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Why Were Corporations Illegal Before 1819?

While many here believe that Corporations are part of a healthy Free Market, it should be noted that our founders fought the British Corporations AS WELL AS the British Government.

So when you think it's "libertarian" to defend corporations like Monsanto, think again.


When American colonists declared independence from England in 1776, they also freed themselves from control by English corporations that extracted their wealth and dominated trade. After fighting a revolution to end this exploitation, our country's founders retained a healthy fear of corporate power and wisely limited corporations exclusively to a business role. Corporations were forbidden from attempting to influence elections, public policy, and other realms of civic society.

Initially, the privilege of incorporation was granted selectively to enable activities that benefited the public, such as construction of roads or canals. Enabling shareholders to profit was seen as a means to that end.

The states also imposed conditions (some of which remain on the books, though unused) like these:

* Corporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly for violating laws.

* Corporations were often terminated if they caused public harm.

* Owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed on the job.

* Corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.

But aren't corporations just part of the free market? Isn't that what capitalism is all about - corporate interests driving the economy?

Actually, no. Corporate libertarians would have you believe that somehow corporate dominance is entirely consistent with the values and vision of the Founding Fathers, but this is pure myth. The framers believed in limited government and free markets, but corporations were almost non-existent in the early days of the Republic. Unlike today, one could not form a corporation simply by filing a few papers with a government office; instead, permission from the government was needed (usually via an act of the Legislature)


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Busting Rothbardian populists one at a time.

A fraudulent company had defrauded a customer (say, Mr. Smith) and left the state without a trace. After 6 months, an insurance company that covers detective work (Mr. Smith holds policy at) informs Mr. Smith that detectives had spent the upper limit of the insurance policy with no success. Mr. Smith has no money to hire private investigators to check if his insurance company or the detectives actually did their job or just pocketed money. In any case, he has no hope that the same wont happen again and again.

Anarchists are more dumb than socialists

when life gives you straw, make strawmen

whatcha gonna do when you run out of all that straw?

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

Uhhh ... ya got a problem with your logic.

"A fraudulent company ... defrauded a customer ... insurance company that covers detective work ... no success ... no money to check if his insurance company or the detectives actually did their job or just pocketed money ... no hope that the same wont happen again and again."

Today, such insurance companies are regulated by the state. The police are employed by the state. The investigators (who you say won't investigate) work for the state or are licensed by the state. The place where Mr. Smith might be able to achieve compensation (but you say he can't) -- the courts -- are employees of the state. The people who could stop it from happening again and again (but won't, according to you) -- the district attorneys and the insurance regulators -- are employees of the state.

How exactly is this proof that a free market might not work better?

Are you happy with public policing?

If someone paid for an insurance policy, and the insurance company wasn't able to retrieve the stolen good or money, the insurance company would have to foot the bill.

That's the point of having insurance.

Any company that had a bad reputation for not providing services would be competed out of business by better performing firms.

Secondly, you are assuming that public policing works.

I can assure you that in my experience, you are damn lucky if you can even get a cop to look into anything for you.

Have you ever had your house broken into, and couldn't even get the officers to take fingerprints or investigate the matter further?

Good luck getting anything more than a police report and a couple hours of wasted time.

Have you ever had a car stolen with a credit card in it, had Visa let you know the exact time and place the card was used, and had the police refuse to look into it?

If you looking for someone to show up and ask you a bunch of questions for an hour, and fill out a piece of paper, never to hear back, then I'm sure you would be satisfied with public policing.

But, some of us prefer more extravagant luxury when it comes to policing, like having a crime investigated, or having an arrest made.

A lot of also don't like being forced to pay for your or others security.

If you want inefficient, incompetent, and useless policing then you can pay for it, but don't force others to pay for it.

At least be honest about what you want, socialist police protection.

Wear it proudly if you believe in it, you are a Security/Defense Socialist.

Check out the Laissez-Faire Journal at LFJournal.com

"The State is a gang of thieves writ large." - Murray Rothbard


... and that exact same thing doesn't happen today?
no seriously? ... your "logic" is flawed. ;)

how do you know the police are doing their job? how do you know the investigators you hired to investigate the police did their job? etc, etc.. the same exact things can be said with or without a "state"... 6 in one half dozen in the other...

only the victim can stop the crime and only you can be responsible for yourself... with ownership comes responsibility.

I use Blue Wave, but don't expect one of THEIR silly taglines.

Good question but he's not dumb for being an anarchist

he might be wrong but he's not dumb and neither are socialist

Thanks for being a stand up guy.

I may believe minarchists and socialists are dead wrong, but I don't automatically characterize them as stupid because I disagree with them.

I recognize that they don't have exactly the same information as I have, and what is clear to me may not be clear to them.

Ad Hominem does not strengthen arguments.

Check out the Laissez-Faire Journal at LFJournal.com

"The State is a gang of thieves writ large." - Murray Rothbard

Anarchism was exposed long ago.

Rothbard was dumb for campaigning against Goldwater and supporting the socialist party.

It is dumb to live by blind beliefs if knowledge is available. But again, we can always have Jesus to have our back.

The world isn't enlightened enough yet to do away with Gov't

OR corporations. Until we learn to treat other like we want to be treated...we'll continue to struggle with these problems imo.

So, enlightened people need to just wait for everyone to catch

up? "So sorry, you understand liberty but Eddie over there, he is just stupid, so we have to keep a government in place ruling over you so that someone is there to take care of Eddie..."
You have it exactly backwards. Those who understand must start living the example.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

Has nothing to do with some fight for liberty you are fighting

governments will just become obsolete one day. period.

Things may seem really bad right now Fishy, but they won't always be this way.

Regardless, i agree that, yes we do need to be living examples.

Centralization of Power = Evil

The more power centralizes and concentrates, the more evil individuals will rise to that power and use it for evil.

These power centers attract psychopaths and breed corruption like bees to honey.

There is a direct correlation. Always.

The distinction between Govt power and Corporate power is much less important than this principle.

The truth is, that once the power centralizes past a certain point - we are dealing with all of the same people anyway.

Centralized Govt power and Corporate power are merely tools for the same people to use, to collaborate and rotate in and out of.

This is essentially what we are fighting against.

Spot on

For America 2.0, we need make a top priority of a deliberate policy to structure our institutions so that the over-centralization of power is blocked. Localism is a philosophy of government that has decentralization of power as its key tenant. It points out 14 ways that power gets centralized and posits ways to block that process. It is basically the same goal of all of the anti-federalists and half the federalists, but we have learned some lessons from history since then.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

Absolutely. Localism is the antidote to Globalism

The more comments I see from you, the more inclined I am to pick up a copy of the book ...

And I just did.. Downloaded to my kindle.

There are three things (for sure) that I believe:

1) Globalism is now too powerful and too far along to be defeated with activism, or traditional resistance from the worlds population

2) Globalism will collapse under its own weight, and the best chance for Localism to thrive again will be from the ashes

3) There will still always be a need (at the very least) for groupings of local communities for purposes of foundational principles of freedom, and national defense. Hence some form of contractual arrangement - like the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Only this time the penalties for breaching the contract must be more explicit and severe.

I've considered the possibility that all public leaders may need to be kept under constant surveillance 24/7, 365.

Glad to hear it

I hope it clarifies things for you like it did for me.

I agree with you on point one as far as it goes for traditional activism. However there is one chapter in there, on the political parties, where the book has some pointers that are analogous to "guerrilla warfare". That is, globalism is unbeatable by conventional tactics, but there are ways to fight that are not, at the present, conventional that would be really hard for them to stop outside of Soviet style open repression.

I also think that globalism will collapse under its own weight. These guys are not, no matter what they think of themselves, the first people in history smart enough to make central planning work long term. That is not to say that shots won't be fired somewhere as part of this process, but that big picture there is nothing we have to "do" to precipitate the collapse of this present system. Indeed, there is nothing that can be done to stop it. It cannot support the weight of the lies that it constantly spews out.

Our task then is to know what to replace it with.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

Started reading it a bit already

So far it echoes thoughts I've had for a long time now, almost exactly.

If you care to

And it continues to sound right to you, I hope you will consider posting a positive review, either here or at Amazon.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

Yes, I will

And so far its all positive

And by extension

since money is power in every way today, we essentially vote with our money. By giving money to certain groups, we basically support the continued increase in the banks power (because that's where it all ends up).

If, on the other hand, we focused our spending on paths that end up staying in our communities, their power is lessened. As such, the centralization turns into decentralization.

This is what I already do, whereever and whenever possible

I give the power structures as little as my money as I practically can.

Quoted from my FB group a year ago...

This is the next step where we promote it to people instead of simply living it individually. Appologies for the mistranslated formatting....
Since every problem I can find in the world today boils down to control via money, all we have to do is to displace all the people's purchases from multinational corporations and banking systems to local, sustainable and equality driven ones. Once enough people are self sufficient in a given industry, the money (and power) will shift to the people, the companies' stocks will fall, investors will pull out and cause the death spiral to bring that company down.

So, how do we do this without millions of people behind us you ask? It's actually very simple. To illustrate this, I'll pick one industry. Starting with produce and veggies, we can support a company to get started that offers a completed aquaponics solution for home use. If that company can completely avoid debt, they can offer their product at much lower costs to the people and all we have to do is make it clear that our funding is contingent that they keep the customer's value as their number one priority. Most company owners start out this way, but with debt comes compromises and so the corruption begins. Also, most of the companies I've profiled for this, they would only need $10k to $200k with no strings. If they went to a bank, they would be forced to comply with so many requirements that their startup costs would rise to multi-million dollar ranges. With today's crowdsourcing possibilities, this could easily be accomplished by a small group spreading the word that the company is raising funds for a really good cause, etc.

As to how this will solve the problem, I'll return to the example. Help people purchase a system that allows them to grow their own produce, veggies and 4 lbs of fish per week, all year round, with no pesticides or herbicides, no weeds or bugs, no sunlight needed and no cross pollination concerns with GMOs. Since this is not designed to grow more than one family can use, there's no sales or FTC laws that come into play. There's no fear of arrest from selling natural, organic, non-FDA-Fixed products. It's just a home system that people use for their own good. It (and all these similar systems in other industries) is designed for lowest cost to operate, long lasting, best value and as you can see, they have to really solve the whole problem. To get on this list, they must offer more benefits to people for equal or less cost than what they're paying now. This ensures their attractiveness to those people who remain unaware of the numerous reasons I mention here. In short, people won't have to be awakened to become part of the solution. We can use their materialistic desires to get them to do the right thing without their knowledge.

I've collected solutions to every problem area I can find in the world. I've tabulated the likely costs for a non-debt startup of each. I've totaled all these up and, amazingly, it only comes to about $464 million for about 14 different companies. I know that sounds like a lot, but the mass transportation one is over $300M by itself and each of 3 large scale renewable ones are around $20-50M also. The nutshell of all this is that the first ones can be done with as little as $10k and while we're doing the second or third one, it can kick in some of it's profits toward doing those also. By the time we get to the really big projects, we'll have about 10 profitable companies assisting in donations and customer awareness.

Ok, the short list of solutions that I personally know exist today is as follows:

Aquaponics for year round home based produce and fish;
Home solar thermal to electric via stored heat - able to more than power all home needs, possibly including transportation;
Personal vehicle retrofit to hydrogen (solar sourced);
Personal rapid transit system based on widespread tiny maglev rails on poles. Supplants errand, commuting and most local distribution needs;
Home scaled gasifier and digester for turning waste into energy;
Numerous home energy savers;
Home scaled wind turbine that's optimized for low wind speed;
Smart electrical grid that can be done fastest, easiest, cheapest and supports much cheaper integration of home renewable excess for grid stability;
Truth exposing web site combining debate, accountability and opinion for easy dissemination (massive applicability to every industry or social system);
Local purchase of cell towers to operate at low overhead and local control;
Mesh designed local internet connections when integrated with rapid transit system above and smart grid;
Ocean based solar thermal electrical generator who's by-product is desalinated water available hundreds of miles inland;
Ultra-high altitude wind turbines providing 95% capacity factor on 300 mph wind speed;
Multi-mile long greenhouses that utilize coastal water and wind to provide crops to arid regions with large quantities of desalinated drinking water;
Gold backed competing currency that operates similar to a credit card while being inflation resistant (available now);
Group pool insurance system that cuts costs by up to 90% across all types;
Locally focused business model promoting resource, financial and community sustainability;
Sustainable buildings that don't require function compromise;
Home automation integration to tie benefits to conservation and community gain;
Business startup financing model that allows businesses to avoid investor corruption (crowd-funding).

Many people before us have done the research to identify very specific and separate steps we can take. For one reason or another, each has failed to storm the market. Listing those reasons out leads to the awareness of what it takes for really good ideas to prosper. For this reason, to be included in this group, those steps all have met a minimum set of standards. They are:

They must provide a solution to people and society without imposing compromise.
They must be attractive economically from the customer point of view and from the proprietor point of view, even in today's market.
They must be uncontested and viable in technology.
They must be available right now.
They must apply to a majority of people.
They must have an appeal beyond the original solution and out to the materialistic world so they can stand strong in 'today's market' atmosphere.
That appeal must be strong enough that they will grow organically without reliance on an advertising campaign or any puppet strings that come from their funding or support.
Most of all, however, each solution step must be something that a few hundred or possibly thousand people can join together to accomplish, placing that 'product' forever in the black to avoid the pitfalls of debt.
They must support a need or group of needs of the people without relying on the global, corporatism, banking structures.
They must be able to be started on the smallest scale they apply to and duplicated to increase market and they should not rely on growing one central factory or business.

Each of these standards has multiple ways that help ensure a solution works. Without them, any number of market forces in place today could stop them in their tracks. If you believe the steps in the documents are incorrect or incomplete, please compare them against each of these standards and then suggest changes. If not, please assist by discussing ways we can complete them.

With all these in place now or nearly so, people can quickly become self sufficient and actually retire on a life savings of LESS than $100k by the age of 30. It frees up capital for handshake loans which further propagates people to avoid the high interest banking scams. It keeps in the community the money normally sent to Wall St., OPEC or D.C. It frees up jobs for the incoming generation. It reduces the power that money holds over people by substituting abundance. Many other social benefits follow, but you get the point. These products and services all have an inherent attraction built in. That makes their creation profitable without succumbing to the perils of investment, advertisement and market manipulation. Each one supports retained wealth by the customers which leads to more equity of wealth distribution. By simply helping to offer these products to the people, we all benefit many times the original donation amounts.

Following this document will be the individual sub-plans for each of the 20 sections in the list.

Interesting. Did you track the progess of this initiative?

Or is there a website?

LOL, yeah right.

I managed the group for a year and couldn't get anyone interested in doing anything beyond daily complaining about problems. When I proposed any action, the crickets deafened me.

The group there is called "Occupy Prosperity" (changed to take advantage of the EARLY OWS movement) and there's a page too that doesn't get used anymore. I personally haven't even visited the group in 6-9 months. Oh, and you can find all the write-ups under 'action plan' in the documents.

Well ..

I believe that any business which sells products or services that help people unplug from the system and become more self sufficient is probably a good one.

I see more and more of those types of businesses springing up, and have no doubt that the smart ones are probably seeing their customer base grow pretty fast.

Same here

Thanks for the vote of confidence. We're all keeping our fingers crossed because the group we formed to implement most of those technologies should be taking off this spring. All in all, I think there's about 16 total companies being started together!


indeed. Same here--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Populism is often as dangerous

I am inclined to think that your logical next step would be to claim that money = power = evil.

Welcome to Blue Republicans and fans of Tarpley / LaRouge from Alex Jones crowd.


Wealth with no accountability and free from risk of failure = evil

You are missing a key piece of the equation here.

"Populism is often as dangerous"

How so? Seems like it would only be dangerous to those in power.

Maybe you should stick to thinking for yourself?

Putting words in my mouth, now thoughts in his brain? Did someone get a memo to go out and accuse people of "populism" today?
Fiat money = usury = evil. You must have been misreading my mind. I don't know what the poster thinks any more than you do.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.