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Communist Manifesto (Chapter 1)
The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians' intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.
I don't read as an endorsement of free trade but a description of free trade as a political weapon for the benefit of the "Bourgeois" model of society.

Veblen's description of "business enterprise" and how it dominates economic activity is very similar.

Economics is politics by other means

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 09:39:47 AM EST
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