[ExI] size of polities

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sun Feb 17 23:26:16 UTC 2008

On 18/02/2008, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

> Courts that rule over very large regions containing very
> many people tend to embrace very abstract ideals at the
> cost of local knowledge. A good example is the American
> Supreme Court's boldness in trying to address schoolroom
> conditions all over the vast nation. Why should whatever
> is true about some small school in South Carolina be true
> of a California school in the middle of Los Angeles?

They're that different? And what if one of the school wants to teach
"creation science"? Anyway, the general principle in a federation such
as the US or EU is to allow local autonomy where this is reasonable,
the federal/local balance being a matter for political discussion.
Indeed, some subgroups in Europe such as the Scots and the Welsh
welcomed increased EU power in the expectation that they would have
greater autonomy than they did previously.

> > This usually breaks down when one state attacks another
> > state: the US can do things to foreigners on foreign
> > soil that it would have difficulty doing to its own citizens
> > because there is no world government or world court
> > with any teeth. And I assume a body with such universal
> > jurisdiction and power of enforcement would be a
> > libertarian's worst nightmare.
> Wouldn't it be a bad nightmare for everyone? Imagining
> what our laws would look like with respect to, say, whether
> honor killings can be done in public or not, illustrates very
> well this same problem of trying for "one-size-fits-all" laws.

Who is to adjudicate when there are international disputes?

Stathis Papaioannou

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