TRADEPROP "Naftoids" and a Vision of GATT
The politics of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the General Agreement on Trades and Tariffs (GATT) began as battles offactoids -- although few of the facts were completely reliable -- and graduated to battles of fictoids, where none of the ideas was completely believable.
The debates and their aftermath revealed that the popular culture harbored conflicting and -- not surprisingly -- self-contradictory theories of international trade.
Advocates adopted a newprop of global trade although conceding that some groups would be excluded from the benefits; paradoxically, protectionists advanced an oldprop of nationalist exclusion but saw it as preserving the membership of everyone at home.
Not since the Marshall Plan, a half-century earlier, had there been so much popular awareness and discussion of tradeprop, but at that time the fears of the nation were sublimated to the promise of European and American prosperity. Now, although NAFTA and GATT were global amplifications of the Marshall Plan, the nation was plunged into uncertainty by a staggering rhetoric of factoids and fictoids by all parties to the debate.
The role of factoids first gained prominence during the 1992 Democratic presidential nominating convention -- a so-called "politics by numbers." The