Chapter 19
World trade

It is time to put an end to the myth of competitive advantage, and therefore of massive free trade, by noting that in practice, it is just a matter of favoring social and ecological dumping.
To do this, let us cite again Alain Supiot at the end of the 8ᵉ course in the series Legal figures of economic democracy, given at the Collège de France in 2017. He quotes Maurice Allais, and his book La mondialisation et la destruction des emplois et de la croissance: l'évidence empirique: “The fact is that only a few small groups around the world, and especially the leaders of multinationals, are benefiting from the globalization of economies. These groups have immense financial means, and by intermediaries, they dominate all the media, press, radio and television. This is how, for a very large part, indoctrination of opinion is achieved. This is how we believe that globalization is inevitable, necessary and beneficial for all.”

However, we saw at the beginning of this third part, more precisely in the paragraph "Why limit the concentration of wealth?" from Chapter 13, that the need for deregulated globalization is caused by the proliferation of non-production personnel, that is to say non-directly productive jobs, which we described in Chapter 2 concerning Parkinson's law.
However, not only does deregulated globalization not limit the general nepotism associated with these jobs, and therefore the additional stress on all individuals, but in addition, it is a paradoxical remedy that worsens the disease at the same time as it hides the short-term effects. Indeed, globalization is accompanied by a relocation of the proletariat to Asia and Africa, which creates there not only a misery close to what Marx denounces, which we ignore with the greatest cynicism, but also, what we are not aware of, it simultaneously causes a real explosion in non-directly productive jobs. So as the emerging countries will reintegrate the design, the supervision, the marketing to meet the social aspirations of their population, we will find ourselves importing finished products, therefore losing the high added value that we obtained previously cheaply, and moreover, end up with the result of years when we have not effectively fought against the proliferation of useless and well-paid jobs that we will no longer be able to finance.

Put simply, with the current system, our biggest problem to come is not the funding of social protection for the poor, but the impossibility of funding the middle classes who have grown accustomed to working in myth related non productive sectors, as described in the article by Meyer and Rowan.
At the time of the 2008 Greek crisis, the world discovered that far from producing the expected economic catch-up, the subsidies provided to Greece, following its accession to the European Union, had favored corruption. The same kind of phenomenon is happening with relocations from Europe and the United States to Asia and Africa: apparently everything works better since there is growth and improvement in margins, but in reality, a progressive subversion of the production system takes place, which is not effectively combated because too many people find it of immediate interest. In the context of offshoring, the main problem is the multiplication of useless and highly paid jobs, while the only perceived is the loss of industrial jobs.
A very important point to understand is that, currently, in the event of a restriction on the level of a company or an administration, one could naively think that it is the jobs not directly productive which are eliminated, and that the core business is preserved. The reality is quite different, because the less the jobs are really useful, the more the individuals who exercise them spend energy to maintain their social position, therefore intrigue to make what is accessory look essential, or maintain an inappropriate general organization of the activity. Parkinson is a good example of how underemployed people create activity to justify keeping their jobs. The method is generalized nepotism (Chapter 2), which ultimately produces an exacerbation of struggles for social positions, as well as increasing pressure on operational staff. Cognitive dissonance also occurs heavily at this level, in the form of lying to yourself. In fact, because they forget to withdraw from their work justifying remuneration both what is in fact useless and what pertains to intrigue, these people consider that they work a lot, therefore that their remuneration is justified.
However, even if we saw in Chapter 13 that we propose to move towards a society where work will become more and more marginal, for all that, it is necessary that the goods and services are produced, certainly with a maximum of assistance computer science and robotics, but still produced. In addition, it is important that each community can produce locally what can be produced locally, and in addition some other more specialized products or services, to be able to balance trade with other communities, and thus obtain access to set of products and services which require a particularly large concentration of resources, therefore specialization and exchanges over greater distances. As a result, it will be very difficult to shift the cohorts of largely useless jobs into the new system, both because of their reluctance and because of their difficulty in finding a satisfactory place there.
In the end, whether we switch to the new system, or whether we remain in the current capitalist system, the multiplication of useless jobs formerly called bureaucracy, today generalized under the name "bullshit jobs", noted by Parkinson , analyzed by Meyer and Rowan, and accelerated by offshoring from the 1980s, is the biggest danger hanging over our economies. We don't have too many public services, but too many useless or not really useful jobs, in the public as in the private sector. Even if at the end you reject all of the proposals in this book as a whole, if you understood this, then you will not have wasted your time!

Then comes the problem of the exploitation of raw materials. For the moment, three systems exist. The first mainly concerns the ex-colonial countries where corruption has prevented the establishment of a political system allowing the efficient use of the resource, which is then looted. The second concerns countries that have transformed their raw materials into rent. The third corresponds to China, which uses its raw materials to impose a de facto monopoly on processed products.
The subject of world trade should be to set a price and a stable rate of exploitation of raw materials, which provides a real benefit to the local populations, while limiting the temptation for other countries to secure access to the resource by means of the geopolitical influence game.
However, we note that the majority of current international agreements are established contrary to this objective. Indeed, they aim above all to ensure access to external markets, both in terms of goods and capital. However, we saw in the second part of this book that hyper-specialization is a bad idea: you have to locally produce everything that can be produced with a reasonable level of productivity, and carry out large-scale exchanges only concerning what requires a significant concentration of resources. In fact, it is both more ecological and more stable from a social point of view. Healthy international agreements will therefore be based on compliance with common rules for access to raw materials, in exchange for access to international trade in products that require a significant concentration of resources. In other words, our vision is not that of an international market covering ever more products, and of its corollary of an ever greater specialization of the regions, and of the instability which is exerted on a large scale, but that of an international market that balances the exchange of a few raw materials that are poorly distributed on the planet with the few products requiring a significant concentration of resources.

Anyone who reads only this chapter could conclude that what we are recommending is a return to protectionism. What is important to understand is that the limitation of trade, to be positive, must follow the implementation of the new organization of production presented in the previous chapters, and this in order to limit the quest for power by limiting the size of organizations, therefore generalized nepotism and permanent stress on individuals. Conversely, a return to protectionism within the framework of the current capitalist system would result in an increase in generalized nepotism, in the form of an increase in agreements between actors in the same sector, therefore ultimately greater stress on individuals.