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Non-National Company (NNC)

A potentially multi-ledger company, that operates multiple ledgers, not only national.
  [vote for,

We had the term MNC, referring to the Multi-National Corporation, but the today's reality begs for a wider concept. So, what about the term: Non-National Company, meaning what it says: a company as entity defined by a set of ledgers of all kinds that are not strictly properties or instruments of countries or nations, or with at least one non-national ledger.
Inyuki, Dec 16 2020


       It's already reasonably straightforward to do this; just go ahead and act as a company, but don't incorporate or otherwise register. It's not popular, but it is being done. It could also be called a stateless company, or a voluntaryist company.
spidermother, Dec 16 2020

       Really interesting, and likely to happen or has already happened many different way.   


       A thing called an ICO (initial coin offering)? a fancier version of bitcoin would just have published behavior rules, like an LLC, Inc or for that matter a computer program.   

       Another thing that your idea suggests: a nonsentient botnet with an annual report? There are a few varieties of this, among them "Rules Visible" and "Rules Invisible":   

       rules visible: This means that a country charter (corporate formation papers/rules) for a corporation (etc.) makes the rules that company has to go by, visible. You know what they can and cannot do.   

       rules invisible: But a botnet that with an intentional bitcoin ledger "trail" verifiable annual report is doing something, doing it in an orderly way, and continuing to exist, but being countryless it has no published rules (charter).   

       Being nonsentient yet financially productive on the internet the botnet is made up of rules. No charter, but still rules. There is a computer program, it does do something. The botnet's program could be public or private.   

       A countryless botnet with verifiable bitcoin earnings and an annual report that published its source code could have a game theory advantage in that the more people that duplicate it, the better the original botnet does financially. Conveniently I did not figure out how other new botnets copying its behavior makes more money. (Ok I thought f a way) ("thrash").   

       Some other botnet might not publish their source code for duplication because it was irrelevant to earnings.   

       Your idea also is new to me ethically, because I forgot until I read about NNC, that companies fund governments.   

       Its a little new to me the way it is "up the rabbit hole" ethically. Its like a more ethical opposite to anarchism than government. If you want to invest, and you don't want 20-40% of something or other companies may or may not contribute to the government then invest in a published sourcecode botnet with a bitcoin or other cryptocurrency denominated blockchain verifiable annual report.   

       Like seriously, I have heard about ethical people who think all killing is wrong, these same people think all governments kill (who know if they are right), so an earnings form they can invest in, or simply, it being a botnet, duplicate, that shares zero of its financial resources with government could appeal to them.   

       If they were parodies: They would be all in your face like, "did you know "Hiking equipment retailer REI's taxes taxes funded nuclear weapons research? Fab tent Nukemeister!!! Boooo!"   

       And then some people would say, "well hmmm. Perhaps I could put all my retirement funds in Botnets and NNCs,no longer for every dollar I get will I be burdened with the knowledge that 2 cents went to things I wouldn't want done to me."   

       I definitely support ethical action. If I knew what ethical action is I would describe it.   

       That it is possible to be more orderly and less harmful than government, conveniently, without effort, as a sloppy person is new to me. Nonsentient NNC are a new thing to me ethically.
beanangel, Dec 17 2020

       //published behavior rules//   

       How would the rules be enforced?
pertinax, Dec 17 2020

       ^ This comment shows that you have no understanding of how blockchain works. The rules are 'enforced' in the same way that the rules of the code and hardware that the Halfbakery runs on are 'enforced'. They don't need to be 'enforced'. That's kind of the point.
spidermother, Jan 05 2021

       The "Red Mars" novel described "transnational" corporations and global unrest as anti-aging tech made corporate employees immortal and everyone else on Earth increasingly poor. (I don't recommend that novel; too much romance soap opera content for a supposed "science fiction" novel. I liked "Revelation Space" because unlike other novels in this genre it mostly lacks the sappy frivolous romcom that often distracts from the space engineering.)   

       Arguably Baked by companies that use "tax havens" i.e. to take profit only in low-tax countries and declare losses in high-tax countries.
sninctown, Jan 06 2021

       "I'm going to be like 160 and I'm going to be part of this, like, class of immortal overlords." - Sean Parker
spidermother, Jan 06 2021

       //companies fund governments//

Or, alternately, governments create laws to allow companies to operate as companies in exchange for a share of the profits. It's all a matter of perspective.
DrBob, Jan 06 2021

       //a company as entity defined by a set of ledgers of all kinds that are not strictly properties or instruments of countries or nations//

This is pretty much how large companies were operating until fairly recently. For example, in the EU, lots of corporations had their HQ in Ireland (where tax rates were low) & reported their earnings there, even though most of their assets were deployed & activity carried out across the Union. However, governments finally got wise to what was, essentially, a tax avoidance scam (as opposed to a tax evasion scam, which is illegal) & pushed for taxing based on where economic activity was carried out rather than where profits were reported.

Consequently, & in order to avoid being taxed multiple times for the same activity, in the last few years many large multi-nationals have moved to an organisational & accounting model that clearly defines what activities are carried out in each country in order to protect themselves from the piranha-like shoal of governments that were queuing up to start chomping away at their income. So the opposite of what you are proposing.
DrBob, Jan 06 2021

       //governments create laws to allow companies to operate as companies in exchange for a share of the profits//   

       Alternatively, 'non-national company' is kind of like calling zoology the study of 'non-elephant animals'.   

       'Company' is a fairly straightforward concept; it literally means bread-together, and has only recently accreted baggage related to 'government' and 'nation' and political 'laws'.   

       The laws of trade evolved organically, as people noticed what worked and what didn't; recent involvement by 'government' (more correctly, 'states') is more a process of capture than creation.   

       Non-national trading companies existed as early as (and practically defined) the bronze age; the modern concept of the nation-state is only a few hundred years old; and the elements that are often taken for granted as defining modern 'companies' have only been in place since roughly the 1930s.   

       Not to mention that in reality, 'governments' don't create anything, because they are not real things; people create things, 'governments' are just fictions. It may seem like a petty distinction, but I don't think it is. It's a sign of dangerous, cult-like thinking to treat organisational labels - D.B.A.s - as if they were as real as, or more real than, the physical world.
spidermother, Jan 06 2021

       Can you provide an example of a non- national trading company that defined the bronze age, [spidermother]?
pertinax, Jan 06 2021

       I think the problem is that we use words in entirely different ways ...   

       Tin deposits were separated from copper deposits. Tin and copper were brought together to make bronze. Sea voyages were involved. Ships require, among other things, a company of sailors. People don't do these things for nothing; they do them to exchange goods and services. It's called trade. And they don't do them alone; they form groups. It's called company. An instance of this is called a company. As in, we formed a company to go and pick mushrooms. Companies formed for the purpose of trading. Trading companies. This isn't rocket science.   

       I never said anything about 'a non- national trading company that defined the bronze age'. I said 'Non-national trading companies existed as early as (and practically defined) the bronze age'. Note the plural. Stop putting words in my mouth; it practically defines you as an arsehole.   

       Just in case it isn't obvious how stupid [Pertinax]'s comment is, try this:   

       'The knapped flint arrowhead was the height of technology at the time, and practically defined the stone age.'   

       'Can you provide an example of a knapped flint arrowhead that defined the stoneage?'   

       [Pertinax], you don't have to like or accept anything I have to say; but for once, either agree to disagree, or try arguing like a man, and deal with what I do say, instead of twisting my words like a lawyer or a child-molester.
spidermother, Jan 06 2021

       //'Can you provide an example of a knapped flint arrowhead that defined the stoneage?'//   

       Yes, I can. I can go to a museum, point to a knapped flint arrowhead, and say "there are many arrowheads like this one and, between them, they practically defined the stoneage".   

       It's harder to do this with a non- national trading company of the bronze age because, to do so, you have to show not only that trade happened and that people were involved in it but also that the companies carrying on that trade were operating substantially outside the jurisdiction of any political entity.   

       There's evidence at least as early as the iron age of political entities levying taxes on passing traders, and also applying laws to them, and I would be surprised if their predecessors in the bronze age did not behave similarly. The main difference on this point between bronze age and iron age is there's less contemporary written evidence of what was happening in the bronze age. Maybe an egyptologist or an assyriologist who has read all the clay tablets could tell us "of course, there was no regulation of merchants back then", but I would be surprised. Hence my question.   

       I'm not sure how this makes me like a paedophile, but maybe I'm missing something.
pertinax, Jan 06 2021

       //or a child-molester//

That's completely out of order. I suggest that you apologise & withdraw it.
DrBob, Jan 06 2021

       //People don't do these things for nothing; they do them to exchange goods and services//   

       Services like "not being beaten". Slavery is massively under-recognized as a factor in early human economical output.
Voice, Jan 06 2021

       //maybe I'm missing something.//   

       Honesty, respect, principles, a clue, an argument ...   

       [pertinax], the issue I am placing on the table, for the third time, is this:   

spidermother, Jan 06 2021

       Step away from the caps lock.   

       I am not putting words into your mouth. What I am doing is asking questions and (in some cases) offering paraphrases. Now, those paraphrases may represent a misunderstanding, on my part, of your view. In that case, you can explain where the paraphrase is wrong, and I can learn something. Alternatively, it may be that my paraphrase is valid, and points to some flaw in your view, in which case, you can learn something. Either way, someone learns something.   

       This process is not some kind of personal violation. It's just dialog. There's a difference.
pertinax, Jan 07 2021

       I've had about five different annotations typed out and (mercifully) discarded on this this idea, as I realised that they were for the most part addressing annotations, rather than the idea itself. I am pretty sure that this is because I don't understand the idea. I have one initial question, the answer to which will beget others question about the idea: is "ledger" here meaning accounting records? That is, balance sheet and P&L? I maintain that this second question is actually part of the first question, so my statement about having a single question remains true.
calum, Jan 08 2021

       Good question. Ledgers are always created for an accounting purpose of some kind, although that does not necessarily have to be for financial accounting.

So, for example, a "multi-national" company operating in the UK would have a ledger set up to comply with UK accounting regulations in order to properly report its Balance Sheet & P&L for the purpose of, in the final analysis, justifying its payment or non-payment of taxes to the relevant authority & correctly reporting its current financial standing to investors, potential investors & regulatory bodies*.

It would also have a parallel ledger set up in its "home" country (i.e. where its HQ is officially registered) which would translate those same transactions to comply with their own domestic accounting regulations & currency value for compliance purposes (e.g. the USA has some particularly stringent requirements regarding balance sheet reporting** that were put in place in the wake of the Enron & WorldCorp collapses).

I've also set up & run parallel ledgers in the UK where a change in accounting regulations was scheduled to occur***. So that current year transactions could be reported in both formats, once the new regulations came into force, for purposes of on-going comparisons.

I've worked a lot with ledgers & now, finally, all those years of slogging away on sheets of analysis paper & computer spreadsheets has all paid off because I can bore you all to tears with my tremendously interesting accounting knowledge. Go on, ask me another! ;)

* For any potential investors/dis-investors, it's important to note that these figures are always reported in arrears, so it is a good idea to investigate the current situation before making an investment decision. Past results are no guide, etc. For anybody froma regulatory body reading this; yes, you are supposed to actually monitor this sort of thing.

** Sarbanes-Oxley Act for anyone interested enough to read up on it.

***For the information of fellow accountants, this was for the changeover from UK GAAP to IFRS.
DrBob, Jan 08 2021

       I did very much want to leave the annotation of our resident accountant dangling there, tumbleweeds gathering in its windward crevices, a reminder - a warning - to all those who bring up UK GAAP and IFRS in otherwise polite conversation. But then I had a couple of uppers and I'm raring to tackle what I consider to the the issues with the idea and with some of the annotations.   

       The first issue is - what is this idea for? It can't be to allow the for corporate ownership of property (used in the widest sense) in a given nation state, because that's already allowed. In any event, even though there are some exceptions to this general principle (e.g. foreign ownership of a retail business in Indonesia) but the existence of the NNC form doesn't resolve the issue of nations imposing such restrictions anyway.   

       So, why do you want to avoid tethering your financial records to those of a give country? I think, though I may be wrong, that this is an accounting version of the Sovereign Citizen movement, a means by which assets can be held outside the grasp of governmental regulation or taxation. Is that right?   

       //It's already reasonably straightforward to do this; just go ahead and act as a company, but don't incorporate or otherwise register. It's not popular, but it is being done. It could also be called a stateless company, or a voluntaryist company.//
Not incorporating is not the same as the NNC. Yes, there is no need to file accounts, but the principle advantage (that I have assumed) this idea is intended to provide - specifically, that the NNC is free from national compliance and taxation regimes - doesn't apply here. Of course, I could be wrong that this is the intent of the idea. If I am, what is the intent of the idea?

       pertinax: //How would the rules be enforced?//
spidermother: //^ This comment shows that you have no understanding of how blockchain works.//
I am not sure that spidermother's contention here is correct but even if it is correct, it is not relevant to pertinax's point. My reading of spidermother's contention is that the "rules" need be executed, rather than enforced. Execution and enforcement both require interpretation. For blockchain enabled implementations, the interpretation is IF THEN. For enforcement outside of the scope of the blockchain enabled implementations, the interpretation is IF THEN HANG ON WHATABOUT. How can you enforce transfer of possession of a physical asset without the means to enforce control of possession? Without, when you boil it down, the beefhanded goons of the police (freelance or otherwise)?

       For incorporeal assets the implementation of blockchain controlled ownership is theoretically possible, I think. But it would require the encoding of an entire system of law in a way that can be interpreted, executed *and* enforced automatically. Currently, the sensible interpretation of law is beyond the finest legal minds across the globe. I am not sure that the comp sci grads of this world are better placed to do this.
calum, Jan 15 2021

       Bah! Curse you calum! I had mentally constructed an anno about tumbleweeds to post on this idea in 6 months time, confident that the mere mention of complex & tedious accounting regulations would discourage any further annotations.

And, to make it worse, you've gone & mentioned crevices, which is bound to stir up unnecessary excitment.
DrBob, Jan 15 2021

       //Sarbanes-Oxley Act//   

       I remember that; it triggered a small up-tick in the demand for "business intelligence" software and services, as various organisations asked themselves "Wait - do we even *have* that information?"
pertinax, Jan 16 2021


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