Property and Contract in Economics: The Case for Economic Democracy

This book presents a modern version of the old Labor (or Natural Rights) Theory of Property and of an Inalienable Rights Theory that descends from the Reformation and Enlightenment. Together these theories re-solve the basic problem of distribution in the sense of giving a basis for the just appropriation of property and a basis for answering the question of who is to be the firm, e.g., the suppliers of share capital as in conventional capital, the government as in socialism, or the people who work in the firm as in the system of economic democracy (or labor-managed market economies).

Marxism as a Capitalist Tool

The Great Debate between capitalism and socialism is now in the dustbin of intellectual history, but Marxism still plays an important role in sustaining the misframing of the questions so that the defenders of the present employment system do not have to face the real questions that separate that system from a system of economic democracy. In that sense, Marxism has become the ultimate capitalist tool.

Introduction to Property Theory

This is yet another unpublished paper to introduce property theory to various audiences, particularly economists.

The Market Mechanism of Appropriation

This is a non-mathematical treatment of the fundamental theorem about the laissez faire mechanism for property appropriation.

Hume Implies Locke: Fundamental Theorem of Property Theory

The fundamental theorem for the invisible hand mechanism in the property system is that if Hume’s conditions are satisfied, then the invisible judge imputes in accordance with the Lockean responsibility principle. The paper mathematically formulates and proves the theorem using vector flows on graphs.

On the Role of Capital in “Capitalist” and in Labor-Managed Firms

This paper outlines the “fundamental myth” about the structure of property rights in a capitalist economy, namely the idea that being the residual claimant in a productive opportunity is part of a bundle of property rights known as the “ownership of the firm.” Residual claimancy is contractually determined so there is no such “ownership.” The fundamental myth exposes a basic fallacy in capital theory that has hitherto escaped attention in the capital theory debates. (Reprint from: Review of Radical Political Economics, Winter 2007)

The Democratic Firm: An Argument based on Ordinary Jurisprudence

This is an article in the Journal of Business Ethics treating a more fundamental topic than the usual fare on business ethics.

Zagreb Lecture Slides

These are the slides from a lecture given at the Heinrich Boll Foundation in Zagreb in September 2012.

Property and Contract 1973

This 1973 unpublished typescript was probably the first time my settled views on property theory were put into writing.

Property Appropriation and Theory of the Firm

This is the first of my papers published by Warren Samuels who became a great supporter of this property theoretic analysis.