Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Some remarks:

That's the way it used to be: small settlements had their own bakers, shoemakers, etc. Trade was generally restricted to raw materials that could only be obtained in special places, like spices.

As far as we know through historical and archaeological research, from very early on (probably long before the Phoenicians), trade was not only about raw materials, but also manufactured goods (like wine, ceramics, fabric, perfumes, jewels...). Being (as I am) in favour of economic subsidiarity doesn't mean we have to rewrite history.

You are also grossly misrepresenting what is fair trade. The fair trade rules imply to pay to the producers (often organised in co-operatives) a price that allows them not only to survive, but also to improve their living standards and to give education to their children. It usually provides also ways to finance investment in new production means.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 10:06:07 AM EST
Can archaeology distinguish between trade and pillage ?

Also, long range trade until the Antiquity was pretty much restricted to luxury goods (now, really, wine is a luxury) ; did trade have an impact on the average joe ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 06:27:56 PM EST
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