Q: How Do You Reconcile The Ideal of Property Rights, and Observable Reality: Corporatism, and Cronyism?

—“Question for Curt: How does property rights fit into mixed economies, corporatism and cronyism? If a corporation has property rights is that for eternity? Who decides?”— Beauregard.


[I]’m going to try to guess at what “fit in” means. I think you mean, “How do we reconcile the apparent conflicts between the logical ideal of property rights theory, and the existential reality of mixed economies, pervasive corporatism, and cronyism?”

The problem I’m having is that I’m not really sure what you’re asking. So I’ll stab in the dark trying to reconcile as best I can.

1) Mixed Economies: Mixed economies are as simple as corporations with shareholders who receive dividends on their investments – whether those investments are in sweat equity (observing norms), acting in an employee capacity(participating in the market of production distribution and trade), or whether one is an investor (taxpayer). There is no difference between a mixed economy and a corporation. It’s an organization where different interests combine different resources, to produce, distribute, and trade.

2) Corporatism: Corporatism exists because the state wanted to give capital a free ride, and took upon policing corporations in the legislature by removing universal standing under the common law. This is a problem of representative democracy. The answer is to revoke the corporate privilege, restore universal standing, and eliminate shareholder voting which is meaningless. (This takes a lot of explanation but I know how to address it.)

3) Cronyism: Cronyism exists because of the combination of representative government policing corporations by rather than citizen policing under universal standing. And because funding choices (monetary, fiscal trade, and industrial policy) are made by representatives rather than held at auction, using modern technology.

4) Corporate ‘Rights’: As for corporate rights, I don’t know what you’re referring to. But if the current shareholders of a corporation purchased rights to their shares, and therefore to a share of some property or other, or that organization persists as a functional organizational entity then it is hard to see how those rights should terminate. But you could be referring to some strange exception like intellectual property rights or something, and I might not really be able to guess your question.

[A]ll of these problems arise because of three simple problems.

First, a technological problem of the pre-industrial era where time and the speed of communications were problematic. We are not challenged by these problems any longer.

Second, by the conflation of law-making (the judiciary) with commons-creation (the government), into a law-making-body called the legislature. Instead, if the government could not make law, only contract enforcible under law, and so the legislature can only produce contracts and not laws, and contracts all expire with the people who wrote them, then there is a time limit on all relations between the public (commons) and the private sector, and laws cannot be constructed to favor corporations for the benefit of politicians.

Third, there is no reason whatsoever for majority rule. Monopoly government is pointless. Law must be decidable, so the law must exist as a monopoly definition of property and rights. However, the construction of contracts under that law, for the production of commons, do not need universal approval. They need only prevent imposition of costs on non-participants under the rule of law which protects non-participants property rights from exactly those kinds of attacks.

So as far as I know, all of the questions you’re asking are entirely compatible with property rights theory (or at least by Propertarianism), and in fact, they are only confusing in the absence of property rights theory.

There are some interesting human cognitive biases in play in the populace but that’s another story for another time..

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine

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