Did You Know? Centralisation Leads to Poverty
It’s not something you are likely to hear brought up in the media debate on the Lisbon Treaty, but this is, in my humble opinion, the theoretically and historically sound analysis which we should be applying to the question of the European project. The logical planks of the argument are very easily laid out: since central planning fails, but is unlikely when political power is decentralised, we conclude that the polycentrism of small, competing states is preferable to hegemony.
Note the crucial distinction made by Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe (bold mine):
It is said, for example by the bureaucrats of the European Union in Brussels, that economic prosperity has increased dramatically with increased political unification. In reality, however, political integration (centralisation) and economic (market) integration are two completely different phenomena. Political integration involves the territorial expansion of a state’s powers of taxation and property regulation. Economic integration is the extension of the interpersonal and interregional division of labour and market participation. In general, the smaller a country and its internal markets the more likely it is that it will opt for free trade.
I think that a world consisting of tens of thousands of distinct countries, regions and cantons, and hundreds of thousands of independent free cities such as the present-day “oddities” of Monaco, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Hong Kong, and Singapore, would be a world of unprecedented prosperity, economic growth, and cultural advancement.