It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by FrenchOsage
I don't want to derail this thread. I know there isn't a lot of information available to those who choose to study pre-genocide North American Indians. Tragic as that is, I worry many view them though a "Hollywood" lens and others through an equally false "New Age" lens.
What do Anarchists really bring to the table?
It's a nice idea in principle, but it's totally unworkable in reality. People who genuinely believe in it as a plausible, efficient system to run a society, tend to be rather naive and seemingly oblivious to the world around them.
For a New Liberty
12 The Public Sector, III: Police, Law, and the Courts
The most remarkable historical example of a society of libertarian law and courts, however, has been neglected by historians until very recently. And this was also a society where not only the courts and the law were largely libertarian, but where they operated within a purely state-less and libertarian society. This was ancient IrelandÑan Ireland which persisted in this libertarian path for roughly a thousand years until its brutal conquest by England in the seventeenth century. And, in contrast to many similarly functioning primitive tribes (such as the Ibos in West Africa, and many European tribes), preconquest Ireland was not in any sense a "primitive" society: it was a highly complex society that was, for centuries, the most advanced, most scholarly, and most civilized in all of Western Europe.
For a thousand years, then, ancient Celtic Ireland had no State or anything like it. As the leading authority on ancient Irish law has written:
'There was no legislature, no bailiffs, no police, no public enforcement of justiceÉ. There was no trace of State-administered justice.'
How then was justice secured? The basic political unit of ancient Ireland was the tuath. All 'freemen' who owned land, all professionals, and all craftsmen, were entitled to become members of a tuath. Each tuath's members formed an annual assembly which decided all common policies, declared war or peace on other tuatha, and elected or deposed their 'kings.' An important point is that, in contrast to primitive tribes, no one was stuck or bound to a given tuath, either because of kinship or of geographical location. Individual members were free to, and often did, secede from atuath and join a competing tuath. Often, two or more tuatha decided to merge into a single, more efficient unit. As Professor Peden states, 'the tuath is thus a body of persons voluntarily united for socially beneficial purposes and the sum total of the landed properties of its members constituted its territorial dimension.' In short, they did not have the modern State with its claim to sovereignty over a given (usually expanding) territorial area, divorced from the landed property rights of its subjects; on the contrary, tuatha were voluntary associations which only comprised the landed properties of its voluntary members. Historically, about 80 to 100 tuatha coexisted at any time throughout Ireland.
But what of the elected 'king'? Did he constitute a form of State ruler? Chiefly, the king functioned as a religious high priest, presiding over the worship rites of the tuath, which functioned as a voluntary religious, as well as a social and political, organization. As in pagan, pre-Christian, priesthoods, the kingly function was hereditary, this practice carrying over to Christian times. The king was elected by the tuath from within a royal kin-group (the derbfine), which carried the hereditary priestly function. Politically, however, the king had strictly limited functions: he was the military leader of the tuath, and he presided over the tuath assemblies. But he could only conduct war or peace negotiations as agent of the assemblies; and he was in no sense sovereign and had no rights of administering justice over tuath members. He could not legislate, and when he himself was party to a lawsuit, he had to submit his case to an independent judicial arbiter.
Again, how, then, was law developed and justice maintained? In the first place, the law itself was based on a body of ancient and immemorial custom, passed down as oral and then written tradition through a class of professional jurists called the brehons. The brehons were in no sense public, or governmental, officials; they were simply selected by parties to disputes on the basis of their reputations for wisdom, knowledge of the customary law, and the integrity of their decisions. As Professor Peden states:
É the professional jurists were consulted by parties to disputes for advice as to what the law was in particular cases, and these same men often acted as arbitrators between suitors. They remained at all times private persons, not public officials; their functioning depended upon their knowledge of the law and the integrity of their judicial reputations.
Furthermore, the brehons had no connection whatsoever with the individual tuatha or with their kings. They were completely private, national in scope, and were used by disputants throughout Ireland. Moreover, and this is a vital point, in contrast to the system of private Roman lawyers, the brehon was all there was; there were no other judges, no 'public' judges of any kind, in ancient Ireland.
It was the brehons who were schooled in the law, and who added glosses and applications to the law to fit changing conditions. Furthermore, there was no monopoly, in any sense, of the brehon jurists; instead, several competing schools of jurisprudence existed and competed for the custom of the Irish people. How were the decisions of the brehons enforced? Through an elaborate, voluntarily developed system of 'insurance,' or sureties. Men were linked together by a variety of surety relationships by which they guaran?teed one another for the righting of wrongs, and for the enforcement of justice and the decisions of the brehons. In short, the brehons themselves were not involved in the enforcement of decisions, which rested again with private individuals linked through sureties. There were various types of surety. For example, the surety would guarantee with his own property the payment of a debt, and then join the plaintiff in enforcing a debt judgment if the debtor refused to pay. In that case, the debtor would have to pay double damages: one to the original cred?itor, and another as compensation to his surety. And this system applied to all offences, aggressions and assaults as well as commercial contracts; in short, it applied to all cases of what we would call 'civil' and 'criminal' law. All criminals were considered to be 'debtors' who owed restitution and compensation to their victims, who thus became their 'creditors.' The victim would gather his sureties around him and pro?ceed to apprehend the criminal or to proclaim his suit publicly and demand that the defendant submit to adjudication of their dispute with the brehons. The criminal might then send his own sureties to negotiate a settlement or agree to submit the dispute to the brehons. If he did not do so, he was considered an 'outlaw' by the entire community; he could no longer enforce any claim of his own in the courts, and he was treated to the opprobrium of the entire community.
There were occasional 'wars,' to be sure, in the thousand years of Celtic Ireland, but they were minor brawls, negligible compared to the devastating wars that racked the rest of Europe. As Professor Peden points out,
'without the coercive apparatus of the State which can through taxation and conscription mobilize large amounts of arms and manpower, the Irish were unable to sustain any large scale military force in the field for any length of time. Irish wars were pitiful brawls and cattle raids by European standards.
The early history of Iceland thus gives us a well-recorded picture of the workings of particularly pure forms of private enforcement and creation of law, and of the interaction between the two. Such a picture is especially interesting because elements of both have existed, and continue to exist, in many other societies, including our own.
There are three questions in the economics of law which I believe this history may illuminate. The first is the feasibility of private enforcement. The second is the question of whether political institutions can and do generate "efficient" law. The third is the question of what laws are in fact efficient. All three involve formidable theoretical difficulties; in the body of this paper I limit myself to sketching the arguments, describing how the Icelandic institutions worked, and attempting to draw some tentative conclusions. Appendix A gives some numerical information on the scale of punishments in Iceland, and Appendix B suggests how the Icelandic system might be adapted to modern society.
Second, medieval Icelandic institutions have several peculiar and interesting characteristics; they might almost have been invented by a mad economist to test the lengths to which market systems could supplant government in its most fundamental functions. Killing was a civil offense resulting in a fine paid to the survivors of the victim. Laws were made by a "parliament," seats in which were a marketable commodity. Enforcement of law was entirely a private affair. And yet these extraordinary institutions survived for over three hundred years, and the society in which they survived appears to have been in many ways an attractive one . Its citizens were, by medieval standards, free; differences in status based on rank or sex were relatively small; and its literary, output in relation to its size has been compared, with some justice, to that of Athens.
Medieval Iceland, however, presents institutions of private enforcement of law in a purer form than any other well-recorded society of which I am aware. Even early Roman law recognized the existence of crimes, offenses against society rather than against any individual, and dealt with them, in effect, by using the legislature as a special court.  Under Anglo-Saxon law killing was an offense against the victim's family, his lord, and the lord of the place whose peace had been broken; wergeld was paid to the family, manbote to the crown, and fightwite to the respective lords.  British thief-takers in the eighteenth century were motivated by a public reward of [[sterling]] 40 per thief. All of these systems involved some combination of private and public enforcement. The Icelandic system developed without any central authority comparable to the Anglo-Saxon king; as a result, even where the Icelandic legal system recognized an essentially "public" offense, it dealt with it by giving some individual (in some cases chosen by lot from those affected) the right to pursue the case and collect the resulting fine, thus fitting it into an essentially private system.
Originally posted by spyder550
Originally posted by Tephra
Thanks for winning the most ignorant post of the month.
You can't really be serious, anarchists believe in total freedom, self reliance, hard work, and just about every other great quality that our founders believed in.
With one small difference, our founders felt that a small government was still necessary, whereas an anarchist believes it isn't.
Get a grip, anarchists don't want to destroy shops, flip cars, and rob. They want a world without government telling them how to live, eat, and raise their children.
Read more, watch less FOX.
Vandals aren't anarchists, they are vandals. Big difference guy.
edit on 12-6-2011 by Tephra because: (no reason given)
Anarchists choose to destroy the government -- how is that not vandalism. Somalia is an anarchy just how is that working out ?
Originally posted by Revolution9
reply to post by TDawgRex
Anarchy is just law of the jungle, the rule of brute force; whoever is biggest gets to win! The way of a beast!
Originally posted by squirelnutz
reply to post by liejunkie01
Thats not anarchy.. thats extreme Chaos
This thread has some of the most ignorant posts i have ever read..