Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

Article Title

The Common Market Twenty-First Century (with an International Franchising Assist)


Bernard Goodwin


The development of a supranational economy calls for novel legal approaches to bridge the gaps created by national boundaries. These barriers are now too artificial with the increasingly accelerated pace of an ever-shrinking world of speedy, even instantaneous, communications, much more so than they were in the pre-Industrial Revolution era ending with the close of the eighteenth century.

To understand the possibilities of a supranational economy, it will be helpful to look briefly at history, because some intergroup action or economy has always existed among neighboring groups. It was usually the power of one group over another that controlled their relations through the enforcement of customs and law, even reaching back to the dim days of prehistoric man, but certainly so during the last six thousand years of known history.

Force, most often the sword but sometimes the spiritual, made possible the law which promulgated and enforced the rules to facilitate trade internationally, that is, beyond the reach of the taboos and loyalties of any closely knit group which had painfully learned, during eons of cautious cooperation, to trust only its members, not the stranger or the foreigner, who was with good reason identified as the deadly enemy to be feared. Considering the immense time periods involved in the evolution of our tiny world in the vast universe, mankind has only for a relatively brief six thousand years begun feebly, albeit unsuccessfully as yet, to search for an alternative to power as the lubricant and preservative of an international economy. No such extra-group economy, whether or not established by force, can hope to function or grow, or even to exist, without a recognized, respected system of law governing and regulating its relations within and without the group enclave. Also, and more importantly, a viable international economy is one of the requisites in organizing any form of international order. Without that motivation, international unions either die a-borning like the late League of Nations or become grandiose debating societies like the United Nations beset by much discussion but with little execution, usually helplessly subject to the wishes or whims of notoriously amoral Great Powers.