In May 2005, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Professor of Economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, visited Antwerp, where he gave a lecture on the economic surplus value of small states.
This lecture explains the incentive of states to continually consolidate, eventually becoming a world government. It also explains why small states foster peace and economic growth. This is the path to wealthier and more peaceful societies.
In 2016, many states find themselves running headlong into the economic decline and civil discontent Hoppe predicted in this lecture.
Hans-Herman Hoppe (in 2002)
Small states must engage in free trade rather than protectionism. All government interference with foreign trade forcibly limits the range of mutually beneficial inter territorial exchanges and thus leads to relative impoverishment at home as well as abroad. But the smaller a country, the more dramatic this effect will be. A country the size of the U.S. might attain comparatively high standards of living even if it renounced all foreign trade. In contrast, if a territory the size of a city or village engaged in protectionism, this would likely spell disaster or even death.