3 thoughts on “Debate: Should classical liberals support secession?”

  1. Posted 10/03/2021 at 12:07 | Permalink

    Classic liberals do not run large blocs. Are they in charge of the EU? No, they are lucky to occasionally have a little influence. Ditto Spain and the UK. Bureaucratic empire-builders are in charge.

  2. Posted 12/03/2021 at 23:03 | Permalink

    That is what a “classical liberal” like Alberto Alesina thought about the EU (and more generally about the relationship between economic integration and political separatism) in 1997:

    [Some of the comment’s original text has been removed by the moderator]

    “European monetary union is a gamble. In fact, I am more pessimistic than Maurice Obstfeld: in my opinion, it is a gamble that should not be taken.
    One can think of the equilibrium size of a country as the result of a trade-off. On the one hand, small countries have the benefits of a low degree of conflict and relative convergence of preferences. On the other hand, large countries have several advantages, including economies of scale in the provision of public goods, insurance against shocks, and market size. However, as world trade becomes more open, one of the main benefits of a large country becomes much less important. A country does not have to be big to be open. Thus the tendency toward a reduction in average country size is perfectly understandable in an environment of trade liberalization. Why would a country want to lock itself in a political union when it could be small, enjoy freedom of political choice, and trade peacefully with the rest of the world? There
    is no need for political integration when there is economic integration.
    Indeed, as I argue elsewhere with Enrico Spolaore and Romain Wacziarg, economic integration should go hand in hand with political separatism. Europe is going in exactly the opposite direction.”

    Source: Alesina, Alberto. 1997. “Comments on ‘Europe’s Gamble’ by M. Obstfeld.” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 28: 301-304.

  3. Posted 15/03/2021 at 12:09 | Permalink

    One thing that seems to be overlooked when discussing long-term political changes is demographics. Another generation or two will probably have an entirely different political viewpoint. This is readily apparent in the US when polling the under-25s about socialism. Technology etc is bringing about changes in political/social dispositions that cannot be readily anticipated.

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