… is from this October 2011 NewScientist interview of Steven Pinker :
The forces of reason, enlightenment, cosmopolitanism, women’s empowerment – we should be grateful for all this and not nostalgic for a time in which everyone’s world was far more constricted.
This goes for trade and commerce too. Capitalism is a dirty word for many intellectuals but there are a number of studies showing that open economies and free trade are negatively correlated with genocide and war.
DBx: This point cannot be repeated too often: to oppose free trade is to oppose peaceful and mutually advantageous cooperation across political boundaries. To support protectionism is, however unwittingly, to support the substitution of the arbitrary power of a relatively small number of state officials, and the special interests whom they serve, for the voluntary choices of many individuals. To support protectionism is to support violence – or thinly veiled threats thereof – that enriches the few at the expense of the many.
To support protectionism is to oppose with violence – or thinly veiled threats thereof – the peaceful pursuit by individuals of better lives for themselves as they deem best and constrained only by the requirement that no one deny to any other the same freedom of peaceful pursuit.
To support protectionism is to support special privilege, rule-breaking, and plunder masquerading as trade “policy.” Whether the supporter of protectionism is aware that he or she supports such an abominable system is ultimately irrelevant, for there is no escaping the reality that supporters of protectionism support the practice of plundering their fellow citizens.
To support protectionism, in short, is to oppose civilization.