The Great Betrayal: How American Sovereignty and Social Justice Are Being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy

In This Review

The Great Betrayal: How American Sovereignty and Social Justice Are Being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy

By Patrick J. Buchanan
Little, 1998
384 pp. $22.95
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This polemic, offering an impressive historical and logical case for protective tariffs, takes aim at the "global elite" who have "treasonously" sacrificed their fellow countrymen on the altar of free trade. Buchanan contends that the nation is paying a huge price for the consumerist cornucopia down at the mall, including a fall in real wages, broken families, rising delinquency, substance abuse, promiscuity, illegitimacy, abortions, and ethnic squabbling -- just about every social ill, indeed, save the heartbreak of psoriasis. Buchanan ignores the destructive consequences for the world and the U.S. Financial system that his program of high tariffs would entail (a point his hero, Alexander Hamilton, would surely not treat with such cavalier disdain). Yet internationalists need to take seriously the human costs of free trade that he details. If the prosperity advanced by free trade is confined simply to "401k America," liberalizing the international economy hardly deserves the encomiums that internationalists are wont to give it.