The state

Tom Condit tomcondit at
Wed Feb 22 22:44:27 MST 1995

This discussion of the state is, of course, intimately linked
with the question of "free trade" (of which there really isn't
any).  The fight against NAFTA, GATT, etc., is related to the
defense of what minimal power nation-states (and by extension
local and provincial governments) have in making economic policy,
since those are the only entities over which ordinary people have
any power.  To the extent that democratic institutions exist, and
to the extent that working people have any power over or
influence on them, that power and influence disappear totally in
a context in which economic decisions are made by international
bodies of capitalist bureaucrats.

It's important to realize that the current "free trade"
agreements don't really provide for free trade.  They allow
corporate control, cartelization, etc.

If, in fact, the nation-state no longer has any power over
economic decisions, then the entire reformist and social
democratic project is finished.  Social democracy, like
stalinism, is above all a nationalist current, projecting reform
policies within the context of national economic policy.  Without
the nation-state, it's worthless.  (See Mitterand vs. the Gnomes
of Zurich.)  The fact the Hillary Wainwright sees this as an
invitation to "local power" isn't particularly surprising--it's
just a development of the nonsense she spouted in _Beyond the
Fringe_, what?, 15 years ago?

Tom Condit

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