We have just one civilization today: everybody, among common folks know what everybody else thinks. Yet, as resources previously used, such as fossil fuels, falter, civilization and the understanding of the universe which makes it possible in its present state, have to progress (not enough scientific and technological progress as needed, was the proximal cause of Rome’s failure). So it is crucial that really new, and correct, ideas be introduced (and not just in science).

If Those Are Best Friends Who, What Is The Enemy? Cockroaches? Those Among We The People Who Are Viewed As Cockroaches?

If Those Are Best Friends Who, What Is The Enemy? Cockroaches? Those Among We The People Who Are Viewed As Cockroaches?

Yes even countries such as Saudi Arabia are part of this global civilization. And Saudi Arabia is fully part of the debate of what civilization means, and what it will have to consist of, looking forward. Watch France give the Legion d’Honneur to the heir of Saudi Arabia, and its Interior Minister, arguably the principal ideologue of the hardening of the Saudi line, inside out. So, in other words, while France fights the Islamist State (“Daesh”), France gives the nod to the hardening of the Wahhabist doctrine of Saudi Arabia (which, historically, was very minor in Islam), the ideology of ISIL. The results are increasingly strange: Salafist/Wahhabist terrorists attacked police and soldiers in Tunisia today. The security forces fought back. The coordinated assaults were shown, live, on the Internet. One could see young passersbys applauding the security forces in full combat (at least 28 terrorists got killed, plus seventeen fighting police and civilians who applauded the police).

Such contradictions are rife, all over the world. Look at “free trade”.

Globalization Of Trade Without Globalization Of Law Results In Plutocratization. This Is Exactly What Happened To The Roman Republic, & Why It Faltered

Globalization Of Trade Without Globalization Of Law Results In Plutocratization. This Is Exactly What Happened To The Roman Republic, & Why It Faltered

Free trade, well done, is indeed excellent. However, the West has been exporting science, technology and know-how, while not investing in a way commensurate to making this sort of export sustainable.

In other words, here is civilization’s problem: the learning, teaching, and research functions have been starved, relative to what the (critical) situation requires.

The result has been a collapse of manufacturing and related high worth employment in the countries who recently led progress in science and understanding (with the result that, like Republican Rome, the knowledge and wisdom of the most advanced countries is increasing faltering relatively to the flow of new ideas which civilization need to survive).

To make matters worse, said “free trade” has happened in the shadows. So-called high-tech companies have made fortunes, while paying no taxes: France just hit Google with a 1.6 billion Euro tax bill. Such companies and their principal owners had found ways to escape most taxes, thus starving the governments, hence the fundamental research their trade rests on.

So free trade can work, but only if it’s fair. As it is, most money flows are hidden (in so-called “Dark Money” and “Dark Pools”), and the owners are also hidden (thus escaping taxation and corruption charges, not just against them, but also against the politicians they influence).

Last week European Commissioners were caught promising ExxonMobil that the Transatlantic Trade Pact under negotiation with Obama would allow companies such as ExxonMobil to escape local legislation, including labor, taxation and pollution laws.

So the Republicans may be lunatics. But, in a world already ruled by lunatics, they are no doubt welcome.

Fair, just, and profitable  international trade requires a registry of all ownership and detailed trading activity, worldwide. Otherwise the sort of Republic we enjoy worldwide (as institutionalized by the United Nations) will know the same fate as the Roman Republic: an increasing sinking in the turbid waters of mindless will to power and tyranny.

Patrice Ayme’

[P/S: A shorter, trade only version of the preceding essay was selected as a New York Times’ “Pick”. Since I have complained stridently about NYT’s censorship, I have to be fair and to recognize appreciation too!]


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14 Responses to “FREE TRADE FALLACY”

  1. SDM Says:

    the cartoon says it all too well. labor suffers while owners profit from “free” trade. the consumers get lower prices but at a dear cost!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Free trade, or ever lower prices for ever lower lives

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      It’s an exact repetition of what happened to the Roman Republic.

      • Kevin Berger Says:

        And, this time, your Franks won’t be around, since, as you wrote, there is only one civilization now – and it certainly isn’t conducive to Franks… (the symmetry with the wahabis being once “very minor in Islam”, but yet now being sunni islam, for all practical purpose and with all their allies/competitor, is kind is striking).

        • Gmax Says:

          I don’t understand how Wahhabism is the same civilization as Wall Street… Wait

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            Indeed, it’s Washington which promoted Wahhabism initially (1930 to Reagan’s Afghanistan)

          • Kevin Berger Says:

            Radical sunni islam = global Gladio-type clandestine arm of the UK-US intelligence/big business; as seen in ex-Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Central Asia, probably even Syria today and by extension, Europe. The same mix of divide & conquer, provocation, and destabilization.
            So, it’s not even to Reagan’s Afghanistan, it is to Obama’s Arab Spring (launched late in GWB second mandate) and Syria.

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            The FNL was extending Roosevelt desire to bring down the French empire. That’s why the Americans supported him. Al Qaeda/ Afghanistan was more the same. My father and his (French) colleagues went to Afghanistan several times in 1970s and found enormous reserves of precious minerals there. Hence Carter’s subsequent attack on Afghanistan, using his Muslim Fundamentalists. Indeed. No truths the USA is ready to hear.

  2. Gmax Says:

    ConsiderING what Kevin wrote. The question of the Franks. Is not Donald Trump a typical Frank? I mean he is sure very Frank. The point Patrice made is that the Franks, not Protestantism a la Weber, made the West. The West ain’t dead yet…

  3. dominique deux Says:

    There is no such thing as an inherently “good” policy, natural resource or natural process. There are only those which are mostly good, those which are mostly bad, and for all of them, outcome completely depends on the way they are implemented/used.
    Water is an absolute need; it also will drown or starve you easily. Sunlight is an absolute need; too much exposure is lethal. Oxen provide meat and power galore, but only after having been gelded, hobbled, harnessed and trained. Naturally evolved poisons are lethal, but skilfully used, they are the basis of countless medicines.
    Same thing for free trade and “the markets”.
    Note that many of these resources have been made into deities at some time or other. Holy cows in India, sungod sacrifices by Celts and Aztecs are but extreme examples. Today’s Ayn Rand-Friedman cultists also run amok unopposed, with similar results.
    Of course, devising and implementing ways of harnessing those potent forces for the common good is a boring, plodding task and does not make for lively and interesting debate of the kind which will hopefully evolve into full religious strife, which mankind so loves…

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: Strife is indeed good, all too many feel, because it promotes a (pathological) form of love… People love to hate. Love for strife is still activating some of the circuitry activated by love.

      That’s why “stoics” love to threaten and hate me. (They would claim I “make things up”, and then hateful critters come and put plenty of “likes” next to that. Although what I say is even in… Wikipedia. And no, I did not put it there…)

      So now we have the 200 million dollar rich (from corruption) Clinton moving her head up and down like a crane targeting a frog, and she finds the task an unpleasant demeaning of her towering mind, and prerogative (to eat frogs).

      So my claim was not that “Free Trade” is always a fallacy. A three word title will always come short, that’s the whole idea.
      It’s global trade without global law which is a fallacy. Indeed, with the USA and the EU, the law was not global enough to prevent the 2008 crisis.

      Global “free trade” without global laws ensuring global freedom and justice, is neither free, nor global, nor really a trade. It’s like having something that can go fast, like a car, but with potentially drunk drivers, and no brakes.

  4. Kevin Berger Says:

    “If Those Are Best Friends Who, What Is The Enemy? Cockroaches? Those Among We The People Who Are Viewed As Cockroaches?”

    Very incidental, but I do seem to recall that French salafis, the “quietist” kind that Rue89 and Médiapart have been occasionally advertising/praising more or less openly, lately, included the in-group use of “cafards” as a slang derogatory term for us filthy kouffars. This tidbit half-remembered from the late 90’s; I’m sure they are nicer, today.

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