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I don't agree on the property question.  Laws and other social norms pertain to human interactions and do not define a relationship with an object but rather a relationship between people regarding exclusive use of an object.  Without such a law or social norm, people could still use the object like it is, but just not exclusively, so it's the social relationship that is specified by the social rules not the relationship between person and thing.

On your main point, I think that it could be entirely possible that a consensual protocol like you are describing could transcend all others, but in order to do that it would have to provide benefits to a certain class or classes of powerful people who have an interest in seeing it happen, just like every other historical change in the way society has been ordered.  That's the part I don't quite see yet, although even without that, I do see the possibility of it becoming an additional organizational tool in the capitalist toolbox such as limited liability and traditional cooperatives.

A key benefit of limited liability, however, is that there are still lots of reasons for people to want to be excluded from risks but still participate in a collective enterprise, including many non-economic reasons, which means that it still might be more efficient do so even if there is an ongoing externality problem, which is what your system goes a long way toward solving.

by santiago on Mon Mar 23rd, 2009 at 11:54:34 PM EST
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