I wrote this analysis (text) on December 4, 2006. Before the economic crisis.
One of my syllogisms then:
The "kingdom" of economic liberalism (in the European use of the term liberalism) is not "grounded" that well on this earth! The ongoing troubles of the Doha Round of world trade talks are evidence to that. What do people prefer, to work as blacksmiths in a fair trade based job market or as knights in a free market based job market?
How relevant is all this, today? You decide!
A "blacksmith" or a "pirate"? A "blacksmith" or a "knight"? A "prince lover" or a "prince warrior"?
There were "good" and "bad" pirates. Most of the good ones were probably in fairy tales. They were "good" and "bad" cowboys in the Far West! They say that the good ones helped "win the West".
Free grazers and free traders! Some people like neither! "I did not invest all this money into this capital intensive - high fixed costs business, I did not hire all these people, undertake all these commitments and risks, to have free traders come and take my hard earned market away"!
"You can always "trust" a dishonest man to be ... dishonest! It is the honest ones who can surprise you" claimed the charming pirate in the fairy tale! Fairy tales! They are so popular nowadays. A sign of the times?
Can an ordinary person, let's say a blacksmith, perform a knight's deeds, without any previous experience, without the right "CV"? For how long? At some point in time, he (or she) may want to return to the previous, the ordinary, life!
Achilles traded an ordinary life in for a place in history, so claims the legend. Paris and Helen caused the Trojan war, united the Greek city-states of the times, who sailed towards Troy (and its commercially/strategically valuable location of the times).
Little known fact that Helen's husband, Menelaus, had agreed to marry the hyper-beautiful Helen only after me made all leaders of the other Greek city-states agree (make a pact) not only not to touch her, but to come to his aid should a "third party" interfere. Paris and his Troy became that third party! For love of beauty?
Zeus knew better than to make a choice between Athena, Artemis (Diana) and Aphrodite (Venus). So he recommended prince Paris of Troy, who was on a sheppard "stage" (internship) at that time, in his place. Not Hector, his brother.
Was the Trojan war, actually, fought over Helen or over commercial (trade) interests of the times? Who knows for sure?
Some claim that all is fair in love and war? What is fair and what is not fair in trade?
Was free grazing of cattle in the wild West "fair" or not?
Are bilateral free trade agreements "good" or "bad" for multilateral global trade? Do they provide useful testing ground for new provisions to be later applied to multilateral ones?
What is the future of the 149-member WTO system? Are 150 members too many to work in plenary? What is the future of the EU system? Are 25 members too many to work in plenary?
What is the role of "powers" such as the USA, the EU and G24 in world trade talks? In world trade dynamics? What is the role of the G8?
What is the role of the founding six (France, Germany, Italy plus the Benelux three) and the large six (France, Germany, Italy plus UK, Spain and Poland) in EU Affairs? In the EU's dynamics? The role of the rest 19 (or 21, or 23)?
What role can the African Union, ASEAN, as well as South American and other "blocs" or "unions" play in the future of global trade, investment, services and work?
In group dynamics terms, is the crucial working number 3 (USA, EU, G24), 6 (the EU large 6), 8 (G8), 24 (G24), 25 (EU), 27 (EU27), 148 (the number of WTO members) or 191 (the number of UN members) or some other number?
Freedom or fairness?
Rules or laws?
Bilateral or multilateral?
What are the systemics of the future of this globe? Multilateral, zonal or bilateral?
What are the politics of the future of this globe? Liberal, conservative, liberal-democratic, social-democratic or other?
Trade or aid? How about "tr-aid"?
Most people prefer to be "blacksmiths of fair trade" or "knights of free markets"? Maybe both.
Vision or fairy tale? Life. Live!
The "kingdom" of economic liberalism is not "grounded" that well on this earth! The ongoing troubles of the Doha Round of world trade talks are evidence to that. What do people prefer, to work as blacksmiths in a fair trade based job market or as knights in a free market based job market?