PODCAST: Tractatus Logicus Geopoliticus with Osvaldo Cortesi #7


Tractatus Logicus Geopoliticus: “What can even be said, can be clearly said; and what cannot be talked about must be kept silent”. A space for geopolitical debate with its epicenter in Asia and with rigorous sources.

In this broadcast we talk about “Extractive Leadership in Extractive Economies”.

Argentina is repeatedly described as the second comprehensive geography with natural resources after the United States.

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In his book «THE END OF THE WORLD is JUST the BEGINNING”, which has just been published, Peter Zeihan expresses himself with emphasis on Argentina for its food, energy and metal resources, for the times of change in geopolitics that he develops throughout the book.

The interest is explicit and growing on the part of China and increasingly active from the G7 countries that are reconfiguring their economic, investment and commercial relations, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A Perl Harbor that sped up a war by other means.

Since its development in the last two decades, China requires increasing access to raw materials that its geography does not provide and its manufacturing industry and consumption demand. China represents 28% of the Global Manufacturing Industry being 18% of the Global GDP.

PODCAST: Tractatus Logicus Geopoliticus with Osvaldo Cortesi #6

For millennia in China, the 5 elements that constitute the basis of the creation of goods and the sustenance of the life of the universe, the cosmogony, have been emphasized.

Argentina is repeatedly described as the second comprehensive geography with natural resources after the United States

These elements are earth (agrifood), water, fire (petroleum), metals (iron/copper ore and now lithium), and wood. In all it is deficient. And as he projects for centuries, he considers the geography of America attractive and necessary. To the north, the United States, is not expanding due to its hegemonic competition, and on the other hand, in the south, where Argentina and Brazil are, its interest is and will be growing.

And particularly in Argentina where, despite its recurrent institutional disorders, its natural resources and proximity to Antarctica are very necessary and complementary to them (“CHINA AS A POLAR POWER»).

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, China stopped investing in the BRI countries but relatively maintained its interest in Latin America, as we can see in the following table. His greatest interest has been in Africa and Latin America will be his next target.

Peter Zeihan, who in previous books anticipated the developments in the production of fossil energies with fracking and geopolitical derivations, in his last two books highlights the characteristics that Argentina offers. («DISUNITED NATIONS»)

“ There is a region worth seeing: Buenos Aires. For those of you familiar with Argentina, I’m sure you think I’ve had a stroke.”

“Argentina has one of the most adversarial tariff and regulatory regimes in the world, and the country’s penchant for flat-out confiscation of private property has wrecked its local manufacturing base. All true. All relevant… to the world that is dying”

“ But in the world that is being born, a world that is fractured into regional and even national trading systems, Argentina’s socialist – cum – fascist industrial policy will work much better ”

The combined Southern Cone is a major producer of nearly every agricultural and industrial product under the sun. ”.

“In a world that will soon face shortages of everything from food to industrial processing to consistent and sustainable manufacturing systems, Argentina has a great future.”

Argentina is likely to experience an oil system not so different from that of the United States. Argentina has the second richest shale sector in the world, which would add to its ideal geography for agrifood, and, in energy renewal, to the developments of solar and wind energy, and of metals that will increase in the content of the products.

Zeihan’s warning that he has not suffered a stroke in his claims about Argentina and its development was expressed in 2012 by Daron Acemoglu in his book «WHY NATIONS FAIL» when describing the behavior of countries with Extractive Institutions led by Extractive and non-Inclusive Leadership.

And particularly in Argentina, where despite its recurring institutional disorders, its natural resources and proximity to Antarctica are very necessary and complementary.

Acemoglu attributes the institutional changes in the Supreme Court of Justice in Argentina in the 1940s as the beginning of a vicious circle that ended with the virtuous circle of imperfectly inclusive developments.

It is not about a political caste as some local referents point out, but about a broad set of elites, in different classes and institutions of economic and social life, with conflicting ideologies, who have been installing a culture of rule defaults that prevent sinking capital with the security necessary to return to development and make up for time lost since the mid-20th century.

The geography does not change. Geopolitics, Demography and Technologies are changing. Will the leaderships change due to the pressure they will exert from China to the G7 countries? It is the great opportunity for Argentina to return to inclusive developments that it knew how to have from the end of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century.

Common Prosperity is necessary in all societies without altering the basic rules for the development of real investment and human resources. The dilemma facing Xi Jinping in China these days: towards a Marxism with Chinese Characteristics or towards a Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics.

Links of interest:

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I got “Why nations fail” from Daron Acemoglu and James A Robinson

I got “China as a Polar Great Power” by Anne-Marie Brady

about the author

Osvaldo Cortesi is an Argentine economist specializing in Chinese Studies.

He has a degree in Economics with an Honors Diploma from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina. He is currently an independent consultant, advising financial institutions and private companies in different industries. In the last 30 years he has developed his activity in public and private financial institutions. He has served as Director of the Bank of the City of Buenos Aires, Director of Banco de Corrientes, Vice President of Banco de Inversiones y Extranjero (BICE) and General Manager of Banco de Crédito Argentino, among other functions. In the business field, he directed the Macroeconomic consultancy, an entity specialized in economics and finance. He has been Director General of the National Ministry of Finance (1975-1977) and Chief Economist of FIEL, the Latin American Foundation for Economic Research (1971-1975). Since 2000 he has specialized in the Chinese economy and its global and regional repercussions.

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