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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 ,” Oct. 17).
Here, fiction is fact.
In his 2006 book Global Capitalism , 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  (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 , 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 .
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URLs in this post:
 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
 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
 Frederic Bastiat: http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Bastiat.html
 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
 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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