The TPP is a loathsome trade pact, but not quite for the reasons given by Donald Trump. It tries to create a legal monstrosity that will make sovereign governments subject to extra-national challenges in their own courts. It is a monstrous capitalist hubris.
But the issue of jobs is not so simple. To an american nationalist the loss of jobs with a pact like Nafta is a tragedy. But to a leftist the issue of the international working class demands a broader response, and here Marx was well aware of the contradictions of globalization. Shall we as leftists begrudge the millions of jobs created in overseas economies leading to a completed globalization convergence in the last generation of neoliberal domination? Figures like Trump have rightly protested the implosion of the American economy (and for that matter the Mexican) but the overall situation has seen industrialization penetrating across the Eurasian system, and elsewhere. The memories of an older generation of China as underdeveloped seem ludicrous now, even as much of the employment is taken from the growing void of the American rustbelt.
So the issue of nationalistic economics bedevils the analysis of both mainstream economic thought and our idea of market neo-communism. We can protest trade bills and free trade illusions in any case, they were hopeless botches but the larger question of the globalization of jobs returns to haunt the localized activism of home-grown US movements trying to focus on the american working class, everyone with smartphones built with exploited labor from Foxconn in China to the pathetic plight of the Coltan miners of the Congo, struggling in imperialist scenes of genocide to produce a crucial component for these idiotic Dick Tracy fantasy phones (which may toke a new era of hi tech, but at this point who cares). Will the american working class show any solidarity on any question beyond their own narrow self-interest? We must have an internationalizing movement from the start.
I will blame Marx here for his exclusive emphasis on the working class. His tactics are classic, but suffer conceptual flaws and at the end we don’t find anything resembling a revolutionary working class. It shouldn’t have been a central focust, properly thought through. No ‘class’ can self-activate as a living being. It is a sociological blob incapable of thought.
Our resolution is the idea of the Universal Class, subsets of which can activate a vanguard that in term can wake up other sectors, not least the working class…