Can you even believe this? From an American president. Speaking to “young leaders” in Argentina, he suggested that there wasn’t much difference between Marxism and capitalism, and that nations should “choose what works.”
Really. He said it.
First, he speaks about a kind of blended economy that he thinks is taking hold in the United States.
But one of the things that’s interesting that’s happening in the United States is that you’re starting to see organizations that are kind of a blend of for-profit and non-for-profit. So they might have a business component that, let’s say, sells handcrafts and artwork that’s made by a community for profit, but then the money goes into financing the social programs that help give people these opportunities. And how they’re treated in terms of taxes and the corporate organization — that’s going to change by country. Each country is going to have a different model. But more and more, I believe that that’s going to be the wave of the future if we want to make progress on these problems.
And then he gets to the meat of his argument, which is that all this capitalism vs. communism stuff is a bunch of mumbo jumbo as it relates to Latin America.
I guess to make a broader point, so often in the past there’s been a sharp division between left and right, between capitalist and communist or socialist. And especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate, right? Oh, you know, you’re a capitalist Yankee dog, and oh, you know, you’re some crazy communist that’s going to take away everybody’s property. And I mean, those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it neatly fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory — you should just decide what works.
That is, the essential battleground of the Cold War, the effort to keep communism from taking hold in our backyard, was silliness. And maybe market economies just aren’t for everybody.
Extraordinary. And he’ll be president for ten more months.