Competitive dictatorship is the mechanism we routinely use to control hotels and restaurants; the customers have no vote on what color the walls are painted or what is on the menu, but an absolute vote on which one they patronize.They do encounter the same problem as the Gypsies: can you just commit a crime, then accept your ostracism and integrate with another society somewhere else?living scattered in foreign countries have generally wanted to run their own communities by their own rules.Nothing stops some of them from calling themselves a “legislature” or a “court” and claiming to make laws or pass sentences.The Amish have some internal mechanisms to prevent this: congregations are usually on good terms with each other, but if Congregation A accepts a member being shunned by Congregation B, then all of Congregation B’s members will shun all of Congregation A’s members.In practice, this makes it easy to switch rules as a member in good standing who honestly doesn’t like the laws, but hard to break the laws and get away with it.But something does stop them from trying to enforce them: from the State’s point of view, a “court” that executes an offender is just a bunch of Gypsies who got together and committed murder.
This makes it a rare remaining example of a polycentric legal system outside anarcho-capitalist fantasies or Too Like The Lightning: Such a system can be viewed as a competitive market for legal rules, constrained, like other competitive markets, to produce about the product that the customers want.The exotic anarcho-capitalist part comes in as English civil society creates its own structures to work around these limitations.Merchants, landowners, and other people with wealth banded together in mutual-protection-insurance-groups.Somali judges compete on the free market; those who give bad verdicts get a reputation that drives away future customers. Legal Systems Very Different From Ours, by anarcho-capitalist/legal scholar/medieval history buff David Friedman, successfully combines the author’s three special interests into a whirlwind tour of exotic law. Crime victims have little economic incentive to punish the perpetrator; if you burn my house down, jailing you won’t un-burn the house.“Anarcho-capitalism” evokes a dystopian cyberpunk future. If you steal my gold, I have some interest in catching you and taking it back, but no more than I do in catching some other poor shmuck and taking his gold.Everyone in the group would pay a fixed amount yearly, and if one of them got robbed the group would use the money to hire a prosecutor to try the criminal.Group members would publish their names in the newspaper to help inform thieves whom it was a bad idea to rob.The gypsy view of gaije, reinforced by the gaije view of gypsies as uneducated and illiterate thieves and swindlers, eliminates the exit option and so empowers the kris to enforce gypsy law by the threat of exclusion from the only tolerable human society.This reminds me of The Use And Abuse Of Witchdoctors For Life: once your culture has a weird superstition, it can get plugged into various social needs to become a load-bearing part of the community structure.And since non-Gypsies are polluted by default, the possibility of ostracism and forced integration into non-Gypsy society will seem intolerable: The effectiveness of that threat [of ostracism] depends on how easily the exiled gypsy can function outside of his community.The marimé rules (and similar rules in other societies) provide a mechanism for isolating the members of the community.