Free Trade -> Misery -> Social Revolution

Brian James hillbily at
Thu Mar 29 20:19:59 MST 2001

> Wrong, Mr Beams: Capitalism is not the Protective nation-state system,
> but the very Free-Trade system the Trotskyists are promoting.

I think Mr. Beams' point is that capitalism is restructuring, from the
old nation state protectionist model to a globally integrated system of
free trade orthodoxy, however limited and self-serving to various
national interests. The significance of this shift is that it is
creating the material conditions that can provide the impetus of an
international working class movement equiped with the material
structures needed for building true international socialism. Those who
hide behind national sovereignty and wish to invigorate a grass roots
defense of it, on the other hand, are fighting a battle that is already
passed over by history (has lost the material foundations that built it
up in the first place) and therefore cannot win, only lead to bitterness
and reaction.

I'm not saying I entirely agree with Mr. Beams, but I think it is
important to understand the significance of what he's saying.

The working class in Marx's time did not have much to lose, whereas
today the working classes of the advanced capitalist nations feel they
have quite alot to lose. It would be irresponsible to quote Marx's 1848
comment as a formula for all times.

But Beams is not promoting a blind rush into the abyss with the hope
that a revolution will be the result. On the contrary he is sketching a
much needed, albeit vague outline of the road ahead. Seems the left is
too conservative these days to join him in that discussion.

Brian James

P.S. I have no association with the WSWS or any Trotskyite groups.

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