Imaginary Proposals: The NAFTA Superhighway

Parts of Christopher Hayes’ latest article don’t sit well with me, but this paragraph is an apt assessment of public opinion and punditry:

The myth of the NAFTA Superhighway persists and grows because it taps into deeply felt anxieties about the dizzying dislocations of twenty-first-century global capitalism: a nativist suspicion of Mexico’s designs on US sovereignty, a longing for national identity, the fear of terrorism and porous borders, a growing distrust of the privatizing agenda of a government happy to sell off the people’s assets to the highest bidder and a contempt for the postnational agenda of Davos-style neoliberalism. Indeed, the image of the highway, with its Chinese goods whizzing across the border borne by Mexican truckers on a privatized, foreign-operated road, is almost mundane in its plausibility. If there was a NAFTA highway, you could bet that Tom Friedman would be for it–what could be more flattening than miles of concrete paved across the continent?–and Lou Dobbs would be zealously opposed. In fact, Dobbs has devoted a segment of his show to the highway, its nonexistence notwithstanding.