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Let goods be homespun

The protectionist debate in Britain is just starting-in the rest of Europe and the US it is noisily joined. A case can be made linking the ills of rich countries to trade with poor ones. Most economists are sceptical, but protection has the power to swamp old divisions between left and right

By John Lloyd   July 1996

Something serious seems to be happening. Respected thinkers think so. “Globally and nationally, we shall sooner or later have to choose between the free market and the free society,” says David Marquand in this issue of Prospect. Jacques Attali recently wrote in Le Monde: “If the debate is not quickly joined, unemployment will remain to haunt us in the 21st century. And it is democracy itself which will come to an end, boarded and wrecked by pirates flying either a black or a red flag. Or a black and red flag.”

Why-and when-will we have to make this momentous choice…

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