A blog by Edward Lucas Make Gravity History has caught my eye. His argument seems to be, broadly, that a) more and freer trade will help spread prosperity around the world, and so is a good thing (so far so good); and b) that therefore charity is a waste of time (huh?).
The choice of title 'make gravity history' suggests not a better strategy for ending poverty, but resignation to its inevitability. And this is the problem. Lucas shows all the smugness of the fat aristo telling the starving peasant that he won't give him any food 'for his own good'.
Lucas says 'fair trade' would be more accurately called fraud trade. I disagree. It would be more accurately called charity trade, and charity, remember, is a good thing. While it doesn't of course bring prosperity to the recipient, it can keep them alive long enough to enjoy prosperity when it comes.
Lucas is opposing Christian Aid's apparent position of 'trade bad, charity good', with 'trade good, charity bad'. This is worthy of the psycopathically right-wing Ayn Rand. Rand famously claimed that charity is immoral, and that only looking after number one is moral. A hero of right-wing nuts everywhere.
In fact, trade is good, and charity is good. By all means damn a charity for failing to support trade. But don't damn it for doing charity.
Tag: Fair Trade