What would happen if for profit companies were outlawed?

You know they are annoying: Companies trying to maximize their profits and sacrificing everything else in the process: Their employees, the environment, the quality of their products, the quality of their service, their social engagement, real progress, and so on. What if we simply outlawed having the maximization of profits as company goal? I mean, there are a lot of problems caused by the legal status of that goal: Shareholders can enforce certain company policies by referring to the necessity to maximize profits. That’s really abhorrent and it’s not even making the companies any better.

I’m not saying that companies shouldn’t make profits. That would be too radical. I’m just saying they should not be allowed to have the maximization of profits as primary goal. Companies should have a mission. And this mission should be more important than the goal of making profits.

Of course, it would be entirely reasonable to assume that such a change in law wouldn’t change the actual behaviour of companies. But perhaps it might. Instead of shareholders enforcing company policies that are aimed at maximizing profits, stakeholders could sue the company for sacrificing their official mission for increased profits. That might revert the current dynamics within corporations. Or it might not.

Anyway, what do you think about that idea / thought experiment? What would really happen?


"What would happen if for profit companies were outlawed?"
It would come a time to adapt, businessmen would be disoriented first, but then the world would realize that money is just an intermediary for real things, and the question would quickly shift to “what is the true wealth people deserve for their job”. It would be a short time thou, some people are callous and would strife to maintain the idea that “they deserve more than everyone”.

This system in which we currently live gives more to certain kind of people who are on the fringe of legality, and I am not even mention how the biggest banks do money, but lets talk about basic things. Do you know that food is actually throw into the ocean if the cargo ship near the port is informed than prices are too low for the commodity? Did you knew that in Japan the food was designed to be throw into garbage even when is edible for longer? Did you knew that many farms in Europe were paid to not produce food to keep prices?

It makes you think isn’t?

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That’s a hard question. I think the minimum that people deserve are the basic physical and psychological necessities to do a good job. Above that, people should be rewarded for doing hard work, or useful work, or creative work, or social work. How this reward looks like and how it is distributed can depend from case to case. I think it’s good if the system is flexible, rather than insisting on rigid structures.

I’ve heard about some of these things, but not all of them. They are sure absurdities of the current capitalist system. It produces too much in one area and too little in other regions, and there’s no good mechanism for creating a global balance, because there’s also a severe imbalance in the distribution of money. Someone should find a good solution for that :smiley:

Yes, we need System X, a better system that doesn’t have all the terrible “bugs” and deficiencies of the current one. System X should provide at least the same wealth that our current system does. System X is not “socialism”, it’s intelligent economics.

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Yes, that is something we need instead of unknown rules like we have in the current society.

One thing we first need to get is how to sustain its participants before completely replace the system. In this way we prove the feasibility from the beginning and attract more users. I am talking on gaining wealth from the start.

By relating to redistribution, socialism is what you should see as the first stone for UBI. And socialism is not communism, one is about equitable distribution, and the other was supposed to be flat line distribution (the same wealth for all, not matter what). I know the mainstream have been harsh on socialism, mainly because “is what cool people think”, but if we lose this concept we might let go a philosophy alternative to the current though system. Plus, it has points with me for anarchy being called “libertarian socialism”.

Sure, that should be a minimum requirement for any new radical economic system. If it can’t sustain its early adopters, it’s no good. Empiricism will tell us which systems fail and which prevail.

It’s interesting to define socialism and communism in terms of the distribution of wealth. But that definition can clash with the standard definition of socialism by public ownership of the means of production. I find that old terms like capitalism and socialism are highly problematic, because there are so many different definitions of both of them that any discussion of those systems will be riddled with misunderstandings. That’s why I prefer new terms like “System X” which first have to be defined, explained, and actually invented. Also, people tend to have pretty nasty prejudices about terms like “capitalism” or “socialism” or “communism” or “anarchism” or “libertarianism”.

Anyway, I recently talked with someone in Facebook who claimed to be a “libertarian communist”. That’s an oxymoronic combination of terms I haven’t heard, yet. But it’s very effective for raising questions and curiosity :smiley:

There is already a legal solution available in the U.S., the ‘Benefit Corporation’


Yes, I’ve read about those new “Benefit Corporations”. They are a really good idea! My original thought about this topic was more in the line of “what if all corporations were required to be Benefit Corporations or non-profit enterprises?”

But there’s also a more moderate question: “What if we had much more Benefit Corporations?” How would that change our world?

Kind of, it stills seeks profit. Looking for profits while at the same time looking to benefit society can produce some errs. Surely mostly comes from extreme examples, but I can think of a couple scenarios.

Lets not wait too long. Remember when I suggested to create a foundation? Guess what I was thinking.

At the core, distribution is the problem. Ownership and wealth are subsets of distribution, which reveals what we need in a System X.

Not for them is not an oxymoron. That is why we need a mechanism to go deeper on our understanding, to go deep into which ideas they base other ideas.

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