and that's what i think the WTO, the FTAA, and friends are all about. i've said it before, and i'll say it again: they are not about free markets; not about competition at all - they are about increasing the scope in which current multinational monpolies and duopolies (which, for the most part, would not exist without constant government help) can manufacture and sell things. that is not the free-market way.
when i protested in seattle, i did not protest against genetic engineering; hell, i think it's a good thing, in the same way that the discovery of fire, and the discovery of written language, were good things. i did not protest against a presumed loss of cultural diversity, because i think cultures, as they mix, combine, and interbreed, end up being vastly more diverse, tolerant, and locally varied then under traditional locally-monolithic cultures. and i sure as hell didn't protest capitalism; i don't think capitalism is an optional feature of a society - i think capitalistic supply-and-demand laws are to societies as boyle's law is to gasses.
however, i also think that nations  exist in part to establish basic ground rules for markets, so that the ground rule sets can compete with each other in the international marketplace. and here's where it gets a bit complex; it takes on shades of internomic war =)
because i see nations as important ground-rule-makers, i strongly dislike how the WTO/FTAA/etc is trying to coerce (through threat of sanction and military force) nations to accept certain WTO/FTAA/etc mandated ground rules; ground rules that greatly benefit the multinational corporations behind the WTO/FTAA/etc in the short term, and royally fuck over the multinational's early-industrial host nations in the longer term.
and "fuck over" is an apt term for this: the multinationals seek to impregnate and flee. they want to avoid, at any cost, any kind of long-term investment in the third world. the last thing they want to do is invest in infrastructure... and wnat do third world countries need in order to become second and first world countries? that's right: investment in infrastructure.
see, what i protested in seattle was government-assisted monopolisation, and the loss of competition that inevetably follows from it. i protested coporate welfare and subsidies. i protested the US's trade policy with respect to china. i protested the embargos of cuba and iraq, and i protested the war on some drugs...
but i also protested the leverage the WTO (and later the FTAA) would give to multinational corporations - leverage that would give the multinationals free reign to avoid long-term investment in the well-being of early-industrial countries, and so retard their development into post-industiral societies.
 by "nations", i don't mean nation-states per se - i mean any geographic entity, cooperative, autonomous zone, or anything else that sets ground rules for markets... even if an area has, as market ground rules, nothing more then a body of contract law, i classify it as a "nation" for purposes of this discussion.
[guh. as long as people are going to adopt canned positions without replying to my canned responses, i'll keep whippin out the canned responses]
[ps: would you have moderated this comment higher had i not included the above little note? ;) ]
sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */