"The wealthy, not only by private fraud but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the people some part of their daily living. Therefore, when I consider and weigh in my mind these commonwealths which nowadays do flourish, I perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men in procuring their own commodities under the name and authority of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely without fear of losing that which they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labor of the people for as little money and effort as possible."

Thomas More, Utopia

Friday, November 10, 2006

Free Trade Fantasies

Recently, a poster on my favorite antidote to writer's block, the Second City Cop blog, wrote a gushing endorsement of Vietnam's recent acceptance of a "free trade" agreement with the US. The fact that these neo-liberal "globalization" schemes have left utter devastation in their wake wherever they have been imposed is clearly beyond the awareness of this anonymous poster, which no doubt generalizes to a large portion of the American public.

What a wonderful opportunity this is to introduce to you a very important contributor to this debate! Noam Chomsky has been writing, virtually non-stop, on American foreign and domestic policy for 40 years--all while (simultaneously) forging groundbreaking discoveries in the field of linguistics. As perhaps America's foremost dissident, Chomsky has suffered the slings and arrows that befalls anyone who walks against the flow of the stampeding herd. A virtual icon in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, much of Chomsky's work is studiously ignored (or vilified) in the country of his birth. As the author of over 80 books and thousands of articles and essays which have appeared in many of the leading academic journals and publications of popular opinion, Chomsky is listed in the Arts & Humanities Index as number 7 behind a short list that includes Freud, Marx, and Jesus, as the most cited intellectuals alive (or dead).

It would behoove you to read carefully Chomsky's analysis of the "free trade" phenomenon, then in its infancy when he wrote this essay back in 1993. The subject of his attention was the North American Free Trade Agreement which at the time had been ravishing the Mexican economy for nearly a year. By the following year, the Mexican economy had completely collapsed and led directly to the spectacle of millions of Mexicans flowing north of the Rio Grande in order to survive. The strictures of NAFTA virtually de-populated the countryside as the local oligarchy transformed their land holdings to agro-export crops better suited to the American market and not for local consumption. Millions faced starvation. Naturally, worker protections evaporated overnight as the NAFTA treaties virtually outlawed unions.

Most Americans are only dimly aware of what Chomsky details in his essay, Notes of NAFTA: The Masters of Man. It's time for that to change, most critically because if Team Bush and its principal supporters amongst the owners of our society have their way, we will all get a taste of what has befallen Mexico, Argentina, Haiti, (soon Vietnam) and a host of other nations that have accepted (with little public input) neo-liberalism's chilly embrace.

In a related speech from 1997, Chomsky sketches a broader outline of the neo-liberal agenda, what it ultimately holds in store for this country, and how it relates to the so-called free-trade agreements. The speech was titled, Market Democracy in a Neo-Liberal Order: Doctrines and Reality, and is perhaps the best summation of the so-called globalization phenomenon that I have yet to encounter. Think of it the next time a frothing neo-con extols the virtues of "globalization".

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

COLDTYPE-

Another well-written thoughtful post- where have you been all S.C.C.'s life?! ;-) I remember seeing Chomsky live over at U.I.C. while I was in the Academy lo those many years ago- times were similar to these; I'll never forget his talk, we need many more like him (and you!) All our "Minuteman" wann-be compatriots can't understand how "free trade"could be anything but pie in the sky; why all these illegals keep fleeing that train wreck in progress down south of the Rio Grande. Thanks fopr trying to get Saint Noah's message out there!

And re: KathyKocks over there- Don't even waste your time with that buKake bimbo- she's merely the latest psycho badge bunny cyber-stalker par excellance around that dive. She's literally excreted nearly EIGHT THOUSAND drool dispatches all around the Internets on Cop sites... she's merely keeping the lights on here for poor SCC post-comment moderation, and cheering the thin blue P.C. peanut gallery on, must be desperate for some extended baton action over the phone in Philly- useless! I'd spend just the bare minimum text over there- why reward their neanderthal cyber-goosestepping, willy-nilly censorship and self-deluded blather? Pull them over here and put some fat under their caps and more hits on your blog.

Coldtype said...

I couldn't agree more. Thanks for the feedback. I didn't know "Pateycakes" was a baton-stalker though. I guess that makes sense now that I think about it.

As to some of those other characters on SCC's blog, I regard them as little more than amusing distractions. In a way I feel its worth wading through all that detritus if in the end I can expose even a handful of people to someone like Chomsky or John Dewey.

Thanks again.

kateykakes said...

First time I've been here and I would imagine it will probably be my last.

I didn't come here to bash you, Coldtype - I just came to see what your views were really all about and if you were all politics all the time.

No matter how different we are politically, I wish you all the best here on your site.

FWIW - I never had any malice towards you at SCC's site. I don't even know you, so how can I judge you? I was merely busting them for you.


Anonymous,

I belong to many sites, not just LE. The majority of the blogs I visit are geared towards the Right Wing and Military. I come from a Military family so it suits my preference.

The forums I visit are LE (my boyfriend's profession), hockey (mine & my boyfriend's passion) and medical (my profession).

So if learning and understanding and supporting those in LE makes me a badge bunny, so be it. If going to a hockey forum and talking about the sport and team I love makes me a puck bunny, again, so be it. If going to a medical forum helps my career - I'm all for it.

Say what you want about me. I know what kind of person I am and I'm quite content in my life.

Be safe out there.

Anonymous said...

Notes of NAFTA has similarities to what sone call the "Illuninatti." The economic decline of our nation is evident everywhere you look. Youngstown,Detroit,Cleveland,Pittsburgh,northwest Indiana,and the south side of Chicago along with the south suburbs. The stagnation of wages are being felt by everyone I know. Yet most people seem to be blissfully ignorant of what's being done by large corporations with the blessing of government.(Republicans especially) The erosion of pensions and the attack on soc.security are also part of the plan. Iwonder what it will take to wake up the MAJORITY of us out of our stupor.