lotesse: (freedom)
I'm trying to see if my understanding of the linkage of these two concepts as it currently stands in the US and the EU is accurate -- any corrections or further thoughts would be super welcome!

Earlier this year, the Brexit vote gave me the opportunity to learn a little more about the relationship between open borders and free trade in the EU. As I understand it, tying the two together is an attempt to fix the problem of globalization and empire identified by political and economic theorists in the 90s and early millennium: that imperial structures allowed the global West to financially drain the global South while trapping the people of the global South in the ruined economies they left behind. Granting free passage for people as well as money does not necessarily stop the drain, but it means that i.e. Pakistani people whose nation fueled the wealth of the British Empire are seen as having the right to follow their stolen money up to Britain, where they will be able to enjoy the benefits of the wealth that was removed there.

After the Brexit vote, I know there was some fussing in the UK over the fact that Brussels will not allow access to the common market without a commitment to open borders. My understanding is that this is how the connection of trade/immigration is meant to function, a carrot-and-stick bit that works to position cosmopolitanism and diversity as in the best interests of the financial class. This can feel unsatisfying to hard leftists, because it means bending the bankers into your allies instead of condemning them for pustulant bloodsuckers, but at least on a smaller scale I think I've seen the tactic work: in Mike Pence's Indiana, where it was the screaming of the Indianapolis business interests that got him to roll back that appalling bit of "religious freedom" anti-gay pro-discrimination legislation.

Am I right to think that the oft-quoted bit from HRC's Goldman Sachs speech, her dream of open trade and open borders, is expressing interest in the carrot-and-stick bend-the-bankers tactic I outlined above? Certainly, a lot of that speech reminds me of the maneuver I used to rely on when teaching intro to social justice topics at University: begin your appeal on the assumption that your listeners are ethical and engaged, and you can to some extent force them to live up to that idealized image of themselves -- or at least to sort of want to, which gives you a point for further leverage.

I read a comment recently that the US right and left are both re-evaluating their relationships to globalization, and I think that's accurate -- the Trump campaign is really pulling for isolationism, in contrast to the Republican vision during the Bush years, and more than a decade out from the frantic argumentation from the left against military interventionism in Iraq, it's once more possible to look back critically at the old anti-globalism arguments. As an older millennial voter, one of the things that is most striking to me about the old guard of anti-globalization leftists is their weird technophobia; witness this bizarre argument from Erik Loomis (who tbh I both enjoy and am frustrated by because he thinks so very like my own father).
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daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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