Engels on GATT

Brian James hillbily at SPAMintergate.ca
Fri Apr 20 22:24:03 MDT 2001

Louis Proyect wrote:

> In the present context, such free trade agreements have little to do with bourgeois
>> revolution, or modernization, etc. They are instead tools of imperialist powers to
>> take advantage of neo-colonial countries such as exist through Latin America, where
>> the FTAA would apply.

On another list I posted a commentary by Canadian "bourgeois
nationalist" Murray Dobbin, which brought this response from a true ultraleftist:

> What do we care about capitalists suing one anothers governments?

To which I responded:

"Good question. Chapter 11 of NAFTA is probably the most offensive part
of the new trade agenda, since it overturns environmental protection
laws which clearly do protect people at the most basic level. Whether
set up by bourgeois interests or not, people need clean water, air, etc.
But is that a reason to rally around "national sovereignty" as the saviour?

"I think the most interesting experience coming out of NAFTA's Chapter
11 so far is a comparison of the gas additive case in Canada and the
toxic waste dump in Mexico. In the former case, Canada backed down from
its ban on what it deemed an environmental health hazard in the face of
a pending law suit from the Ethyl Corporation. In the latter case,
Mexico, pressured by a powerful uprising of peasant masses, was
successfully sued by Metalclad when it refused to allow a proposed toxic
waste dump to go ahead. Canada did not get sued, but has had to legalise
the toxic gas additive. Mexico DID get sued, but the toxic waste dump
was successfully thwarted due to a mass uprising. It is clear from this
where the real power lies."

These are obviously the rantings of a dogmatic "pro-NAFTA Marxist."

Brian James

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