Capital, Labour, and European Integration: A Study of the Effects of the European Community on the Two Forces of Production

The argument in this paper is that such an environment has not been created; that economic integration has not led to fair or equal benefits; and that cooperation and accommodation have not replaced conflict as a method for settling disputes. The EC represents a test of the "theory of progress"--on one hand the laissez-faire philosophy of the automatic application of the marketplace and the price system, and on the other, the view that economic and social welfare is derived not from profits but from more equal distribution of benefits which promote individual welfare and opportunity. Economic integration has its social effects and Western European society has experienced both an economic and social transition. Thus, as one distinguished scholar predicts, society itself must make adjustments: "A century from now it seems quite likely that people will look back on the second half of the Twentieth century as a... period of societal transition in which the nation-state and its supporting religion of nationalism readjusted to accommodate various new forms of international structures for the benefit of its peoples and society as a whole." (John Fayerweather, "The Internationalization of Business," American Academy of Political and Social Science Annal, vol. 402, p. 863.) Therefore, an understanding of what has and what has not transpired can lead to a better realization of what should occur if the period of transition is not to be plagued by disruptive social upheavals. This paper is intended to examine the question whether the EC as constituted originally in the Treaty of Rome has or has not fulfilled its stated functional goals. The hypothesis is that it has not; and that cooperation and accommodation have not replaced conflict as methods of achieving European welfare.