In corporations, the stockholders "own" the corporation. If you have your own business, you pretty much do whatever you like with the business.
However, if you're a manager working for a business, you are not free to uses the business money. You're an "agent", and the owners of the business is the "principal".
Both managers and owners have "power" of the business.
However, the manager "supposedly" manage the business for the benefit of owners or principals. Bribing a manager is an issue. Bribing a business owner is not.
If I come to a business owner and say, buy my widget instead and I'll give you 20% cashback/discount, that's just regular business deal. If I go to his manager and said, buy widget and I give you 20% cash. That's bribery.
An agent taking money from business to his own pocket is stealing.
At least, that's the impression I get.
Now, who owns a country country?
Am I correct to say that in democratic countries, the people "own" the country?
Has this ever been "formalized"?
Does everyone have equal share? Or what?
I know some constitution says that the "ultimate power" belongs to the people. However, nowhere does in my constitution say that the people "own" the country.
If the people do not own the country, why do we have corruption laws? What is wrong with a president using his power to get kickbacks and some voting bloc using his voting power to get welfare?
The latter is considered legitimate but the former is corruption. Both are using their powah to get something that benefit them.
Are there any philosophy or constitution or laws in country that more clearly define who "owns" a country?
Can countries/states be owned by somebody like corporations?
In the past, do king consider themselves as "owners" of a country? What about feudal lords below the king? Nowadays, are democracies "owned" by the people?
Possible benefits of clearly defining ownership for a state
- Things like going IPO. A poor country can quickly get money and better government (2 things poor countries usually lack) if the state have owners.
- If the states have owners, then citizenship/shareholdership can be bought and sold. Hence, citizenship will have monetary valuation.
- The people can see how well the state is run by looking at the monetary valuation of their citizenship. A lot of people wanting to move to the state means valuation of citizenship will go up.
- Some rent seeking can then be done to benefit legitimate owners of the state rather than corrupt officials that happen to be in power.
- Only investors willing to pay money, instead of immigrants, have a say in politic. This will solve many problems democracies have like "do immigrants share our value?"
- Most states acquire power and regions by invading or coup or war. Proper recognition of ownership may encourage state actors to peacefully buy and sell power and regions instead.
I understand that no states I know recognize ownership like the above. However, are there any philosophies or taught that revolve around seeing that somebody, citizens, kings, as legitimate owners of the state?