[ExI] Critarchy

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Wed Apr 23 14:07:02 UTC 2008

On Mon, Apr 21, 2008 at 8:40 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 20/04/2008, Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> wrote:
>  >  > I don't see how you could allow courts without allowing everything
>  >  > else that you don't like about government.
>  >
>  >  ### Too little time to address this very interesting issue at length
>  >  (I am on call and consults are piling up) but I would suggest you
>  >  investigate "critarchy". You will find some references on the web.
>  The web references (most spell it with a "k") often refer to Somalia.
>  I must admit, it is exciting if such an impoverished, war-damaged
>  country can make a go of anarchism:
>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchy_in_Somalia
>  And from the Wikipedia article on Kritarchy:
>  "Under kritarchy even courts of law, police forces and other
>  organizations that look after the day-to-day business of maintaining
>  law, are denied any power, privilege or immunity that is not in
>  conformity with natural law.
>   (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kritarchy)
>  That all sounds fine, but it begs the question, who decides what is
>  natural law and what if I don't agree with the decision?
### I think that the Wikipedia puts too much emphasis on the natural
rights aspect of critarchy (or kritarchy). For me the main issue is
segmentation, the fact that separate legal systems (subnetworks) exist
in the same area, and are easily accessible. This is similar to having
a number of different news/information channels available to you: word
of mouth, terrestrial phone, cell phone, TV, cable TV, satellite
phone, internet, newspapers, paging network, CB radio, ham radio...
the list goes on. If you have so many independent networks, they can
partially substitute for each other, behaving like a large network
while maintaining high reliability - but only as long as the
subnetworks are truly independent. In this situation a networked mode
of failure does not propagate to other subnetworks, and you still have
access to information even if major disturbances occur.

If you have the choice of various providers of the law, you are much
less likely to become a victim of the law (and of course you will be
less able to victimize others by supporting a law). If you don't agree
with you current judge's decision about a case, you fire the judge,
thus making sure that his decisions will not affect you if you are
directly involved in a similar case. The "natural law" of critarchy
would be something that emerges from the daily interactions of judges
and their clients, and of course would not be the Platonic ideal set
in stone as envisioned by many conservatives.


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