Not only is this thesis refuted by the flourishing of commercial capitalism in the Middle Ages in the local and non-centralized cities of northern Italy, the Hanseatic League, and the fairs of Champagne…
It is also refuted by the outstanding growth of the capitalist economy in free, localized Antwerp and Holland in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Thus the Dutch came to outstrip the rest of Europe while retaining medieval local autonomy and eschewing state-building, mercantilism, government participation in enterprise — and aggressive war.”
Thus, the idea that a centralized authority, in our case the European Union, is necessary for free trade is pure fantasy, It is false Europeanism. Its constructivist approach has prevailed in European institutions since the beginning.
For example, one of the goals advanced by the Treaty of Rome was to “create markets” through a unified European Anti-trust legislation. Similarly, the official justification of the Common Agricultural Policy introduced in 1962 was to create a unified agricultural market. But markets do not need States or treaties to exist and they certainly do not need the European Union.
The parallel between false Europeanism and false individualism is also relevant when it comes to their respective imperialistic tendencies. Whereas the French revolutionaries wanted to invade Europe to impose their “universal values” through force, the European Union does not tolerate, in the name of Europe, independent States that do not want to submit to Brussels.
Switzerland, for instance, is forced by the European Union to adopt countless regulations concerning food safety and gun ownership. If the Swiss confederation does not comply with many provisions of European law, the European Union threatens to cut Switzerland’s access to the single market.