Planned Europe Vs. Spontaneous America
While the U.S. pursues—as U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick said—“competitive liberalization" via multilateral, bilateral, and regional trade negotiations; Europe pursues an inflexible and one-way track: positive integration. This is not to say that either one of them has shed all their protectionist fears, neither have actually. What it does convey, however, is that couldn’t it be possible that the different legal structures of organisms such as NAFTA and the EU are leading these to better or worse times?
Most scholars agree that integration, be it economic, political, cultural, and social, can never be bad. However, it is in the type of and in the manner of conforming integration that they all differ greatly. Where Hayek would have a NAFTA-like integration, in which the emphasis is placed on the spontaneous development of politico-socio-economic-ties through the allowance of the free interaction among individuals; Habermas would have us carefully plan and prevent any possible undesired outcome.
Once again, men tend to commit “the fatal conceit” of believing themselves to be omniscient and able to possess in one mind all the information available to correctly plan and prevent. To fully prove that these plans and preventions are necessary we would need to input all the information available in the universe which cannot even begin to be conceived by our minute minds. Hence, we would fare much better relying in the individual’s privileged “knowledge of the fleeting moment.”
Is there evidence today that points to the perverse consequences of the European’s fatal conceit? Or, is there evidence that it does not have such consequences? On the other hand, can it be said that the negative type of integration carried out by the NAFTA model is being successful?