Monday, March 4, 2013

The Left has a choice to make on peace

Foreign policy usually takes the back burner when it comes to politics. Neither party in America pushes hard for a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, human rights in China or North Korea, or other important issues. The left however has a large split today, and that is between people who support free trade and people who support tariffs, because of the negative effects of some free trade agreements.

Free trade has a number of large benefits. It allows people to find work in places that pay better and escape poverty in poorer countries (which has some disadvantages, nothing is perfect), it allows free travel to come on the scene which can fight the interethnic tensions and wars that often rise when travel is restricted. To have free travel you need free trade.

Free travel, the eventual elimination of customs between different countries and allowing people to move freely will have a lot of power to eliminate hatred between different groups of people. I strongly believe that if the people of Israel and Palestine could talk to each other and there were fewer restrictions on movement the conflict would diminish and they would find they have more in common than they believe. The same political debates, the same hopes, the same dreams, and the far right in both Israel and the PLO will fall making peace possible. I believe that if people from America and Mexico could easily talk to each other and we helped them fight the violence that ravages so many communities the racist tensions that exist with the far right in my country will have less influence. There are reasons why the southern border is a very Democratic area, even in Texas.

To do this requires free trade. Free trade will be the start, and then the left needs to get together and support free travel, and within the mechanisms of free trade labor needs to demand a living wage for an honest day's work. The status quo of no communication between nations brought more conflict and allowed people like Hitler to get entire nations to do the unspeakable, because most people didn't know what the other side was actually like. There is a reason there have been no wars within the EU (an previously EC) since World War II. Personally, I believe free travel is a critical part to world peace, and is worth the costs of free trade. I also don't see how the costs of free trade are permanent.

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