Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Philanthropy of Financiers: excerpt 10

but the battle for NAFTA and GATT isn't just one for sectoral advantage - by expanding the realm of competition from nation to world, the level of competition between workers and capitals is intensified - "productive capital grows, [but] competition among the workers grows in a far greater proportion - the reward of labor diminishes for all, and the burden of labor increases for some" - had Marx been writing today, he might have added that nature is treated in an equally abusive fashion - something to be worked harder.

it would have been lovely had NAFTA failed - for a moment it even looked like it might - it would have been a political blow to the world marketeers, and might have cemented a tri-national coalition of labor, greens, and energized citizens that developed in the struggle against the pact - it will be hard to sustain that cohesion, especially after a crushing loss - but what's the alternative? - traditional protectionism in a world of stateless commodities makes no sense; which is the American car, a Ford made in England or a Honda in Ohio? - it's hard to build cross-border links, especially if you don't have ten-digit budgets - NAFTA has the virtue of making integration visible; it certainly did sharpen the contradictions -- if capital insists on integrating, those who joust with it have to do the same. -- [excerpts 1-10] [based on Left Business Observer #61, published December 15, 1993]

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