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Scott de Montevideo!

"Statism v. Anti-Statism" will it replace "left v. right"?

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Knez,

Corporations are part and parcel of large scale Statism. Corporations cannot exist without the State. They are purely creatures of statute.

Yep, limited liability is the only thing that allows capitalism to exist. If it didn't the stock exchanges of the world would be a very minor side show of the economy, because people would be a lot less interested in investing if they were liable for the actions of the corporations which are their property.

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Knez,

Corporations are part and parcel of large scale Statism. Corporations cannot exist without the State. They are purely creatures of statute.

Right. But corporations aren't the only form of private control. Not by a long shot.

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Shryke,

But they are, by far, the most popular because of the limited liability they offer to investors.

SOOT,

I agree with you, to an extent. Capitalism as it exists today with almost complete focus on profit is facilitated by the existence of the Corporation and limited liability. Without it smaller scale capitalism where people have more direct control over how their money is used may still hold sway.

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Shryke,

But they are, by far, the most popular because of the limited liability they offer to investors.

Because they can exist, yes. But the elimination of limited liability does not eliminate private power.

SOOT,

I agree with you, to an extent. Capitalism as it exists today with almost complete focus on profit is facilitated by the existence of the Corporation and limited liability. Without it smaller scale capitalism where people have more direct control over how their money is used may still hold sway.

And the consequence is far far far less economic growth.

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Yep, limited liability is the only thing that allows capitalism to exist.

But liability is dependent on a state to enforce it; corporations would do just fine without a state to interfere with their profit seeking.

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Without the State Corporations wouldn't exist in the first place.

Why not? What would prevent a group of people getting together and agreeing to set up a self-policing organisation that operates on the same principles as corporations do?

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Why not? What would prevent a group of people getting together and agreeing to set up a self-policing organisation that operates on the same principles as corporations do?

That's not a corporation. A corporation has limited liability, meaning that its owners are not responsible for its debts should it fold. This is a big deal, because it means that when companies go bankrupt investors lose only the money they have invested in it, rather than everything they own.

It would be possible to achieve a similar situation without a state to provide this cover, but it would mean that, in effect investors would be lending the company money rather than buying a stake in it. This would mean that shares, rather than being assets would show up as outstanding debts and so would be lose much of their attraction and value. This would completely transform capitalism into something we have not yet seen.

It would kick out a major supporting prop from underneath capitalism, and destabilise it completely. So, basically, I'm all in favour, meet you at the barricades at 7?

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It would be possible to achieve a similar situation without a state to provide this cover, but it would mean that, in effect investors would be lending the company money rather than buying a stake in it. This would mean that shares, rather than being assets would show up as outstanding debts and so would be lose much of their attraction and value.

If the terms of the loan are identical to the benefits of owning shares, surely that's a purely semantic difference? Is the attraction and value of shares largely imaginary?

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If the terms of the loan are identical to the benefits of owning shares, surely that's a purely semantic difference? Is the attraction and value of shares largely imaginary?

Not really, because the company would still need to be the property of someone, as without the state to mandate limited liability a company could not enter into business unless it was property. Free contract between individuals can't exist if there is no individual on one side of the bargain, and every contract this pseudo-corporation entered into would have to have a written clause stating that every transaction it entered into would not be honoured if the pseudo-company did not have the funds to do so.

That someone would be personally responsible both for the debt/shares, any borrowing by the company, and the completion of all contracts.

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Not really, because the company would still need to be the property of someone, as without the state to mandate limited liability a company could not enter into business unless it was property.

Who exactly would prevent it from doing so?

every contract this pseudo-corporation entered into would have to have a written clause stating that every transaction it entered into would not be honoured if the pseudo-company did not have the funds to do so.

Sure. People are happy to deal with corporations on that basis, so why not pseudo-corporations?

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Felice,

In my opinion the primary difference would be that limited liability is offered by the State to the Corporation. Without the State to offer that protection the Corporation would be forced to defend its assets and the assets of its shareholders itself. It would be taking on what could be argued is "sovereignty" over its property. By defending its property and the property of its shareholders from the attacks of others, as it must wihout the existence of a State to offer such protection because people would be much less inclined to invest if their property and the Corporations property were free for anyone to take, the Corporation would be exerting control and acting as a State acts over given peices of territory.

People forget that States are corporate entities too. They just don't have another corporate entity guaranteeing their existence. They have to defend their existence themselves.

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Felice,

I think it would create incentivization problems as with most collectivization schemes that don't allow for some reward for extra effort.

Not all rewards are big bucks. I would argue that once a human has covered his/her basic needs (food, shelter, health, etc), there's only one reward left: self-fulfillment.

Don't tell me that everyone who works hard does it exclusively to get paid more. Don't tell me that every doctor in the world does his best only when there's cash involved. Don't tell me that all those people who program open source code and give it away do it only to improve their résumé. Don't tell me that Wikipedia is edited exclusively by people who expect monetary gain. Don't tell me that GRRM became an author just for the money.

As far as I know, wherever collectivism (voluntary or not) has been actually practiced, lack of incentive was never the problem.

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but this is still no polarity. It is like i said, illusory, althougha common illusion. there is no polarity between equality and tradition: these are not opposites. what you are doing here is grouping anyone who doesn't fall into the breadbasket that you think of as the left, as on the right. when you say there is an absence of an ideology, what you mean is that you have grouped a bunch of conflicting ideologies together

"Equality" and "tradition" are normally functionally in opposition (it's where Left/Right came from, during the French Revolution). If one side is wanting equality, this implies there is an inequality about the status quo, so the supporters of tradition will tend to fall to the Right.

Another way of looking at it is to say that the Right is about inequality, either through promotion of tradition or through promotion of the free market. I do think it's a bit unfair on the Right though to claim they "believe in inequality" - a lack of belief in equality would be closer to the mark.

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By the way, I have a newsflash for those who are both anti-state and pro-free market.

No state = No money. No currency. No authority to assert that, within its jurisdiction, a green piece of paper is worth something.

Kindly explain to me how this is supposed to work.

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guag,

I suspect that before States existed people figured out how to exchange things. That said I believe I must concede that the State existed before currency did.

And as to your point above about the incentivization problem of only paying one salary for everything. Sure, some people would work hard because they value hard work, but, that's not everyone. More often than not people work hard because they have a monetary incentive to do so. While a society where everyone gives their utmost because it is the right thing to do would certainly be nice I don't think something like a communal society where there were no slackers has ever existed on the large or the small scale.

There's always "Cool Bobby" who doesn't think he really needs to turn the compost pile every day and who can convince "Anti-Social Adam" to do that because Cool Bobby has something to offer Anti-Social Adam that AS Adam wants more than his dislike of having twice the compost turning responsibility everyone else has on the commune.

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Money is whatever people will accept in exchange for goods and services (you can have money without a state). More troublesome for the anarcho-capitalist types is property rights: you need a state to enforce them, since otherwise there is no such thing as private property.

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The question between left or right is a question between which left and which right to me. A society can prosper with both somewhat left wing or somewhat right wing policies that in many ways are similar and differ in one or the other doing something X more than the other. I still have my preferences but I think there are even less preferable pollicies that are somewhat workable. So if you have the right type of left wing or right wing party you can probably get my vote.

When you get to extremes though there is where I see policies from both left and right which are not good ones. I do self identify as a centrist leaning center right or as center right so I am also probably seeing my views as the best while also considering that views that differ somewhat from my views (center-left) can also be acceptable.

Anyway there are left and right wing positions that I consider workable but several of those which are usually called far left or far right ones, I greatly disagree. So to me it is about which left or right wing views are closer to my political views, mostly centrist ones, than anything else. I also suspect that many left and right wing parties don't have really that many significant differences and are pretty close. However it is in their interest to play their differences or it is something that happens naturally due to people becoming partisan and focusing on differences rather than similarities and seeing the differences being bigger than they really are and having bigger consequences than they really do. Still, this is not applicable everywhere.

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