Another one that’s not going to work out well:
So the existential question the chicken issue raises is this: why do we want more trade? What is it for? The old promise was that trade led to prosperity. But what if we have enough already? What if enhanced global trade, far from promoting wellbeing, now undermines it?
To trade fundamentalists, rainforests and ancient woodlands, coral reefs and wild rivers, local markets and lively communities, civic life and public space are nothing but unrealised opportunities for development. Where we see the presence of beauty, tranquillity and wonder, they see the absence of palm oil plantations and soybean deserts, container ports and mega-dams, shopping malls and 12-lane highways. For them, there is no point of arrival, just an endless escalation of transit.
Nowhere is a place in its own right; everywhere is a resource waiting to be exploited. No one is a person in their own right; everyone is a worker, consumer or debtor whose potential for profit generation has yet to be realised. Satiety, wellbeing, peace: these are antithetical to globalised growth, which demands constant erasure and replacement. If you are happy, you are an impediment to trade. Your self-possession must be extinguished.
So this is where the chickens come home to roost. Enhanced global trade now threatens our health, our sovereignty, our democracy. Once it made us rich. Today it impoverishes us.
Here’s the thing about the free part of free trade.
Those who wish to take part in it may do so. Those who do not wish to have no need to. My ability to purchase, if I so wish, chlorinated chicken is an increase in my freedom, as is also the existence of that possibility and my decision not to do so. The same is true for you as well. Sure, it might be a trivial freedom, one of no great or even particular value, but it is about liberty all the same.
The argument about the free part of free trade therefore really is, well, by what right do you restrict my freedom to do so?