody who throws in the towel can win. No one who lost faith will generate followers. To change the country we must first love it. We need to fall in love with Argentina again and, if I may do so, preach the solutions and possibilities that liberal reforms can bring to the country. It is time for us to focus more on winning converts instead of discussions. As Jeffrey Tucker says: hate oppression but love Freedom, even more, focus on the positive that our change will bring instead of focusing exclusively on everything that is wrong.

Written by: Federico N. Fernández
President of the Bases International Foundation (Rosario, Argentina) and Senior Fellow of the Austrian Economics Center (Vienna, Austria).
Source: La opinion incómoda

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