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Peace and Free Trade

Posted By Don Boudreaux On October 18, 2011 @ 9:35 am In Civil Society,Complexity & Emergence,Cooperation,History,The Profit Motive,Trade | Comments Disabled

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Reporting on the commendable efforts of the Business Council for Peace to bring young developing-country entrepreneurs to America for training, Thomas Heath appropriately opens with this paragraph: “There’s a line from the late television series ‘The West Wing’ that has stuck with me over the years.  It went something like, ‘Trade between countries prevents wars’” (“Value Added: An exchange program for entrepreneurs [1],” Oct. 17).

Here, fiction is fact.

In his 2006 book Global Capitalism [2], Harvard University’s Jeffry Frieden notes that “As one of [FDR's Secretary of State Cordell] Hull’s supporters put it, ‘If soldiers are not to cross international borders, goods must do so.’”*  This wise proponent of Hull’s free-trade proclivities was one Otto Maller, a man otherwise lost to history.

It’s imperative to understand that this positive relationship between peace and free trade that Mr. Maller expressed so succinctly has long been emphasized by free-trade’s most prominent champions – as evidenced, for example, by many of the newly published letters of Frederic Bastiat [3] (1801-1850) that show him to have been as tireless and principled a campaigner for peace as he was for free trade.**

Donald J. Boudreaux

* p. 255.

** F. Bastiat, The Man and the Statesman [4], Jacques de Guenin, David Hart, & Dennis O’Keefe, eds. (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).

(HT to Cato’s David Boaz for alerting me to the Heath column.)

UPDATE: David Hart sends me this 2009 post by Paul Walker, who goes to the source that Jeffry Frieden uses for the above quotation; I see from Paul’s research that Frieden misspelled (and, hence, I misspelled) Otto’s name: he is Otto T. Mallery (not “Maller”).  Paul has more info [5].

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Article printed from Cafe Hayek: http://cafehayek.com

URL to article: http://cafehayek.com/2011/10/peace-and-free-trade-3.html

URLs in this post:

[1] Value Added: An exchange program for entrepreneurs: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/value-added-an-exchange-program-for-entrepreneurs/2011/10/13/gIQA9hHPpL_story.html

[2] Global Capitalism: http://www.amazon.com/Global-Capitalism-Fall-Twentieth-Century/dp/039332981X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-6179968-2426214?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1179084740&sr=1-1

[3] Frederic Bastiat: http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Bastiat.html

[4] The Man and the Statesman: http://catalog.libertyfund.org/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=1223&vmcchk=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1

[5] David Hart sends me this 2009 post by Paul Walker, who goes to the source that Jeffry Frieden uses for the above quotation; I see from Paul’s research that Frieden misspelled (and, hence, I misspelled) Otto’s name: he is Otto T. Mallery (not “Maller”).  Paul has more info: http://antidismal.blogspot.com/2009/04/bastiat-quote-or-non-quote-2.html


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