[ExI] Privatization and so called public "ownership"/was Re: Americans are poor drivers

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sun Jul 12 05:23:48 UTC 2009

2009/7/12 Mirco Romanato <painlord2k at libero.it>:

> The problem on returning stolen goods to their original owners is that
> often they don't exist any more.
> Homesteading is, IMHO, the best way to let people take land not owned by
> anyone. But land owned by the government that must free itself of it, it
> is better sold at the higher bidder (in small lots) and the money used
> to repay the debts of the government. If any money are left, divide it
> between the citizens.

That is in fact what is usually done when it is decided (by the people
who support the government) that a public enterprise is best held and
managed privately. But sometimes people, rightly or wrongly, decide
that some enterprises are best managed publicly, either because they
are loss-making (eg. police, prisons, defence, public transport, basic
science) or because they are too important to be left to the vagaries
of the free market (eg. health, education). If the government did
dissolve in a non-chaotic manner then one might expect that people
would continue to manage these enterprises collectively.

> Collectives don't exist.
> They are fictions between individuals.
> Take away the individuals and the collective disappear.

Sure, but two people can decide to own and manage something
collectively, with rights and responsibilities set out in an
agreement. It may be in particular cases that this arrangement is for
the worse, and if this is recognised it might be dissolved. But there
is nothing wrong in principle with collective agreements.

Stathis Papaioannou

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