Posted by: bkropf | May 8, 2008

Free Trade

The opposite of free trade is not slave trade—the opposite of free trade is freedom itself.

It is trade that enslaves: economics dictates life as we know it, paves over forests with parking lots, reduces the complex beauty of the world to commodities that can be bought and sold.


Gifts are free, trade is precisely that which is not free – and today, trade is the means by which the rich get richer at everyone else’s expense. Some are born into billion-dollar fortunes while others begin life in abject poverty, and starting ahead in the game makes it easy to stack the cards; it’s not a coincidence that there are then thousand homeless people for every Bill Gates.

Those advantages aren’t enough for today’s fat cats. They want to remove all barriers between them and the maximum profit. If they get their way, there will be nothing to stop them from turning the last of the rainforests into junk mail, from moving the factory that employs your cousins to a country where they can pay fifty nine cents and hour for the same labor, from buying out the last vestiges of democracy.

Some of us believe it is people who deserve freedom, not commerce. In our protest against so-called free trade, in our efforts to act according to our consciences rather than in return for cash, we are rediscovering what real freedom is. Don’t trade in our freedom—join us.


I read the above in the hostel we stayed at in Belgrade. There were so many posters like this up. Not surprisingly they all seemed to come from some organization in Olympia, WA. I disagreed with this poster it really made me frustrated.


Two nights ago in Derry I met a Canadian girl traveling. She is getting her masters in Anthropology. We actually discussed free-trade and the world of economics at great lengths. Though we obviously disagreed on basically every rudimentary idea, we had a nice chat and I hope we both learned a little from each other. It was funny, I mentioned I had read some Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged and Anthem) and she almost freaked. I guess Anthropologist don’t really like her, haha.  Either way it was really nice having a nice strong intellectual discussion



  1. Boring

  2. Yeah, I guess things people don’t understand usually do not interest them.

  3. Whats the deal? I must have ticked you off with the “Boring” comment so you just quit writing.

  4. Ok, I’ll write more!

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