Notes of NAFTA: "The Masters of Man"

Abstract

The masters of mankind in Smith's day were the "merchants and manufacturers," who were the "principal architects" of state policy, using their power to bring "dreadful misfortunes" to the vast realms they subjugated and to harm the people of England as well, though their own interests were "most peculiarly attended to." In our day the masters are, increasingly, the supranational corporations and financial institutions that dominate the world economy, including international trade -- a dubious term for a system in which some 40 percent of U.S. trade takes place within companies, centrally managed by the same highly visible hands that control planning, production and investment.

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