By Christian Felber
- Change Everything; Creating an Economy for the Common Good (2019)
- Trading for Good; How Global Trade Can be Made to Serve People Not Money (2019)
Trade is the lifeblood of the global economy, but few would consider it a social good. Instead, our views on trade have polarized between two extremes: ‘free trade’ ideologues who regard trade as an end in itself, and ‘protectionists’ who view it as a destructive force to be contained. But there is another way to trade – one with the interests of people, not profit, at its heart.
In this visionary work Christian Felber, founder of the Economy for the Common Good movement, offers a dazzling new paradigm for the global trading order. Confronting the ‘free trade religion’ which has reigned since Adam Smith, Trading for Good champions an alternative approach in which trade serves the wider interests of society, incorporating the key issues of our time: human rights, climate change, and the growing divide richer and poorer countries. Felber proposes the groundbreaking idea of an ‘Ethical Trade Zone’, founded on a principled approach to tariffs and trade policies, and built with international cooperation on trade, taxation and labour.
Penetrating and passionate, Trading for Good shows how this brave new economic world can be built democratically from the grassroots up, and how trading for good can be made a reality.
About Christian Felber
Christian Felber is an Austrian alternative economist and university lecturer. He is an internationally renowned speaker, author of several award-winning bestsellers and a regular commentator on ethics, business and economics in various media. He co-founded the NGO Attac Austria and initiated the Economy for the Common Good as well as the planned Bank for the Common Good, which will be Austria's first ethical finance institute.
Table of Contents of Trading for Good
II. Origins and Critique of the Religion of Free Trade
- Significance of Trade
- 1a) Trade is not an end but a means
- 1b) Alignment of world trade rules with the UN goals
- 1c) The UN as headquarters of international business law
- For an Ethical Trade System within the United Nations
- 2a) Protecting the values and goals of the international community
- 2b) Infant industry policy and non-reciprocity between unequals
- 2c) Increasing the scope for democratic action
- 2d) Economic subsidiarity, autarky, regionalization and subsistence
- A Pragmatic Alternative: The Common Good Balance Sheet
IV. The Procedural Alternative: Sovereign Democracy
- The centrality of democracy
- The democratic genesis of international (business) law
- Encouraging examples
- Questions for the trade convention