Non-Intervention Supports the Classic Liberal Principle of Free Trade

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Justin Raimondo has an interesting article on how the American power elite associates international commercial relations (which should be free trade but often is not) with U.S. political and military intervention abroad. Therefore, when any group, be they rank-and-file Americans being polled, libertarians, or Ron Paulites speaks in favor of non-military intervention, the power elite falsely smears and condemns them as being isolationist and against international trade.

The classical liberal principle at the heart of this clouded dialog is very clear. It is free trade. Free trade allows the division of labor and comparative advantage to take hold on a global basis, and that is a very important factor in raising living standards. When combined with technological advances that can originate anywhere in the world and worldwide capital flows that can finance investment anywhere, we have a powerful set of market institutions geared to producing wealth.

Political and military non-intervention is a classical liberal principle that supports these free markets in labor, technique and capital. Interventions that attempt to control governments, regions, trade flows and economies disrupt free trade. They stand against classic liberal principles of increasing wealth through free markets.

The power elite stands for various forms of controlled trade, monopoly privileges, worldwide regulations, international banking institutions linked to governments and bureaucracies, economies controlled by “experts” and bureaucrats, worldwide intellectual property extensions, empire, hegemony, imperialism and colonialism. The power elite stands against free trade, which it allows only as part of and a by-product of a more complex agenda it has of controlled economies. The power elite’s ideology is power and control in service of itself, of its rule, of the status, positions, privileges, and wealth of those in this elite.

The power elite is the furthest thing from being of the people, by the people and for the people, or for possessing any loyalty or allegiance to the public or commonweal. Its ties to the people are strictly what are necessary and expedient so as to control them for its own private purposes. This reality is continually obscured by the rhetoric of the power elite and by its flexibility in making tactical concessions to the public whenever it finds them expedient. It knows how to defuse its antagonists, divide them, and send them into blind alleys. Labeling them as isolationists is one of these ways.

The power elite may mouth the classical liberal principle of free trade when that is convenient, but in practice it sacrifices that and free markets for its vision of controlled economies whenever that advances its agenda. In practice, political and military intervention are one of its tools to control economic development, as are its other institutions designed to control capital flows and investments.

When the power elite smears non-interventionists as isolationists, it reveals itself as endorsing the anti-classical-liberal ideology that guides it. Being against classical liberal principles, the power elite aligns itself against the welfare of the people as expressed in rising living standards. In this sense, we can say that the power elite is the enemy of the people. I do not regard that opposition as a necessity. It is possible for the powerful to align with the public interest, but in this day and age, with existing institutions and politics, this is not the case.

1:36 pm on December 8, 2013