Free trade gone mad

By Steve Farrell
web posted July 3, 2000

Of all the political and economic ideas out there, few points of view are as respectable and informative as the Free Trade positions provided in such pro-free trade venues as Ideas On Liberty (formerly The Freeman), and Llewellyn Rockwell JR.'s, Few organizations can match their scholarship, clarity, and moral persuasion. Their contribution to the political, historical, and economic debate is a rare treat.

I am a fan, especially when it comes to their defense of private property and domestic free markets.

On the other hand, nothing seems less scholarly, less clear, or less moral than the shortsighted defense of those who piggyback on free market logic to promote world free trade scams such as the regulatory Leviathans of the EU, NAFTA, ASEAN, and the WTO, as safe, sure, and swift routes to national and international freedom and prosperity.

It is under the cover of "free" trade agreements, and the regulatory international organizations which attend them, that Karl Marx would have rung out loud his endorsement of Free Trade with even more clamor than he did before the Democratic Association of Brussels in 1848, where he summed up his thoughts on Free Trade as follows:

"In general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while . . . the free trade system is destructive. It breaks up old nationalities and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense, alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favor of free trade." 1

It is a point constantly missed by so called foreign policy experts, that Communism tactically permits huge swings in philosophy and practice which intentionally are made to appear as a host of contradictions, retreats, compromises, and even democratic reforms, when they are little more than the dialectic doing its masterful work.

Communists and socialists feel sure that setting up international "free" trade systems which impose regulations chuck full of intrigues, redistribution plans, arbitrary law, and interdependence schemes, will win out against the conservative interests of every free nation.

What could be better than to use "free" trade to reverse the advantage of the relatively free, moral, prosperous, and strong nations of the Earth, so that the tyrannical, amoral, poor, and weak nations of the socialist bloc might get the upper hand?

What could be a more cunning approach than to market the idea that those who oppose "free" trade are enemies of freedom?

What could be a more suitable self-fulfilling prophecy than to claim capitalism corrupts, while simultaneously redefining materialism and license as virtue, and self control and law as vice?

These schooled power seekers know full well that the stream of liberty must be banked for it to flow straight, true and far, and so they utilize every possible tactic in the name of liberty to tare down the banks, flood the town, scatter the residents, shoot the mayor, assume his place, and proclaim themselves 'Savior' so that they might re-bank the stream and rebuild the town in their own tyrannical image.

Finally, what could be a more hilarious treat for them, than to watch naive capitalists fall for the ploy that riches will convert hardened criminals into law abiding, liberty loving members of the international community.

They just can't help but snicker over the thought that millions of folks out there actually believe that career criminals don't already have high paying jobs, haven't already tasted of all the luxuries money can buy, and have any lesser goal in mind than to find a way to worm their way into governments so that their trade of murder, rape, and robbery might be permanently secured as legal.

Free Trade Agreements with their guaranteed government posts, and their boundless tolerance for the "unique" traditions of "emerging" democracies are their ticket, and they know it.

Therefore, freely mixing with fixed, educated, and plotting enemies of liberty, binding our fate to them, and granting them privileges and positions of trust their past and present history do not warrant is pure lunacy.



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