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The only "legal" cooperation is corporation - it feels like no one else is allowed to take care of own interests in a coordinated matter
Well, I've been thinking that the credit card companies ability to raise our rates because of some late payment on some other loan consitutes a kind of inter-corporate collusion, that feels illegal to me, and yet apparetly it is perfectly legal right now. The fact that Congress is apparently trying to modify this power that the banks now have seems a kind of proof that it is at least immoral.
Your points about free-rider problems are very interesting, especially at the end. A free-rider may be in the eye of the beholder, and a producer today is a free-rider tomorrow, and vice versa. This so-called problem may be a manifestation of the universal belief that one is overworked and underpaid.
Yes, I believe the rule of law, the "limited government" concept has to be intended to reign in (oooh, pun there) the rulers, the elites and their friends at the banks. I wonder where the culture of reciprocity fits in with this because it seems that a culture of reciprocity--I'll buy this round, you get the next--goes nicely with a powerful elite for those who are at the bottom, as well as for those at the top. As long as you know your place and you hang out with those who are your equals. The culture of reciprocity works nicely in a farming community (or so I've read) where I help you raise your barn and you help me cut the hay fields. Who are the free-riders in these cases? Does it matter if the man with the broken leg and the three orphans who can't do any work get to sit down to supper at the end of the day anyway?
Does rule of law mean interject taxes into the culture of reciprocity--one for you, one for me, and one for "the people?"
Rule of law and government of, by and for the people would seem to replace an elite-defined relationship between classes of unequals, of deference and condescension. In the US example, historically, the revolution was not only political--no king, no titles, but also social--no more bowing and scraping (of course there is the view that the institution of slavery seriously complicates this because while whites were all "equal" now, they were still more equal than some. Equal can mean equally low or equally high, of course, and the Euro-Americans apparently preferred to see themselves as equally elevated, nevermind the whole history of "whiteness.") Clearly operating as equally one of the people is difficult for those who would rather just seize power, especially if they have the means, motivation and opportunity to do so. This idea that a government of the people by the people and for the people could work seems optimistic. Perhaps it can't work without optimism. Sprinkle me with fairy dust. I know I can fly.
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