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Rifkin, Jeremy (2014-04-01). The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism

The new manufacturers found common cause with merchants in pushing for the liberalization of national markets, and they jointly championed domestic free trade, the elimination of restrictions on labor mobility, the legal enforcement of commercial contracts, and improvements in transport to enlarge markets. They parted company, however, on the question of exports for foreign trade. The merchants aligned with the monarchies in pursuit of colonial policies that favored foreign over domestic trade. The mercantilist’s rationale was to heavily regulate domestic production to secure high-quality goods at cheap prices for sale abroad at inflated prices, to be paid in precious metals. The overseas colonies, in turn, were prevented from producing finished goods and restricted to producing cheap raw materials for export back to the host countries, and then forced to buy the finished manufactured goods from the home country at a higher price.