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Vast areas of the world, the "post-colonial" zones are still dedicated
to low value yielding primary products such as mono-crop agriculture
and mining. Most of the increased trade remains between the
industrialised manufacturing centres. The top five exporting states
(EU, US, Japan, Canada, China) represent 53.2 percent of the world
export market (according to WTO figures), whereas the top four
importers take a 54 percent share between each other. The EU and the US
both import considerably more than they export, and represent a
substantial lucrative market to access. 

This imbalance of trade between the core and the periphery indicates
the way in which the idea that opening up free trade will benefit poor
nations and assist in their development is flawed. The sheer economic
clout of the big capitalist states means they can bully and force other
states into letting them have their way. 

As George Monbiot noted in his Guardian column (6 November) one WTO
delegate from a poor state saying "If I speak out too strongly, the
U.S. will phone my minister. They will twist the story and say that I
am embarrassing the United States. My Government will not even ask,
'What did he say?' they would just send me a ticket tomorrow". 

Such raw power means that whatever formal equality of the rules, they
will still be used to serve the ends of the dominant states. Each
national capitalist class seeks to protect its position and its
investments, and is exceedingly unwilling to relinquish control of the
state force which props up its power. 

The dominant policy is currently to pursue mutual capital
interpenetration, and thus prevent losing control of their national
economy at home, whilst having sufficient hostage capital to deter
expropriation abroad. Whilst the times are good this policy is
tolerable, but come a time of crisis each group will seek to save their
own skins first and foremost. Should America sink into deep recession,
it may decide to put a stop to the raiders taking a share of its
profits, and throw the barriers back up. 

Certainly, so long as world society depends first and foremost upon
competing capitalist groups vying for profits, it will be subject to
the anarchy of capitalist self-interest, and any world body will be
subordinated to the Machiavellian manoeuvrings of these groups. 

So long as capitalism remains any world body will be used as a
potential tool for exploitation and robbery. The only genuine way to
move forward to a world human community is by the abolition of
sectional national Úlite interest, and the creation of a world human
interest of common ownership of the worlds wealth, so that we can end
the horrendous divisions the property system has created.

Jt

www.worldsocialism.org


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