Re[2]: Free-Market Economics

Guru George (
Sun, 13 Jul 1997 14:07:40 +0100

On Sat, 12 Jul 1997 14:13:51 -0700
Eric Watt Forste <> wrote:

>Ken Lanterman writes:
> > A true anarcho-libertarian society wouldn't have corporations,
> > since they are products of the state, chartered and protected
> > by them.
>Hmm... limited-liability issues to one side (I don't know about you,
>but it's easy for me to imagine corporations being replaced by unlimited
>liability general partnerships like Lloyd's), where do you draw the
>line between sewing circles and go clubs, on the one hand, and
>corporations on the other?
>It seems to me that a corporation is just a contractual agreement by
>which a group of shareholders can own property jointly and make joint
>contracts with other people. Is it joint ownership of property or
>joint contracting that you disapprove of? If not that, then what?
I've been persuaded by reading Roger Scruton, the conservative
semi-libertarian (or at least very anti-socialist) UK philosopher, that
allowing legal incorporation, allowing a true collective to be holdable
legally accountable, is one of the pillars of civil society. Now I
don't know the ins and outs of law as it stands, but if companies are
somehow getting away with things because of corporate law as it stands,
that is wrong, because the function of corporate law ought to be to hold
corporations accountable for their actions as a (presumably univocal in
the relevant respects) collective. It is particularly important that if
we are to have government, at the very least that government must be
subject to the same kind of accountability (of course not through
corporate law but through constitutional law). That's what was missing
in Soviet Russia for example: the Party was unaccountable in this sort
of way.

Guru George