by Bill Mitchell and Thomas Fazi
Let’s face it: national sovereignty has become irrelevant in today’s increasingly complex and interdependent international economy. The deepening of economic globalisation – and the massive leaps achieved in the fields of mass transport, communications, technology – have rendered individual states increasingly powerless vis-à-vis the forces of the market. The internationalisation of finance and the growing importance of multinational corporations have eroded the ability of individual states to autonomously pursue social and economic policies – especially of the progressive kind – and to deliver prosperity to their peoples. Financial markets and mega-corporations today wield more power than governments – and can easily bring these to their knees. This means that our only hope of tackling the cross-border challenges of modernity, of taming the power of global financial and corporate leviathans, and of achieving any meaningful change, is for countries to ‘pool’ their sovereignty together and transfer it to supranational institutions (such as the European Union) that are large and powerful enough to have their voices heard, thus regaining at the supranational level the sovereignty that has been lost at the national level. In other words, to preserve their ‘real’ sovereignty, states need to limit their formal sovereignty.