The T stands for trade and the F stands for free.

“Free Trade” is a euphemism that stands for exploitation. The traders aren’t just into “buy low and sell high;” they’re into free goods (stolen stuff) that they take to market for a profit. Basically, they capture a profit for themselves by moving things around. Always have. Think back to the Dutch merchants filling the holds of their boats with African captives to deliver to the New World as they went to collect what had been stolen from the natives there.

Perhaps free looks particularly good to the traders because they themselves are people who can’t create or make things. “One man’s trash is another’s treasure,” suits them perfectly because usefulness is a foreign concept to them. Perhaps, like the crow (“if it sparkles, pick it up”), some people simply respond to prompts. They take without thinking.

Ideas are sort of like vermin. We get rid of them in one context; they pop up somewhere else. In the 21st Century, it seems to be the notion that consent (informed or not), which used to justify the abuse of spouses, until death called a halt, has been migrated not just to the medical arena, where the patient’s consent to being tortured relieves the practitioner of responsibility for mistakes ahead of time, but to the commercial world, where being defrauded is now considered a matter of course and the intervention by agents of government is ruled out of bounds.

It’s a clever idea. Tort reform via the elimination of torts. Reminds me of the practice of purchasing indulgences in the Catholic Church–to get sins forgiven ahead of time.