View Full Version : When will Paulites realize that "more freedom" does not necessarily equal "more good?"

02-10-2015, 03:49 AM
Look at Somalia: a perfect representation of the libertarian fantasy.

02-10-2015, 04:26 AM
Look at Somalia: a perfect representation of the libertarian fantasy.

Youre right. The US has usurped the Freedom to start wars and create total chaos.

There is a precarious balance between too much freedom and too little freedom. Its part of the problem with the Republican Democratic Paradigm. Both are for bigger government, but not less government. The Essense of Freedom is the Proper Limitation of Government. Balance. TJ once said "I would prefer dangerous freedom than peaceful slavery", and we are bordering on slavery as it is.

The fantasy is that our Govt has not provoked the conflict through propoganda and subversively arming both sides after ruining their finances.

02-10-2015, 04:48 AM
Somalia has more warlords per capita, each with their own lengthy and arbitrary list of laws, statutes, and ordinances, than any other nation on the planet has rulers. It's pretty much the dead opposite of 'libertarian.'

02-10-2015, 05:03 AM
Somalia: the ever-consistent ignorant-statist-detector.

Next thing you know, these same derps will be telling us how Iraq is an example of "too much freedom."

02-10-2015, 06:02 AM
If a user gets enough neg rep will he be banned? :)

02-10-2015, 06:23 AM
Look at Somalia: a perfect representation of the libertarian fantasy.

Your ideal world is that is a world that is through completyel in Total Chaos which is extaly what you Americans are doing right now in Ukraine and elsewhere even as you go by blaming others for ur own mess that for the chaos that you have self created.

At least to be fair, Yusgalavia and Libya had a better system of freedoms in which you wouldn't be criticized for it as you will be in the west.

02-10-2015, 06:24 AM

02-10-2015, 06:34 AM
Look at Somalia: a perfect representation of the libertarian fantasy.

Some interesting statistics:
LINK (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ)

02-10-2015, 06:47 AM
56ktarget is off the scale.

02-10-2015, 07:05 AM
Look at Somalia: a perfect representation of the libertarian fantasy.

Go ahead folks, feed the troll and make fools of yourselves.


Working Poor
02-10-2015, 07:12 AM
Look at Somalia: a perfect representation of the libertarian fantasy.

Who told you that? I am not going to neg rep you because I don't do that but Somalia is not the libertarian dream come true.

02-10-2015, 07:34 AM
Go ahead folks, feed the troll and make fools of yourselves.


Screw you I like feeding trolls. I consider them my internet pets.

02-10-2015, 07:46 AM
Somalia: a failed socialist state, not a 'Libertarian Paradise'

January 29, 2014 4:01 PM MST

http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_large/hash/62/a2/62a24cf7397cd6712e6abbce4b762d5c.jpg?itok=9qOxVZ_I Play

Some people, eager to publically display their utter ignorance of libertarianism, say things like, "If libertarians hate government (http://www.examiner.com/government) so much they should move to Somalia (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081119124122AASC5rU)."

First, government-worshipping people misunderstand why libertarians hate government.

It's because governments are criminal enterprises.

All governments are creatures of a ruling class. The rulers stake ownership claims over a geographical area and demand everyone in that area pay them tribute, typically in the form of taxes. This makes them different only in style from neighborhood gangs in major cities worldwide, "Narco-States" in Central America (http://www.insightcrime.org/news-analysis/northern-triangle-countries-dangerously-close-to-becoming-narco-states) (created in response to the lucrative opportunities made possible by America's ruling class "War on Drugs"), and Mafia.
Second, it's true that Somalia (http://www.examiner.com/topic/somalia) doesn't have "a" government only because it has many of governments.
In 1991 the Somali government officially recognized by other ruling class governments was run out of business following a civil war. It had been a vicious military dictatorship controlled by the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/553871/Somali-Revolutionary-Socialist-Party). (Sorry socialism (http://www.examiner.com/topic/socialism) lovers, Somalia is a failed socialist state.)

The wannabe United Nations World Government tried twice to forcibly impose ruling class governments on Somalia, first in 2000 and again in 2012. The first failed miserably and the second is still failing.
During that entire time Somalia has been run by the "unrecognized" break-away nation of Somaliland (http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/10/30/uk-africa-oil-somaliland-idUKBRE89T0WV20121030) and by "More than 20 separate new ministates," clan enclaves and cantons (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/10/world/africa/10somalia.html?pagewanted=all).

Whether "unrecognized" or run by warlords, these governments operate just as every other government in the world operates; they exist by collecting money through coercion, intimidation and fraud.
They differ only in style.

Some set up roadblocks and charge tolls, just like small towns in America that support themselves with speed traps on major highways.

Some hijack ships and turn the plunder and kidnapped crews into ransom cash, much as DEA (http://www.examiner.com/topic/dea) SWAT teams seize innocent people's houses, cars, boats and cash under ruling class "confiscation laws."
There are other de facto governments in Somalia.

Still other warlord governments received weapons and money from the CIA to "fight al-Qaida," just like so many other "recognized" governments.

So maybe it's libertarians who should be telling government-lovers they should move to Somalia. The place is crawling with governments.


02-10-2015, 07:59 AM
Islamic courts

Following the collapse of centralized government, much of the legal system and most of the educational institutions and social services fell under the control of religious institutions, which often received significant funding and support from international charities. In 2005, some of these clerical organizations united to form the Islamic Courts Union, after the secular rebel leaders began to challenge the sharia-based judicial institutions. Wary of Islamist paramilitaries in the age of the War on Terror, the CIA funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to secular rebel leaders inside Somalia in 2006, intending thereby to neutralize the threat of suspected members of Al Qaeda they believed to be sheltered by the ICU.[33] This was cited by experts as a factor in the resurgence of Islamic militias in the country, prompting the latter to engage in pre-emptive strikes which routed the rebel leaders and led to the seizure of Ford by the ICU.[33] The ICU gained control of Mogadishu and its surrounding districts in June 2006, after the Second Battle of Mogadishu. The ICU was later overthrown by the Ethiopian military with the support of the United Nations, African Union, and the United States government. After the ICU forces were chased from Mogadishu, the leaders of the Transitional Federal Parliament entered Somalia declaring themselves the rightful governors of Somalia. As of October 2007, there was still widespread opposition within Somalia to the TFG, and the TFG's leaders and their allies were still attempting to suppress a strong insurgency. In January 2009 politician Abdirahman Ahmed was executed for alleged apostasy by a Sharia court.

Transitional Federal Government

The Transitional Federal Government is internationally recognized as the government of Somalia. It was established in 2004 as a successor to the now defunct Transitional National Government, and currently occupies Somalia's seat in the United Nations. The TFG is allied with the Islamic Courts Union and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia, and is backed by the United States, the United Nations and the African Union. Its forces are fighting to quell the ongoing insurgency in Somalia and are attempting to gain control of the southern half of the country, as the northern regions are both autonomous and comparatively stable. As a truce, in March 2009, Somalia's newly established coalition government announced that it would implement shari'a as the nation's official judicial system.[34]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Somalia_%281991%E2%80%932006%29#Islamic _courts

02-10-2015, 08:03 AM
June 30, 2011Robert P. Murphy (http://mises.org/profile/robert-p-murphy)

Earlier in the year, the BBC featured a series of articles commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the state in Somalia. Although the articles expressed the typical revulsion at "anarchy," the series was surprisingly balanced for such a mainstream outlet. Somalia is undeniably experiencing progress according to several criteria, despite (or, some would say, because of) its lack of a strong central government.
Economists familiar with the Rothbardian tradition have taken the analysis even further, persuasively arguing that Somalia is much better without a state than it was with one. The standard statist put-down — "If you Rothbardians like anarchy so much, why don't you move to Somalia?" — misses the point. The Rothbardian doesn't claim that the absence of a state is a sufficient condition for bliss. Rather, the Rothbardian says that however prosperous and law-abiding a society is, adding an institution of organized violence and theft will only make things worse.
The BBC Reflects on 20 Years of Anarchy As I said initially, the BBC's treatment is remarkably balanced. One article (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12278628) begins,

Common sense dictates that security and stability are the necessary preconditions to economic development.
Since 26 January 1991, most of Somalia has had neither, yet the economy has not only been resilient, some sectors have shown remarkable growth.
In particular, the telecommunications industry has boomed:

Somali telecoms expert Ahmed Farah says the first mobile telephone mast went up in Somalia in 1994, and now someone can make a mobile call from anywhere in the country.
There are nine networks to choose from and they offer services from texting to mobile internet access.
It's not just the telecom industry that has improved. A different article (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12285365) outlines the change in some major indices over the last 20 years of (relative) statelessness:

Somalia: How Has Life Changed?

2011 (or latest)

Life expectancy
46 years
50 years

Birth rate

Death rate

GDP per capita

Infant mortality
116 deaths <1yr, per 1,000 births
109 deaths <1yr, per 1,000 births

Access to safe water

Adult literacy

With the exception of the drop in birth rates (which is ambiguous) and the drop in access to safe water (which is clearly a bad thing), the above chart shows incredible progress on numerous fronts. I daresay that if a UN or World Bank intervention into a state-controlled African country had yielded such results, it would be trumpeted from the hilltops. (To avoid confusion: international aid groups are currently working in Somalia, and they could be partially responsible for the improvements illustrated in the chart.)
The BBC Yearns for a Perfect Government Despite the undeniable progress, the first BBC article nonetheless laments the anarchic situation:

On the one hand, we can marvel at the fact that business does continue in Somalia, on the other hand things could be a lot better.
The lack of taxation and regulation may mean a certain amount of freedom from interference.
But business people have to pay security firms to ensure the safety of their goods, and need to pay off different factions if they want to do any trade.
The risky situation does not deter all investment, but it would be a lot higher if a stable authority was in place.
[Telecom expert] Mr. Farah thinks that mobile phone operators would welcome an effective government.
"They will have security, they will have stability and they will be able to do their business smoothly," the telecoms expert says.
"So without a doubt, the telecom industry in Somalia needs a government."
But with the UN-backed government [which controls only a few key areas of the capital] struggling to assert its authority, it is not clear when that day will come.
http://store.mises.org/Assets/ProductImages/Thumbnails/B822_T.jpg (http://store.mises.org/Anarchy-and-the-Law-P335.aspx)
Mr. Farah and the approving BBC writer here commit the Nirvana fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_fallacy), which contrasts the flawed outcome of the market in the real world with the idealized outcome of a benevolent government in a textbook. In reality, if a single group manages to suppress its rivals and achieve domination over Somalia, businesspeople can still expect to "pay off different factions if they want to do any trade."
What is particularly amusing is the complaint that businesses currently must pay private security firms to guard their goods. Well, a government police and court system won't work for tips — they too will need to be financed, but through involuntary taxation. As with any monopoly, the government's provision of a "justice system" will be more expensive — other things being equal — than the provision through private, competing agencies.
Fighting for Domination Farah and other advocates of a central state might retort that right now security costs are particularly high for Somali businesses because of the fighting between rival factions ("warlords") in their attempt to control the government. That is true, but the observation doesn't prove what Farah thinks. Farah and other statists believe that it is inevitable that groups will vie for control, and domestic peace will only be achieved when one group (or coalition) is able to out-muscle all others and achieve overwhelming control. This is the logic by which the establishment of a government will (allegedly) lead to lower security expenses.
There are two main problems with this view. First, some have argued that the warlords fight so bitterly in Somalia precisely because meddling Westerners keep trying to impose a government. In other words, the various clans might have been willing to coexist relatively peacefully, knowing that there was a balance of power and that no one group posed much of a threat. But when the UN comes in with its money and weapons, and tries to elevate one group above the others, then the excluded Somali factions rush to attack.
The other problem with this common justification for a state — namely, that rival groups will engage in civil war until one of them achieves obvious superiority over the others — is that it proves far too much. If a balance of power can't exist among the small clans in Somalia, then how can it exist across, say, Europe, or for that matter the entire world? In other words, to be consistent, Farah and others calling for the establishment of a government in Somalia — in order to eliminate civil war — should also call for the establishment of a worldwide central government over the entire planet. Otherwise, various factions within the globe might fight each other (which of course they do all the time).
Conclusion I have answered the generic "warlord objection" to anarchy elsewhere (http://mises.org/daily/1855). Regarding Somalia in particular, Ben Powell et al. have done fantastic work (http://www.independent.org/publications/working_papers/article.asp?id=1861) analyzing Somalia before and after its transition to statelessness, and also comparing its fate with similar African nations. Their conclusion is that — of course — stateless Somalia is no paradise, but its lack of a corrupt, brutal government has given it an advantage over its former self and its current peers.
Somalia has achieved remarkable progress since the collapse of the brutal dictatorship of Siad Barre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siad_Barre#Human_rights_abuse_allegations) in 1991. If people in the more developed countries of the world wish to help the impoverished region, we can certainly send money and even visit to offer medical services and other assistance. But if the West foists the "gift" of another state on the beleaguered Somalis, their appropriate response should be, "No, you shouldn't have."http://mises.org/library/anarchy-somalia

02-10-2015, 08:07 AM
So how libertarian is Somalia?

No surprise, it is not. Somalia is a former colonial state, which disbanded into various sub-national entities. It is as if Canada no longer was a country, and disbanded into the independent territories of Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, etc. It wouldn't make them libertarian.

I don't need to add, that eliminating federal government, only for it to be replaced by local/district/provincial government, doesn't make for a libertarian anything.

If you look at the real libertarians or anarcho-capitalists as they call themselves, they treat the Federal government with no more disrespect than they treat local councils and city governments, as is shown by the creation of 'emergency managers' to sideline elected officials.

In short, they hate ALL government, not just federal government.

How can Thom Hartmann condemn the breakup in sub-national levels of government in Somalia, when he sings the praises of exactly that when it comes to the Sudan? When Sudan broke up into Northern Sudan and Southern Sudan, he and the goat lady thought this was a great thing. I'm puzzled by the inconsistency. :-/

So what actually happened to Somalia?

Unlike what has been stated repeatedly, Somalia is not a territory without any government. Even though the federal government is barely there, the nation has simply broken up into pre-colonial sub-national level governments. This is not liberterianism. In fact, other than the Somalian governments that exist today, there is the constant presence of a foreign government - the US government, and the Ethiopian government which invaded Somalia on it's request - looming over the internal affairs of Somalia, as is evidenced by the drone strikes, and the manipulation of neighboring Ethiopia by the US Government's Jendayi Frazer, for instance (read: US behind Ethiopia invasion in Somalia - Wiki leaks dispatch.) http://maravi.blogspot.com/2010/12/sudan-tribune-us-behind-ethiopia.html

Somalia has broken up into:

* Puntland State of Somalia
* Somaliland
* The Islamic Courts Union (does that even sound libertarian?)
* Galmudug
* Transitional Federal Government
- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2011/07/libertarian-paradise-somalia#sthash.7Wzl0j8D.dpuf

02-10-2015, 08:15 AM
he Rule of Law without the State


September 12, 2007Spencer Heath MacCallum (http://mises.org/profile/spencer-heath-maccallum)Tags Free Markets (http://mises.org/topics/free-markets)Global Economy (http://mises.org/topics/global-economy)Legal System (http://mises.org/topics/legal-system)
Were there such a category, Somalia would hold a place in Guinness World Records as the country with the longest absence of a functioning central government. When the Somalis dismantled their government in 1991 and returned to their precolonial political status, the expectation was that chaos would result — and that, of course, would be the politically correct thing to expect.
Imagine if it were otherwise. Imagine any part of the globe not being dominated by a central government and the people there surviving, even prospering. If such were to happen and the idea spread to other parts of Africa or other parts of the world, the mystique of the necessity of the state might be irreparably damaged, and many politicians and bureaucrats might find themselves walking about looking for work.
If the expectation was that Somalia would plunge into an abyss of chaos, what is the reality? A number of recent studies address this question, including one by economist Peter Leeson drawing on statistical data from the United Nations Development Project, World Bank, CIA, and World Health Organization. Comparing the last five years under the central government (1985–1990) with the most recent five years of anarchy (2000–2005), Leeson finds these welfare changes:

Life expectancy increased from 46 to 48.5 years. This is a poor expectancy as compared with developed countries. But in any measurement of welfare, what is important to observe is not where a population stands at a given time, but what is the trend. Is the trend positive, or is it the reverse?
Number of one-year-olds fully immunized against measles rose from 30 to 40 percent.
Number of physicians per 100,000 population rose from 3.4 to 4.
Number of infants with low birth weight fell from 16 per thousand to 0.3 — almost none.
Infant mortality per 1,000 births fell from 152 to 114.9.
Maternal mortality per 100,000 births fell from 1,600 to 1,100.
Percent of population with access to sanitation rose from 18 to 26.
Percent of population with access to at least one health facility rose from 28 to 54.8.
Percent of population in extreme poverty (i.e., less than $1 per day) fell from 60 to 43.2.
Radios per thousand population rose from 4 to 98.5.
Telephones per thousand population rose from 1.9 to 14.9.
TVs per 1,000 population rose from 1.2 to 3.7.
Fatalities due to measles fell from 8,000 to 5,600.

Another even more comprehensive study published last year by Benjamin Powell of the Independent Institute, concludes: "We find that Somalia's living standards have improved generally … not just in absolute terms, but also relative to other African countries since the collapse of the Somali central government."
Somalia's pastoral economy is now stronger than that of either neighboring Kenya or Ethiopia. It is the largest exporter of livestock of any East African country. Telecommunications have burgeoned in Somalia; a call from a mobile phone is cheaper in Somalia than anywhere else in Africa. A small number of international investors are finding that the level of security of property and contract in Somalia warrants doing business there. Among these companies are Dole, BBC, the courier DHL, British Airways, General Motors, and Coca Cola, which recently opened a large bottling plant in Mogadishu. A 5-star Ambassador Hotel is operating in Hargeisa, and three new universities are fully functional: Amoud University (1997) in Borama, and Mogadishu University (1997), and University of Benadir (2002) in Mogadishu.
The Call to "Establish Democracy"All of this is terribly politically incorrect for the reason I suggested. Consequently, the United Nations has by now spent well over two billion dollars attempting to re-establish a central government in Somalia. But here is the irony: it is the presence of the United Nations that has caused virtually all of the turbulence we have seen in Somalia. Let me explain why this is the case.
Like most of precolonial Africa, Somalia is traditionally a stateless society. When the colonial powers withdrew, in order to better serve their purposes, they hastily trained local people and set up European-style governments in their place. These were supposed to be democratic. But they soon devolved into brutal dictatorships.
Democracy is unworkable in Africa for several reasons. The first thing that voting does is to divide a population into two groups — a group that rules and a group that is ruled. This is completely at variance with Somali tradition. Second, if democracy is to work, it depends in theory, at least, upon a populace that will vote on issues. But in a kinship society such as Somalia, voting takes place not on the merit of issues but along group lines; one votes according to one's clan affiliation. Since the ethic of kinship requires loyalty to one's fellow clansmen, the winners use the power of government to benefit their own members, which means exploitation of the members of other clans. Consequently when there exists a governmental apparatus with its awesome powers of taxation and police and judicial monopoly, the interests of the clans conflict. Some clan will control that apparatus. To avoid being exploited by other clans, each must attempt to be that controlling clan.
The turmoil in Somalia consists in the clans maneuvering to position themselves to control the government whenever it might come into being, and this has been exacerbated by the governments of the world, especially the United States, keeping alive the expectation that a government will soon be established and supplying arms to whoever seems at present most likely to be able to "bring democracy" to Somalia. The "warlord" phenomenon refers to clan and independent militias, often including leftovers of the former central government, who promise to establish a government under the control of their own clan. They often operate outside the control of the traditional elders and sometimes in opposition to them.
Hence the most violent years in Somalia were the years following 1991 when the United Nations was physically present, attempting to impose a central government. When the United Nations withdrew in 1995, the expectation of a future central government began to recede, and things began to stabilize. But the United Nations continued it efforts to re-establish a government through a series of some sixteen failed "peace conferences." In 2000 it set up a straw government, the Transitional National Government (TNG). However, not only did the northern Somali clans not recognize the TNG, it was unable to control its intended capital city of Mogadishu. Today a combined "peace-keeping mission" of United States–backed troops from Ethiopia, Somalia's traditional enemy, and Uganda under the aegis of the African Union is in Mogadishu attempting to prop up the TNG and secure its control over the rest of Somalia. Violence soars.
The situation is curiously like an event in Greek mythology. The gods on Mt. Olympus were enjoying a festive party, to which, understandably, they had not invited Eris, the goddess of discord. Eris, just as understandably, took the matter personally. She had the blacksmith Hephaestus fashion a golden apple, on which was written καλλιστι — "To the fairest." Then she opened the door a crack and rolled the golden apple into the festive hall. In no time at all, the gods were fighting over who should have the apple. The golden apple in Somalia is the expectation that there will soon be a central government. As long as there is that expectation, the clans must fight over who will control it.
Somalia and the Rule of LawNow, I've gone this far without telling you much about Somalia. It's the Horn of Africa, that part of northeast Africa that juts out into the Indian Ocean just below the Arabian Peninsula. The Somali culture area includes all of the Horn and is home to some 11.5 million people. The colonial powers arbitrarily fragmented this culture area so that today parts of it fall under the jurisdiction of Kenya in the south, some in Ethiopia in the west, and some in Djibouti in the north. The remainder along the coast is now without a working government.
What these people have in common, even more than similar language, lifestyle, and physical character is a body of customary law, the Xeer, which differs from clan to clan in nonessential ways such as founding myths but is remarkably uniform with respect to its provision for the protection of persons and property. The Xeer provides a rule of law — customary law (http://mises.org/daily/2542), that is — permitting safe travel, trade, marriage, and so forth throughout the region. The Xeer is most intact in the north of Somalia, which was under British rule; in the south, the Italians tried to eradicate it. Nonetheless, it survives to a significant degree everywhere, even in the urban areas, and is virtually unaffected in rural Somalia.
The Xeer is the secret to the whole perplexing question of Somalia's success without a central government, since it provides an authentic rule of law to support trade and economic development. Fortunately, we know something about the Xeer because of Michael van Notten, a Dutch lawyer who in the early 1990s married into the Samaron Clan in the northwest of Somalia, the fifth largest of the Somali clans, and lived with them for the last twelve years of his life. He took full advantage of that opportunity to research the Xeer. The result was his pioneering study, The Law of the Somalis (Red Sea Press, 2005). Van Notten died when his manuscript was half finished. Fortunately, he had largely completed assembling the ethnographic material. In his will, he asked that I edit and complete the manuscript for publication. The task ahead is to see the work translated into Somali.
Highlights of the XeerThere is time in this short talk to give you only some of the highlights of the Xeer. First, law and, consequently, crime are defined in terms of property rights. The law is compensatory rather than punitive. Because property right requires compensation, rather than punishment, there is no imprisonment, and fines are rare. Such fines as might be imposed seldom exceed the amount of compensation and are not payable to any court or government, but directly to the victim. A fine might be in order when, for example, the killing of a camel was deliberate and premeditated, in which case the victim receives not one but two camels.
Fines are used in another interesting way. It is expected that a prominent public figure such as a religious or political dignitary or a policeman or a judge should lead an exemplary life. If he violates the law, he pays double what would be required of an ordinary person. Also, it should be noted, since the law and crime are defined in terms of property rights, the Xeer is unequivocal in its opposition to any form of taxation.
Second, in order to assure that compensation will be forthcoming even in cases where the perpetrator is a child, or penniless, or crazy, or has fled abroad, the Xeer requires that every person be fully insured against any liability he might incur under the law. If an individual cannot make the required payment, a designated group of his kin is responsible. Van Notten describes in an interesting way how this happens:

A person who violates someone's rights and is unable to pay the compensation himself notifies his family, who then pays on his behalf. From an emotional point of view, this notification is a painful procedure, since no family member will miss the opportunity to tell the wrongdoer how vicious or stupid he was. Also, they will ask assurances that he will be more careful in the future. Indeed, all those who must pay for the wrongdoings of a family member will thereafter keep an eye on him and try to intervene before he incurs another liability. They will no longer, for example, allow him to keep or bear a weapon. While on other continents the re-education of criminals is typically a task of the government, in Somalia it is the responsibility of the family.
If the family tires of bailing out a repeat offender, they can disown him, in which case he becomes an outlaw. Not being insured, he forfeits all protection under the law and, for his safety, must leave the country.
Customary law is similar in this and many other respects throughout the world. An instance is told in the founding legend of my own Clan MacCallum in Scotland. The founder of the Clan supposedly was exiled 1,500 years ago from Ireland because he was a hothead whom his family disowned for embroiling them in fights. In the loneliness of his exile on the North Sea, he became a man of peace. He couldn't return to Ireland, as he was no longer under protection of the law and could have been killed with impunity. So he went instead to Scotland and there founded our clan.
A third point about the Xeer is that there is no monopoly of police or judicial services. Anyone is free to serve in those capacities as long as he is not at the same time a religious or political dignitary, since that would compromise the sharp separation of law, politics, and religion. Also, anyone performing in such a role is subject to the same laws as anyone else — and more so: if he violates the law, he must pay heavier damages or fines than would apply to anyone else. Public figures are expected to show exemplary conduct.
Fourth, there is no victimless crime. Only a victim or his family can initiate a court action. Where there is no victim to call a court into being, no court can form. No court can investigate on its own initiative any evidence of alleged misconduct.
Last, the court procedure is interesting. From birth, every Somali has his own judge who will sit on the court that will judge him should he transgress the law. That judge is his oday, the head of his extended family consisting of all males descended from the same great grandfather, together with their spouses and children. Several extended families make up a jilib, which is the group responsible for paying the blood price in the event a member kills someone of another jilib or clan. The oday, or judge, is chosen carefully, following weeks or months of deliberation by elders of the clan. He has no authority over the family but is chosen solely for his knowledge of human affairs and his wisdom, and he can lose his position if his decisions are not highly regarded in the community.
When an offense is committed, the offender goes first to his oday, who then forms a court with the oday of the plaintiff. If the two odays cannot resolve the matter, they form another court made up of odays representing additional families, jilibs, or clans. A virtue of each person knowing from birth who will be one of his judges, and vice versa, is that an oday knows each person in his extended family intimately and can observe and counsel him before what might seem to be a small problem escalates into a crime.
Once a court forms and accepts jurisdiction over a case, its first action is to appoint a recorder, who will repeat loudly during the hearing each important point made by the speakers. The court then announces when and where it will hear the case. When the court session opens, the court invites the plaintiff to state his case. The plaintiff has the right to appoint a representative to make the presentation on his behalf. During the presentation, the plaintiff has opportunity to confer with his family to make sure that he has not forgotten anything. When the plaintiff has finished, the court asks him to summarize his case and state his demands. Lastly, the court asks the defendant to present his defense and any counterclaims.
Then the court adjourns to deliberate on whether any witnesses should be heard. A disputed fact is admitted as evidence only when three witnesses have testified to its truth. The parties can also call in experts and character witnesses. If the victim has died or has been wounded, the court will instruct a religious dignitary to assess how the victim died or was wounded. These dignitaries assess injuries usually by applying the standards enumerated in the commentary of the twelfth-century Muslim scholar al-Nawawii's Minhaaj at-Talibiin. When the plaintiff has elaborated his case with witnesses and evidence, the defendant is given a chance to refute the plaintiff's charges, arguments, and evidence. It is not customary to cross-examine witnesses.
Finally, the court adjourns again to evaluate the evidence. If less than three witnesses support a fact, or if the witnesses contradict each other, the court will proceed to oath taking. There are several types of oaths. The simplest starts by the oath giver saying, "I swear by my virility." Alternatively, he can say, "I swear by Allah." A stronger oath is the so-called triple oath, in which he swears the same oath three times. A stronger oath yet is the one that is repeated 50 times. Also, there is the so-called divorce oath, in which the oath giver swears by his marriage(s). If it is later found out that he lied, his marriage(s) become null and void.
It should be noted that even when the plaintiff fails to convince the court of his case, the court will usually not rule in favor of the defendant until the latter has taken an oath of innocence.
In a longer talk, I could discuss the role of police and enforcement of judgments, but this much should give some flavor of the legal system practiced by the Somalis. It provides an effective rule of law entirely without the backing of a government.
The Xeer takes its place among such great legal systems of the world as the Roman law, the English common law, the Law Merchant, and the Jewish traditional law (Halacha). It must be extremely old and is believed to have developed in the Horn of Africa. There is no evidence that it developed elsewhere or was greatly influenced by any foreign legal system. The fact that Somali legal terminology is practically devoid of loan words from foreign languages suggests that the Xeer is truly indigenous.
Michael van Notten's book describing this system of law deserves to be better known and widely read. It is the first study of any customary law to treat it not as a curiosity of the past, but as potentially instructive for a future free society. In his book, Van Notten lays out some practical applications to the world in which we find ourselves today, applications I haven't had time to touch on here. Whether or not the intervention of foreign governments, which has intensified with the refusal of Somalis to die or remain poor, will frustrate this potential, only time can tell.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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ReferencesDe Nike, Howard J. 2006. "Customary Law Upholds Natural Law." Amazon.com Customer-Reviews
Leeson, Peter T. 2005. "Better Off Stateless: Somalia Before and After Government Collapse." West Virginia University. (PDF (http://www.peterleeson.com/Better_Off_Stateless.pdf))
Powell, Benjamín, Ryan Ford, and Alex Nowrasteh. 2006. "Somalia after State Collapse: Chaos or Improvement?" Independent Institute Working Paper No. 64. (PDF (http://www.independent.org/pdf/working_papers/64_somalia.pdf))
Van Notten, Michael. 2005. The Law of the Somalis: A Stable Foundation (http://home.arcor.de/danneskjoeld/X/Som/)for Economic and Social Development in the Horn of Africa. (http://home.arcor.de/danneskjoeld/X/Som/) Trenton NJ: Red Sea Press.
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02-10-2015, 08:22 AM
Look at Somalia: a perfect representation of the libertarian fantasy.

You are mistaking Somalia for Somaliland.


Somaliland is a peaceful independent country inside of Somalia that actually operates on libertarian values. Somalia is Islamic statism grown from the results of Western imperialism.

02-10-2015, 08:27 AM


02-10-2015, 08:40 AM
Oil in Somalia?




"Puuuunt-land uber al-les...uber alles Puuuuuunt-land"

Ronin Truth
02-10-2015, 09:29 AM
It's not so much an issue of more good, than it is one of much less bad.

02-10-2015, 09:53 AM
Look at Somalia: a perfect representation of the libertarian fantasy.

I would never make the blanket statement that "more freedom equals more good", and I don't think any other libertarian would either.

How about this: "more responsible self-government equals more good" or "more peaceful voluntary transactions equal more good".

02-10-2015, 10:23 AM
If a user gets enough neg rep will he be banned? :)

I am now curious as to the limit and comment on Red Rep.

56target is off the scale

02-10-2015, 10:28 AM
Oil in Somalia?




"Puuuunt-land uber al-les...uber alles Puuuuuunt-land"

You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to otherone again.

Thanks for posting that! I had no idea how the map looked. I need to learn what the hell is "Puntland."

02-10-2015, 10:43 AM
Look at Somalia: a perfect representation of the libertarian fantasy.

Look at people who constantly say this about Somalia. A perfect example of uninformed people watching too much tee vee.

02-10-2015, 10:46 AM
Look at Somalia: a perfect representation of the libertarian fantasy.

looks like someone loves being a punching bag...

02-10-2015, 10:56 AM
looks like someone loves being a punching bag...

What's even more interesting is how once his argument was completely demolished, he disappeared himself.

02-10-2015, 10:59 AM
What's even more interesting is how once his argument was completely demolished, he disappeared himself.

Fire and forget.

Anti Federalist
02-10-2015, 11:21 AM
Fire and forget.

Drive by poster

Anti Federalist
02-10-2015, 11:21 AM
Fire and forget.

Drive by poster

02-10-2015, 11:25 AM
I leave thread for 3 hours and it turns into serious debate... pih.
http://images.sodahead.com/polls/002528893/4830822825_funny_pictures_fighting_jerry_springer_ cats_xlarge.jpeg

02-10-2015, 11:28 AM
Everyone who wants to learn something should definitely look through Presence's post about Xeer.

Customary law is similar in this and many other respects throughout the world.
Some of you have seen me claim here that common law is the law which is chosen in a statism void. I'm not making that up. Spontaneous order is a real thing, and it applies to law, as well.

I am now curious as to the limit and comment on Red Rep.
I'm assuming the point is to get it to 56,000? I know the green goes up to 15k at least....

Ronin Truth
02-10-2015, 11:33 AM
https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=common+law&gbv=2&oq=common+law&gs_l=heirloom-hp.13..0l10.397750.397750.0.407719. .344.3-1.1.0.msedr...0...1ac..34.heirloom-hp..0.1.344.zaroFpTpX5g

02-10-2015, 11:41 AM
Somalia? Really?


You progs need to get a new script.

The Top 0.1% Loves A Guaranteed Minimum Income: With One Caveat

The last thing the top 1/10th of 1% wants is a desperate, politically charged underclass with no money to buy the goods and services that generate the income of the top 1/10th of 1%. The best way to keep the underclasses passive and powerless while insuring they have enough money to continue consuming is to arrange for the central bank to issue them money in the form of a popularly acclaimed guaranteed minimum income.

Helicopter money here we come.

The Democrats Finally Embrace Money Printing

As Ron has explained, the inflation tax is the most vicious and regressive tax of all, so of course the "party of the little guy" loves it.

02-10-2015, 12:13 PM
At least (mod edit) liberals who put up halfway decent debate.

02-10-2015, 02:21 PM
You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to otherone again.

Thanks for posting that! I had no idea how the map looked. I need to learn what the hell is "Puntland."

Wiki "Puntland".
Their motto should read, "It's easier to rape, pillage, and plunder when a puppet government is installed".
I've really come to dread the term, "Democratization".

02-10-2015, 11:45 PM
well, if you consider freedom good, and you have more freedom, then it does necessarily equal more good.

02-11-2015, 01:35 AM

Don't feed.

Not that progressives aren't dub enough to argue this, but it doesn't feel like this guy's legit. These kinds of trolls make threads, then leave so they can watch the frenzy, lets not give the fodder, shall we?

02-11-2015, 06:16 PM
56ktarget is off the scale.

How about "56ktarget is a Redcoat"?

@osan - Feeding trolls is sometimes fun!

Im fine with having a few trolls so we can study them, observe how they behave, hear their irrational thoughts and develop new defenses against them, just as long as they dont violate any of the Forum Rules.

02-11-2015, 09:20 PM
What's even more interesting is how once his argument was completely demolished, he disappeared himself.

You all kind of lead it to this point lol. Don't feed the trolls.

02-11-2015, 09:22 PM
I, for one, like Somalia, just the way it is.

Bastiat's The Law
02-25-2015, 11:20 PM
Somalia is a completely tribal society, dominated by warlords. That's old-world authoritarianism; liberty is a young idea.

02-26-2015, 12:50 AM
Somalia is a completely tribal society, dominated by warlords. That's old-world authoritarianism; liberty is a young idea.

More to the point, it is FEUDAL, which is just a petty form of Empire.

Anyone using the clapped-out assertion by implication that Somalia is the true face of libertarian or anarchic society is an ignorant fop.

Weston White
02-26-2015, 03:00 AM
Look at Somalia: a perfect representation of the libertarian fantasy.

Would not an ochlocracy run amok be a much more accurate description? Somali’s are not engaging in libertarianism, but ceaseless, disorganized civil war. The real question here is who in the world is funding this all, how are their resources continuing?