My own take on the question of “protectionism” is largely one of indifference. From an anarchist perspective, “protectionism” can occur on a non-state basis. It is certainly conceivable that a confederation of voluntary communities (similar to the medieval European leagues like the Lombards and Hanseatics) could have their own forms of “protectionism.” Similarly, it is conceivable that an anarcho-syndicalist industrial federation or a federation of anarcho-communist communes could have the same. Whether that’s a good idea from an economics perspective is a separate question, of course, but that’s not my problem. Within the framework of the current US economy, the question comes down to this: Protectionism=more job security for manufacturing workers but higher prices for imported goods. Free Trade=less job security and lower wages but lower consumer costs. That’s something of an oversimplification but that’s the gist of it.
I criticized tariffs earlier and some Trumptard replied ‘that’s neoliberalism’. No it’s not, halfwit, it’s basic economics. Taxes don’t make you richer. If you think that you can use the state to fight the ruling class, you are a mental case. What you Buchanan wannabes can’t understand is that it’s protectionism and crony industrial policy that made America obsolete and uncompetitive to begin with. More of the same is just going to hasten your slide into Banana Republic status, though Americans are so fucking stupid I don’t think that can be avoided at this point. The fact that this is even a matter of debate shows how ignorant and delusional Americans have become.
All tariffs are going to do is prop up useless corporate parasites while reducing the standard of living and training yet more people in obsolete methods so that they fail that much harder when the competition gets over tariff barriers, as they inevitably will. This isn’t a ‘neoliberal plot’ you goddamn idiots, it’s a scientific fact that’s been established for literally centuries and is borne out in literally every example ever. England became and industrial powerhouse in no small measure because of the free trade treaty it had with France under the Second Empire. If you keep voting for and demanding tariffs you will get them, and when you end up backward peasants working for corrupt industrial latifundia I will laugh at you from Singapore.
Free Trade and Its Enemies, Jeffrey Herberner at the Mises Institute
Categories: Economics/Class Relations