Medieval Icelandic crime victims would sell the right to pursue a perpetrator to the highest bidder.18th century English justice replaced fines with criminals bribing prosecutors to drop cases. Maybe a state-run legal system isn’t a fact of nature, but a historical oddity as contingent as collectivized farming or nationalized railroads.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.

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It’s only society as a whole that wants to make sure criminals are reliably punished and the innocent consistently safe.

This is the classic situation where economists usually recommend government intervention. Maybe you live in an area like Somalia or medieval Ireland without a strong centralized government.

also live under the authority of a foreign culture and have settled on a similar system, with a twist.

The basic unit of Amish society is the church congregation; Amish settlements big enough to support multiple churches will have many congregations mixed together.

Amish people who refuse to abide by lesser punishments are excommunicated, though they can be un-excommunicated if they change their minds and agree to follow the court’s orders.

Amish congregations are nominally democratic, but in practice Friedman calls them dictatorship-like because everyone votes the way the bishop wants.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.Maybe you live in a strato-klepto-kakocracy run by warlords who can’t even pronounce “jurisprudence”, let alone enforce it.Maybe you’re a despised minority group whom the State wants nothing to do with, or who wants nothing to do with the State.Prosecuting took a lot of time and money and was generally a thankless task.