Buchanan, sole voice against free trade?

Henry C.K. Liu hliu at mindspring.com
Wed Mar 3 06:51:18 PST 1999

Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:

> An objection to a reactionary is identical to support for liberal imperialism?

No, an objection to support for liberal imperialism is not identical to support for a reactionary either.

> Well, you don't expect Buchanan to be serious about what you call his
> 'isolationism,' do you? Which American politician today, liberal or conservative
> or whatever, would ever seriously implement 'isolationist
> policies'? They only talk the talk. The only thing we'll get out of Buchanan or
> his likes is lots of racist hot air.

True. Still, talk is better than no talk. For that matter, the difference between Clinton and Buchanan is minor from the Asian perspective. The difference is mostly in rehetorics.

> Who said a collapse will be brought about by 'free trade'?

I thought you did.

> Anyway, you don't worry about a rise of right-wing populism in America at a time
> the world's going through deflation, which may eventually reach here. Very butch
> of you!

All of the Third World has been in depression for 20 months with no end in sight except Korea who has decided to reduce itself from semi-colonial status to full colonial status through wholesale selling of its national assets at distress prices. From Asia, right wing populism in America is an American domestic problem. It is less dangerous for Asia than neo-liberal corporatism. The different between non-Americans and Americans is that the former never bought into the myth that America is a demcractic, progressive, free or just society. So when Chomsky punctures the myth from time to time, only Americans are surprised. Such revelation generally elicites nothing more than a yawn from non-Americans. I am not anti-American per se and there is much about Americans I admire, but I just find American self-reighteousness tiresome. Somone said in this thread yesterday not to throw the baby out with the bath water. In free trade, as far as the Third World /South is concerned, there is no baby, only an unreal Barbie doll. It would be alright to throw the whole thing out.

The entrance of Buchanan in the presidential race makes it more interesting. If he ends up running as an independent, it would be even more interesting. If nothing else, a Buchanan candidacy will keep the Republican ticket more honest. As for the democrats, they are now just a bunch of liberal Republicans anyway. I don't know what Tom Lehman would say, would Buchanan draw off significant labor vote from Gore? Would it force Gore to be anti-free trade?

Henry C.K. Liu

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