[Marxism] Tariffs and free trade

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Wed Feb 4 15:47:17 MST 2004

Bob Gould asks:
>On the specific question, I'd ask this question of Ferguson: are
marxists obliged to be free traders? Does Ferguson favour, in all
circumstances, the abolition of all tariffs, because this seems to be
his position?

You seem to be rather blind, Bob, when it comes to the Third World.

If the Third World registered much on your compass you would not ask
such a question.  It would be obvious to you that I support the right of
Third World countries - a majority of the world last time I looked! - to
develop their economies through the use of a range of measures including
protectionism, although I don't think this offers any long-term security
(you need a revolution for that).

I am, however, totally opposed to protectionism in the imperialist
countries, where the effects are to pit workers of one imperialist
country against workers of another imperialist country and against
workers of the Third World.

Perhaps, when you were handing out your booklists for your bookshop, you
could have handed out also a leaflet pointing out that tariffs against
cheap Third World products and laws against immigrants and refugees from
those same countries go hand-in-hand.

Philip Ferguson 

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