Humans survive through trade - and trade means "specialisation." No one is a "Jack of all trades."
Thus, every single human being who specialises in the market "exports" just one thing - while he "imports" a MILLION or more.
He imports these into his own house, I mean.
This itself suggests that there is something perverse about the "national economy" stuff currently taught worldwide, and also parroted by the press: the national GDP, the national growth rate, the national trade balance, and so on and so forth. All this is supposedly "knowledge" that those who "manage" this national economy employ.
How can this be "science" when every national economy sees its own science stop at its borders?
So, let us look at how a true science of human society emerges.
It all begins with the Individual who is possessed of a "trading mind." Then, since all humans possess similar minds - with the very same "mental categories" and identical "logical structures" as well - the first thing we discover are common "laws of thought." This is Economics.
Let us then proceed to Sociology - the Science of Society.
Since human society comprises every single trading mind on the planet, Sociology as elaborated by this method does not stop at any "political border." It embraces the whole world. We might even call it "ecumenical."
[For a fuller explanation, see my For Civilisation, Against Politics: Arguments for an Intellectual-Moral Revolution available on the right-hand bar.]
Now, the "national economy" is not just a creature of a pseudo-science; it is also ENFORCED - by the GUNS of the Customs Department.
Thus, consumers are no longer supreme. Producers are.
These guns of the Customs Department make domestic producers supreme by keeping out foreign competitors - and it was Frederic Bastiat who said:
Competition is Liberty
And the Absence of Competition is TYRANNY
We ought to call this tyranny a "protection racket" - and I recommend Bastiat's short play "Protectionism - or The Three Aldermen" which is included in my collection of his works available on the right-hand bar. This is in the section titled "Bastiat - The Free Trader" - and every single piece in that section is well worth a read. Murray Rothbard was very fond of one of them - "A Chinese Tale" - and it demolishes the logic of "import-substitution industrialisation" most spectacularly.
All the "activism" as well as "journalism" that Bastiat did in his native France during the last five years of his short life was inspired by the greatest Englishman of that era - Richard Cobden, known even today as the "apostle of free trade."
Cobden led his entire nation to demand free trade unilaterally - and this was the world's first WORKING CLASS MASS MOVEMENT.
Socialist ideas were fortunately unknown in England then - though Bastiat had to battle them in France. I think they continue to need Bastiats there - for the French have just elected a socialist as President.
While Bastiat remains unknown in France, there is a Cobden Centre in England today - and I urge my reader to learn more about that great man and his great ideas. And his spectacularly successful methods as well.
Apart from unilateral free trade, Cobden and his merry men believed in Peace, an end to all wars, and an end to colonialism as well.
They succeeded as far as free trade was concerned - and Robert Peel had to bow to public opinion and unilaterally open his nation's borders to cheap imports. Things changed only in the next century, after Victoria and Gladstone were gone - and "nationalism" as well as "socialism" raised their ugly heads. These brought in the racket of "protectionism" - and that is why there were two World Wars. No other reason.
These "classical liberals" of Old Europe, like Bastiat and Cobden, believed in what they called a "Great Society" or even an "Open Society." Free trade went along with free movement of people, and also with free capital flows. All these are in agreement with the Science of Society I have just described - for the basis as well as the benefits of all these freedoms flow from the same great force of COMPETITION.
People shift to where opportunities, wages, living conditions, or even the weather is better.
Capital moves to where banks are sounder, interest higher, or where investments may earn higher profits.
We in India do not need any controls on our borders: goods, people and capital should all flow freely.
The WTO is nothing but UNCTAD and GATT reborn - and we do not need it. There was ZERO international trade during the UNCTAD and GATT years - so what can be expected of the WTO?
A global market society does not need any interventions from government. No politicians, diplomats and "trade negotiators" are required. The customs department should be viewed as what it is - the means of an ugly and corrupt tyranny. If this becomes public opinion, then FREEDOM will have to follow.
"Into that haven of Freedom, my Lord, let my country awake."
Song of the Day: Bob Marley's Rainbow Country.