The European Economic Community (EEC) did not spring fully armed upon an unsuspecting world with the Treaty of Rome in March 1957. It was the culmination of a long process that had its roots in the First World War, a war from which the US emerged as the ascendant political and world power. Since the early 1920s, important elements among the US ruling elites had been pushing for a United States of Europe, believing such an entity would stabilise the European situation and be conducive to establishing a properly managed world economy. This never materialised.
Technical progress and the growth of mass production in the 1920s and 30s meant a steady drift toward larger economic units among the industrial and developing nations. In spite of the collapse of the US economy in 1929, with its large-scale unemployment which was to last the best part of a decade, the United States was the pacesetter for efficiency in modern industry. Its economic basis of mass production had enabled it to pay high wages to those fortunate to have a job and at the same time compete successfully with European industries that paid their workers less, but wasted more on unproductive charges and inefficient organisation — mainly due to the small size of the economic unit. No tariffs prevented the movement of goods from one end of the United States to the other. Each industry knew it had a domestic market of some 120 million people whose average consumption of industrial products was around 80 per cent above that of Europeans. Continue reading “THE EUROPEAN UNION —To Whose Benefit? by Stuart Christie. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)” »