Hyper Globalization Needs to be Tempered by ‘Common Sense’

Preston Dow

February 28, 2024

Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) like NATO and the EU are seen as catalysts of cooperation and prosperity around the globe. Post-World War Two, these institutions were designed to stimulate international cooperation between states. This continuously increasing level of cooperation has provided security, accountability, and economic opportunities to various countries world wide.

But, the global climate is trending towards centralisation, threatening to undermine the benefits of international cooperation.

The Anglo-American thinker, Thomas Paine (1737-1809), indirectly warned of this in his 1776 publication Common Sense. Long before large-scale international cooperation efforts, he argued that the colonies had an opportunity of greater prosperity in being independent from the British monarchy, rather than having representation in Parliament. This concept of sovereignty inspired the imminent American Revolution.

In Common Sense, Paine explains that the monarchy, the entity that at the time constricted the freedom of the American colonists, shouldn’t be relied on to protect the American people. “Common sense will tell us, that the power which hath endeavoured to subdue us, is of all others, the most improper to defend us”, he wrote. The parallels to the challenges facing nations today are clear.

As IGOs become increasingly powerful they begin to infringe on the internal, state-declared liberties of member nations.

Supranational institutions are designed with good intentions and are looked upon positively by liberal thinkers who believe they stimulate free trade. But all too often, IGOs usurp nation states’ decision making and centralise power. We must acknowledge that more powerful IGOs present a great threat to the decentralised decision-making enabled by sovereign nation states. This risks stripping any collaborative group of its liberal integrity.

Research published in 2012, A new European interventionism? The impact of the new European economic governance on wages and collective bargaining by authors Thorsten Schulten and Torsten Müller, two German academics, observe in relation to the EU that “procedurally, the new system of economic governance, … shifted the decision-making powers increasingly from the national to the European level – thereby curtailing the national actors’ discretion over policy choices”.

A prominent contemporary example which directly corresponds to Schulten and Müller’s concept is Ireland’s relationship with Apple and Amazon. Two American companies that have reached consumers across the globe, while also creating roughly two million jobs across the European continent.

Both companies have sought to establish themselves in Ireland due to the country’s exceedingly low corporate tax rate of 12.5%. Their attempts to move into the EU member state have been stymied by European Union authorities, who alleged that Apple and Amazon were receiving an unfair advantage over smaller businesses within the Union. The companies faced legal proceedings, putting billions of Euros on the line. Although Amazon has avoided a 250 million Euro tax payout, Apple still faces a showdown with the EU over a 14 billion Euro tax dispute.

The cases of Apple and Amazon exemplify the EU’s creeping economic interventionism. This poses a massive threat to not only Ireland, but also other EU members. Foreign investment into states like Ireland benefits the business itself, the state, and the individuals who inhabit it: a win-win-win. When the European Union overreaches, it deters that vital investment, effectively denying any country of the potential economic gain contributed by external corporations.

Economic intervention by the European Union is a ‘slippery slope’.

If the EU is able to intervene in a nation state’s economic relationships, who is to say that other collaborative entities will not follow suit? Will IGOs extend their reach and further infringe upon other liberties upheld by member states? These inquiries return us to the ideas of Common Sense.

When intergovernmental organisation begins to subdue its members, sovereign states have every right to follow their own interests. If that right is not respected, nations have a duty to resist them.


  • Preston Dow

    Preston studies political science with minors in economics and philosophy at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.

Written by Preston Dow

Preston studies political science with minors in economics and philosophy at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.


Capitalism and freedom are under attack. If you support 1828’s work, help us champion freedom by donating here.

Keep Reading



Sign up today to receive exclusive insights