Money, Trade and International Relations by Lord Robbins (auth.)

By Lord Robbins (auth.)

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It is recognized that the main expectations of the free-traders rested on very insecure foundations. They underestimated the political power of organized producers. They neglected the extent to which their considerations of long-term interest were apt to appear unrealistic at times of 29 MONEY, TRADE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS trade depression. They had a touching faith in the adequacy of the international anarchy of sovereign states to produce international order. And- and this was a point that I especially emphasized, designating it in a caption 'The Flaw in the Classical Theory' - their general analysis was apt unduly to minimize the extent of the general dislocation which might be caused in the short run by unilateral removal of obstacles.

But even if this were not so, I should still think that the union was desirable : for unless something of this sort takes place, we are all liable to be helpless any time the Russian junta sees some advantage in 'coming to the rescue of their suffering comrades in the West', or chooses to invade the sources of our energy supplies. The United States cannot be relied upon indefinitely to make their cities expendable to defend the frontiers of a Western Europe unable to develop sufficient strength and unity to defend itself.

The last two chapters in this book are therefore devoted to some discussion of these questions. (6) INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS The first of these chapters, 'The Economics of Territorial Sovereignty', has a much earlier date of origin than any of the others in this collection. It was written in the winter of I936-7, when the shadows of Nazi and Fascist dictatorship were beginning to darken the scene. There was much talk in those days of a 'problem' of the 'haves and the have-nots' - this phrase meaning, not, as it would in our time, a comparison of the inequality of production per head as between the so-called developed and underdeveloped nations, but rather between nations having territorial sovereignty over wider or smaller areas.

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