Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Anti-litigious multiple enclaved microstate

Waive health and safety, insurance, compensation, libel et cætera, in certain strictly defined physical areas
  (+1, -6)(+1, -6)
(+1, -6)
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In my previous idea, i referred to a putative situation where members of the public were prevented from rescuing the victims of a house fire by the police for health and safety reasons. This is my other response.
There is a tendency, almost a cliché in fact, for people to complain about the likes of health and safety, insurance, possible vexatious litigation and ambulance chasing preventing certain things from taking place. I have no idea how accurate this is, and if it is, how intrusive it is. I am aware of many things that have been blamed on it at least. One of the things blamed on this was the house fire incident referred to elsewhere.
I suggest a way round this: set up a microstate with a constitution which waives all the legislation popularly understood to be petty, dog in the manger or unnecessarily bureaucratic, but which otherwise complies completely with the law of the state surrounding it, the Geneva convention and the like, for example drug laws, labour laws, age of consent and so forth. Allow extremely small territories consisting of individual buildings and parks to declare themselves enclaves of this microstate within other territories. Signpost the borders clearly and distinctly, and stick notices up explaining in no uncertain terms what legislative waivers are in action in the areas, and that there is absolutely no recourse to compensation, insurance claims, suits of the owners and so forth. Only allow entry to people who have signed a form agreeing to this. People who are found not to have done so will be prosecuted.
Inside these enclaves, people will be able to do things which would otherwise be illegal but which are generally recognised to be innocuous, such as eat the Sardinian cheese with living maggots in it, perform music in dodgy venues without perfect fire regulations, trip over paving stones without being able to file claims for compensation and so forth, including attempting to rescue people from fires if they so choose without regard to risk to their own lives.
This is not an argument in favour of or against the legislation about which there is much complaint, and this is also by no means an anarchy park. The idea is to set up this microstate and see if it operates sustainably, or whether the results are undesirable. Presumably, if they are, people will just stay away from them. Also, if it really doesn´t work, people may stop complaining.

One problem i see with this is how exactly to choose which laws to exclude.

nineteenthly, Apr 01 2009

Baaaaaarle-Nassau http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Baarle-Nassau
photographs in link showing possible means of delineating enclave borders. [calum, Apr 06 2009]


       Why do you specifically exclude drug laws and labour laws from the waiver?
angel, Apr 01 2009

       Because i don't want it to be a licence for sweatshops, brothels, child sexual abuse rings or "drug dens". Some of those things could be OK, for instance a legal version of a lock-in, a workplace where people who want to can work without breaks for long periods, and it could also be argued that the use of narcotics is a victimless crime, but what i'm mainly aiming at is a situation where it's difficult to get mud-throwing to stick. Regardless of the morality of what i'm trying to exclude, i don't want things which have a stereotypically bad image to happen there, or it would be easy to say "look, this is what happens" and to generate a negative image. I'm not specifically opposed to that, it's just that i think it should be difficult to associate negative things with it. It might be open to negotiation, and in a way those are just examples.
nineteenthly, Apr 01 2009

       Efrafa? A little more enlightenment would be welcome, [Ian].
nineteenthly, Apr 01 2009

       I think the problem that you have here, nineteenthly, is the existence of laws at all.

I recall calum posting something to the effect that 'lawyers live in the gaps between the laws' and it is something that has always stuck with me. Most of the Health & Safety regulations, Equality regulations etc are not unreasonable when taken in isolation. It's the combined effects of different laws that allow this perceived absurdity to occur and there are now so many of the damn things that nobody has a snowball's chance of being able to legislate anything sensibly any more. Organisations are naturally averse to exposing themselves to undue risk and hence you get the ridiculous situation where, for example, my own employer has recently posted a notice in the shower room "Caution: Floor May be Wet". This is not because they believe that people are stupid (although, like most of us, they probably do think that really) but because they are trying to 'cover all of the bases'. There will always be somebody willing to take a punt on testing out the exact limit of the law. So, sadly, I think that this idea is doomed to failure as long as it is based on a 'State' with 'Laws'.

As an aside, I notice that I always seem to be picking holes in your ideas. Sorry about that but it's not because I don't like them, it's because I think that they raise interesting issues.
DrBob, Apr 01 2009

       There is such a state. It is called 'the 50s'. We have been there, done that, decided that there are simply too many dumb people to make it work.   

       Seatbelts for instance. Deemed a incredible violation of one's right to do gymnastics in the car - because most people simply could not imagine 10g working to mush their body against the steering wheel.
loonquawl, Apr 01 2009

       Thank you both. I positively enjoy people picking holes in my ideas and i see it as a compliment that you regard them as "wrong for interesting reasons", as someone once said, [DrBob]. I agree with you, but i try not to let that influence what i say here on the HB because being an anarchist is rather a political position and i'd like to keep up the illusion in my mind at least that there are realms free of politics, such as this one. Also, whereas there are some things i enjoy arguing about i fear bringing that particular issue up is liable to lead to a row sooner or later.
So, yes, i think you're right. Even so, there are such things as microstates, and there are places with unusual relationships with government, for example the Palace of Westminster, embassies, Antarctica, the UN Building and international waters. Could there really not be something like this? If there are places which don't have straightforward relationships with the law such as the ones i mention, is it really that unfeasible?
I tend to find the term "any more" suspicious whenever i hear it. It seems to assume that the future can be forecast with a higher degree of accuracy than i believe to be so. The postwar consensus in the UK was quite a serious case of "any more" for a number of decades which eventually wore off with Thatcher coming to power. Having said that, it does indeed seem unlikely to me too that the situation would be tenable. So, what would be interesting, and possibly also likely to result in long prison sentences for those deemed responsible, would be actually to do this in the real world and see what happens. Furthermore, this is an experiment. It's not about an assumption that it would work, but a hypothesis about what would happen. If something legal or political prevented it from being tried as an experiment, to me that would imply quite clearly that this was one area of life to which many people are afraid to apply rationality - a quasi-scientific experiment in government is ruled out by - what?
[Loonquawl], i wasn't alive then and i have only representations to give me an impression of what it was like. Some of these are quite powerful as they consist of personal testimony. Concerning "dumb people", are you saying that these people are born that way or does something make them so? I'm happy to concur that people frequently behave in a manner i would consider at least irrational and probably unintelligent, and that i am sometimes one of them, but is there something, some process maybe, in society or in the interactions between people which makes them so? Or, are they automatically and inevitably like that? There's a park nearby with a sign warning people not to take frogspawn which names several good reasons involving wandering froglets getting lost and unsuitable ponds. That sign, which may well be needed, entails an assumption of ignorance, impulsiveness and incompetence concerning the general public, which is probably true but in the final analysis simply not necessary.

I appear to have turned into a more insecure version of [Vernon].
nineteenthly, Apr 01 2009

       Not sure about anything else in this post but 'Anarchy Park' sounds cool!
mecotterill, Apr 01 2009

       Anarchy Parks are Larry Niven's idea, from the Known Space series. If i remember rightly, teleportation made motorways obsolete, so they were converted to parks without laws monitored by floating cameras which stunned people temporarily at the first sign of violence.
nineteenthly, Apr 01 2009

       //One problem i see with this is how exactly to choose which laws to exclude//
generally the first laws to hit the shredder are (external)tax laws... followed by those relating to children (age of consent, labour, education)... followed by those relating to women (voting, apparel, self-defense, education)... followed by those relating to (internal) government proclaimed pariah classes... generally followed by the introduction of new (internal) tax laws... and right about then the (external) government notices they aren't paying taxes and raids the place.

       [19thly] much as I'm honestly apalled by your(UK) government's actions which I consider treasonous (tossing about citizen's information like it belongs to the government, not to the citizen) you'd have to read the dailies around here to get a good grasp of "assumption of ignorance". Couple cases in point:
"bullying" laws which are crude reiterations of harassment laws already in effect.
Posters on the local transit announcing that attacking, pushing or (and I swear it says this:) spitting on, drivers, is illegal and that local city constabulary stands behind them (umm.... duh?). Another one is "No Passback" (referring to using a transit pass then giving it to somebody else to get on)... what kind of fucking ignorant citizenry are they trying to attract in a day and age when using public transit should not only be the norm, but be a generally laudable thing to do (as opposed to personal vehicles). </rant>
FlyingToaster, Apr 01 2009

       Firstly, apologies for the following rant:   

       [FT], there are similarly scary notices on the Midland Mainline here concerning tickets. At least some of the time, new laws seem to be about cashing in on "new" situations which are already covered by old laws, for example here there are laws specifically dealing with harrassment by mobile 'phones, and the question is, why? In what way is bullying by mobile not already covered elsewhere? I can only imagine that it's something intended to appeal to the public and seem up to date in some way.
This is probably not new, but generally the government of whatever complexion seems to distrust the people, and that distrust can be self-perpetuating.
I once wrote a letter to the detergent company Ecover complaining about something and they wrote back saying that if i stopped buying their product i would end up buying something less environmentally friendly. Again, there's the assumption that i would actually _buy_ something rather than give up purchasing washing up liquid entirely and choosing to make my own. That's the alternative as far as i'm concerned, and i think this is similar. We're not just consumers and given the encouragement, we can think and do things for ourselves. I see notices such as the one you mention as the result of encouraging passive citizenship, where people have to be told not to do that and are generally distrusted. It may be true that they would behave that way unless actively prevented, but i don't think they were born that way.
nineteenthly, Apr 02 2009

       [21_Q], sorry i missed that idea and i've now gone and voted for it. I thought it would be about reservations for indigenous people because of the title. Yes, it's good.
nineteenthly, Apr 02 2009

       [nineteenthly]: with 'dumb people' i was referencing anyone doing something dumb, eg. something not beneficial to himself and/or others. Everyone does it some of the time, some most of the time.   

       Putting up regulations presents a clear-and-present incentive to such people.   

       As to // That sign, which may well be needed, entails an assumption of ignorance, impulsiveness and incompetence concerning the general public, which is probably true but in the final analysis simply not necessary. // : i am not sure - does the 'necessary' reference the sign, or the listing of reasons? If it is about the listing - why not? every law comes with an attached 'underlying reason', to help people judge their actions against. A so called 'loophole' can only be identified as such, because a rule has a reason, so if somebody does something not covered by the rule, you can have a look at the reason - if that doesn't cover it neither, the action is not using a 'loophole' but is really allowed, not merely technically allowed. To return to the frogspawn-sign: I assume in the microstate you propose this sign would not be erected? So you assume people taking the frogspawn does not matter? nobody would take it? what, exactly, would happen in this microstate & microcondition and why would this be better than the current state of affairs?
loonquawl, Apr 02 2009

       It would be interesting to see a state which was run entirely on English Common Law (unwritten but more or less "You can do whatever you like, up to the point where you inconvenience or harm another") and case law. Sensibly interpreted, these could cover dangerous driving, drugs, murder, taxes, building regulations and driving in bus lanes.
hippo, Apr 02 2009

       Actually, i was talking about the people rather than the reasons. People seem to be quite dependent in ways they don't really need to be if they'd lived their lives differently up to that point. For example, Ecover assumed that i was just going to buy something else as that's what people in NW Europe generally do, but that would be because they were short of time or because they didn't trust their own ability to make an alternative or acquire the skills to do so. In fact, it's not hard to make liquid soap to wash the dishes. Not doing it leads to dependency on an infrastructure. The frogspawn sign implies that people are going to put the eggs into a container without taking the likes of food and oxygen into consideration. The only reasons i'm aware of that would lead to the death of all the tadpoles are ignorance and the inability to obtain the necessary facilities. That ignorance only exists because the people concerned aren't used to being intensely focussed and curious about how to make things work properly, because various factors in the world have discouraged that.
Having such a microstate wouldn't solve the frogspawn problem at all, it's just an example of people being expected to be incompetent. A herpetologist might walk through the park. Is she as incompetent as the rest? If not, it's because she's been focussed on not being incompetent in that area for many years. If she is, it probably means it's not feasible to raise frogs in this way, but she knows that and won't attempt it. However, it wouldn't take years to acquire that knowledge because she also knows loads of stuff about the lymphatic systems of anurans, the evolution of caecilians and whatever else. It's just knowledge! It can be learnt, and competence can be acquired or established as unfeasible. If it's unfeasible, you don't take the frogspawn. If it can be acquired, you acquire it and take the frogspawn competently. You may decide it makes more sense to leave it, but that's your decision, preferably taken in a rational way. That part of this rant applies to the microstate.
nineteenthly, Apr 02 2009

       [Hippo], nice idea! Post a sign at Dover which says "You may be interested to know that in this country there is a tendency to drive on the left" in four languages.
nineteenthly, Apr 02 2009

       The microstate would have to be covered by a semipermeable membrane - permeable to multi-interest, awake and responsible people, and impermeable to greedy, self-centered people (Ha. Just thought it through - this would retain any of the latter people inside the microstate if they suddenly evolved from the former, bad idea.). - Maybe the entrance to the microstate could be camouflaged as something requiring intense thought, promising scarce returns. 'Zoology studies', mayhaps?   

       If you can provide the equivalent for humans what Maxwells demon is for thermodynamics, i'll bun that.
loonquawl, Apr 02 2009

       Human beings do obey the laws of thermodynamics of course, but because they tend to think as if they don't, in social terms they actually don't on a more short-term basis. They sort of believe in free lunches, gambler's fallacies and so forth, and since many things are social constructs, situations which break the laws of thermodynamics can exist conceptually and be instantiated in the social world. Um, that's as far as i've taken that right now but you have provoked me into a fruitless, useless and therefore fascinating line of thought.
nineteenthly, Apr 02 2009

       // One problem i see with this is how exactly to choose which laws to exclude. //   

       The answer is simple - the protagonists simply sue each other until one side makes the other one bankrupt ...
Aristotle, Apr 02 2009

       Hmm. Interesting.   

       I suppose that my main issue with this is that it proves nothing, even if the scheme were to put put into successful operation from bottom to decreasingly verdant top of this island grouping: if people choose to live and work and succeed in living and working in areas that have no Non-Essential Laws, all we know is that those Non-Essential Laws are are not essential to those people who have managed to live without them. This shows what we already know: that laws that a given subset of people don't need are not essential to that subset of people.   

       However, if we widen that subset of people to include all people - The People, if you will - then we quickly realise that the laws that are Non-Essential to the subset are essential to The People because certain members of the whole set The People are, I don't know, less savvy, more vulnerable, more often and less predictably exposed to the risks putatively dealt with by the "Non-Essential Laws". Which drags us to the point of the law (and indeed, to my mind, of The State), which is to protect and aid, as far as possible, those who are less savvy, more vulnerable, more often and less predictably exposed to risks and danger. And because any of us can become, through no fault of our own, part of this grouping of potential unfortunates, I am happy to accept the disgruntlage that comes from rubbing up against some pointless (to me) law or regulation. All of which does nothing but prove me to be the bleeding heart social leftist I really am. Which is good because that will make clear my prejudices before I describe the idea as posted as having, in its implicit assumptions, a touch - just a touch! - of me-first I'm-alright-Jack crypto-Thatcherism.   

       Setting aside my blind, probably baseless prejudices and assumptions about the idea, it is still interesting, so I will make two rambling points:   

       1. if we disregard for a moment the fact that the framework for enforcement exists, we can realise that these enclaved microstates exist, fleetingly and contingently, all over the UK (and elsewhere also, I would guess). For example, I know of a dude who has a licence to kill 12 deer a year. One of the conditions of his licence is that in butchering the said future roast loins of venison he must act in the Hollywood Mode: alone. However, I also understand that he rarely does, primarily because big deer are easier to shoot but harder to chop up. His garage is, for the duration of the butchering (and in purely practical, rather than legal, terms), such an enclave. The cooncil are uninterested in preventing the transgression and even if they were they are sufficiently understaffed that they would not be able to anyway; and   

       2. the implementation of the idea in legal terms is particularly difficult. Regulation of a given behaviour is rarely a single-layer affair. If a specific behaviour is prohibited, say, there will be the specific prohibition (either in statute or otherwise) which is, other than for technical infringements, likely a restatement or single-issue narrowing-down of an overarching principle or policy. Imagine, then, that the UK's constitution was put in place by Bill and Ted. The single principle would be "Be Excellent To Each Other". Then you have, carrying on down the levels with this example to less aspirational areas of the law, ones not personally overseen by members of Wyld Stallyns, the principle of duty of care (the basis of what is known to the English and similar people as Tort). And narrower than that you have the principle that you should drive with due care and attention. You can relax the lowest level principle with relative ease, I suppose. Relaxing, by means of specific carve-out, the Tort level becomes more difficult because it relates to a large number of areas of law, many of them self-evidently Essential. Successfully relaxing the top level is borderline impossible (as the relatively small number of modifications to the US constitution and the still smaller number of entirely successful attempts attests). Which leaves you in the position, in implementing the microstates idea, with (a) more lawyers and/or (b) high-level prohibition and routes of redress still governing, and therefore rendering fruitless, these supposedly relaxed laws and regulations.
calum, Apr 02 2009

       A similar state did, in fact, exist for a while, having been founded on the principle that its citizens *could* do pretty much whatever they wanted (so long as no-one else's rights were infringed in the process), and didn't *have* to do anything much other than be responsible for their own actions. Unfortunately, those same citizens have been somewhat lax in holding their government to account, with the result that there are more and more things that they can't do, or must do, even though their government has no constitutional right to create those laws.

So, as to which laws to exclude, start with all of them, then add the ones that are necessary. There are very few.
angel, Apr 02 2009

       umm, angel, the idea that people are free in all ways, but don't have the freedom to set the laws in their own community is oxymoronic. Freedom is the freedom to build new governance and the freedom to maintain old governance. If you believe that free people won't use that freedom to build novel repressive and freedom reducing communities then you are hopelessly naive. Even in a situation of total anarchy the smallest communal unit of the family represents a tiny seedling government with all the laws and losses of "freedoms" that that clearly represents.
WcW, Apr 02 2009

       Thanks [calum] for such a detailed and formidable anno. Where do i start and how do i do you justice?
A glib answer to the absence of proof in this context would be that science aims at corroboration rather than proof. A more considered answer might be that it is indeed the case that a gangster with sufficiently aggressive and competent lackeys doesn't need to worry about a Hobbesian state of nature. I did consider further stipulations, such as, for example, that nothing could be done for profit in the enclave, but it was becoming unwieldy so i missed out a lot of that. I don't consider it to be, for example, a tax haven, but i may consider it to be a place of sanctuary. You don't get to opt out of paying tax, but there's the more thorny problem of whether you get to opt out of conscription, which in some countries would be controversial. The laws of the land in general should maybe still apply. Another possibility would be to make the enclave self-sufficient, so it has no imports and therefore no vulnerability in that respect. That would also make life tougher inside and it wouldn't be a soft option. I take your point about the crypto-Thatcherism and historically, it's likely that you and i have a lot in common politically. However, since i began to do things such as home educate, my trust of the government to take care of people responsibly has declined. The question is really, can one place enough trust in the government for it to be a benign institution? It seems to me that the current trend in Westminster is in the opposite direction. Comments from the Dutch on such matters seems to indicate that they still have substantial trust in the benevolence of their own government. I must admit that i've lost track of what Holyrood are doing. My impression is that i would be generally more in favour of what goes on there than what goes on in London, and presumably if i had lived in Scotland for a long time i might trust government more than i do here in England. So, is socialism the absence of pessimism about human nature? I say that rather than "optimism" since it might involve scepticism that human nature even exists. If so, the extension into government makes sense in one way, but not in another because if hope in human behaviour is realistic, it seems that goodness doesn't need government to operate. To say it does sounds like pessimism to me. Then again, maybe socialism is something else.

       Turning to your two points then:   

       Your initial issue regarding the deer reminds me of someone with a home office licence to grow THC-high Cannabis for research purposes, and in that sense yes, it does happen. The local authority's inability and lack of interest in pursuing the transgression seems a good thing. It brings up the matter of who has the most resources. In the case of a microstate, it would be the state around it. In that situation, the stronger state has the political power. They have a police force and a military in most cases which means that at most, the existence of the enclave is tolerated. They can wipe it out without batting an eyelid if they so choose. In that case, i don't see that those within the enclave are the ones with the power to screw people over.   

       On your second point, Forvick and Sealand keep coming to my mind. I get the impression that founding a microstate is quite a DIY and quixotic thing rather than something involving armies of lawyers. It's more like doing conveyancing without a solicitor or defending oneself in court than establishing a tax haven. Though Forvick obviously is supposed to be a tax haven, it's not like the Cayman Islands so much as a single person's project. One person quietly sets up a microstate opposed to vexatious litigants. Eventually, the government would get round to doing something about it but it probably wouldn't be a very high priority for them if the likes of brothels and tax avoidance were ruled out. I imagine, perhaps inaccurately, that the relatively small number of people involved in each enclave would enable disputes and grievances to be resolved in a more personal and therefore less lucrative way, and the key term there is the last. To me, most of the time the absence of the possibility of monetary gain entails the absence of lawyers.   

       Oh and incidentally, there are people like the English? How disturbing!
nineteenthly, Apr 02 2009

       Having only those laws that a small self-sufficient (crucial) community established by consensus and enforced communally? Seems simple enough to me. Luxembourg anyone?
WcW, Apr 02 2009

       Well, Luxembourg is part of the EU and has long been part of a customs union with the other Low Countries. It's also quite big, around the size of an English county. I prefer to think of San Marino, but compared to this even the Vatican is big. The BDSM "state" surrounded by the Czech Republic is more like it. Danny Wallace's "Lovely" is probably about right.
nineteenthly, Apr 02 2009

       Once more, hmm. I suppose there are two ways to arrive at the microstate envisaged. One is with a wholesale Sealand-style secession, with the laws that you want to keep from the seceeded-from-State copy pasted into your own constitution. The other is a partial secession, or deliberate (and seceeded-from- State-tolerated), well, abrogation by the incipient microstate from only a selected portion of the legal framework of the seceeded-from-State. So, rip it up and start again or something akin to devolution. Being based in and bound to Scotland, I natually assumed that the route implied in the idea text was the second and more gradual route, though I see now that you are perhaps thinking more along the lines of the former route. This means that my probably all-too-lawyerly consideration of where to make the incisions for the partial lawendectomy was unnecessary. Which takes care of the 2nd numerated point I made.   

       I have been thinking more about the 1st point, in light of and then mentally dancing away from your comments on said point. One thing that came to mind was, given that the State is already quite often unable or disinclined to enforce the laws it deems to be otherwise Essential (small scale class C drug supply, for example, or minor transgressions of the licensing laws), to consider the parallel of the Rules of the House.   

       When I was a kid, some of my friends' parents, usually the ones with sour expressions and cream carpets, mandated the removal of shoes at the door. Others, usually the ones with dogs, did not. And while there is an unrwritten but generally accepted (among the middle class at least) social rule that You Shall Not Mess Up Your Neighbours' House (this rule itself being a narrowing from Be Excellent to Each Other through Respect The Wishes of Your Hosts), differing households have differing views on whether the rule was necessary or appropriate in the first place. Enforcement of the no shoes rule is encouraged by appeal, usually tacit and inter-parental, to the Respect The Wishes of Your Hosts sub-principle. Those who derogate from the No Shoes Rule are free to do so, though the social enforcement mechanism of the higher layers of Social Rules still remain.   

       All of which longwindedly brings me towards restatement of the point that these microstates do exist already - the enforcement of the rules is left to people varyingly inclined to enforce them - and all the idea seeks, as far as I can see, is the legal elimination of the right by the State to keep, stored in a glass case for time of emergency whatever legislative sticks it needs to beat you. My point (finally!) is that the State doesn't actually want to beat you and, even if they did, has probably lost the glass hammer it needs to get at the stick and even if they do throw a chair through the pane, they're probably not able to understand the text. We are protected from diligent application by the State of the Law, to a greater or lesser extent depending on your circumstances, by the indolence and inefficiency of any organ of equivalent size of the State.
calum, Apr 03 2009

       The discussion of how a microstate might come into being misses an important point, although calum has given a pretty big hint. Existing microstates exist because either their effects are either inconsequential or because they provide a benefit to those with most influence in running whichever State we happen to be talking about. It is no coincidence, I feel, that most, if not all, of the examples discussed relate to 'tax havens'. These places provide a substantial benefit to those with money (and therefore influence & power). Stand this in contrast with the gradual fate of so-called 'criminal safe-havens' which now seem to be restricted to just Turkish Cyprus and the City of London.

If factories & estates across Britain started federating with, for example, a microstate set up by the BNP specifically to evade Race Equality laws, then I think that the State would pretty quickly find not only the instructions and key to the case containing the big, legislative stick but also the keys to several other cases containing sticks of increasing size and impact potential.
DrBob, Apr 03 2009

       I appreciate the utility of a clearly right-wing counterexample. That would make the interest group in this case insurance companies and lawyers, on the whole.
[Calum], thanks again, and i appreciate the attention which, however, i haven't the time to do justice right now. I think it depends on the state and the exact area of dissent. Some of them would be very keen to do so in certain areas but not others, hence [DrBob]'s point. Another thing which comes to mind about the generalisation of being excellent to each other is that it would depend on the description. I think you're talking about what i think of as the Kantian Categorical Imperative - "What if everyone did the same?" - with the consequent problem of defining what counts as "the same". If the same means "making sure everyone is treated fairly" is interpreted as "making sure everyone gets compensated", that's how it would go in this context. Concerning tax havens though, the Forvick affair started before recent criticism, and it still seems to be disapproved of by the authorities, so how does that fit in? I have to say, though, that i'm extremely inclined to agree with you, i'm just perplexed about the Shetlands matter.
nineteenthly, Apr 03 2009

       Last week I signed a waiver pretty much identical to what you propose. I'll get the specifics and email to you - I think you'll find it interesting, and perhaps even useful.
lurch, Apr 03 2009

       Yes, that'd be really interesting, [Lurch]. Please do.
nineteenthly, Apr 04 2009

       This would potentially set up a confusing network of laws that would need legal, geographic Venn diagrams to be constantly updated.   

       Even if you created a device to manage all this, a misstep within the tolerance of GPS could mean that such a device could be stolen off you - due to an absence of laws prohibiting theft.   

       All normal flaws with Libertarian thought experiments apply too, of course. An example of this is what happens when a micro-state surrounds a place that objects to the enveloping state's exception. There are far too many other standard flaws to go into any kind of detail here.   

       Legends holds that Gretna Green used to be an example of this, a place where people could go to marry when they were under 21 and without their parents consent. However this was merely the first place in Scotland that English elopers could reach.
Aristotle, Apr 05 2009

       I like legal Venn diagrams of course. Gretna was never an enclave and the truth is rather more startling. Until 1929, it was legal for a girl to marry at 12 and a boy at 14 without parental consent in Scotland. Berwick is closer to being an enclave because of the Tweed and is the only county town i know of (former) whose county is in a different country. Concerning the law clash, maybe some kind of XML-style approach would be the answer?
nineteenthly, Apr 05 2009

       To look at legal "enclaves" in British history research our emergence from feudal times when your feudal lord could easily be your employer, your landlord and your judge. During the industrial revolution some people set up company towns, whose workers were paid in company currency that could only be redeemed in company shops.   

       All kinds of historic legal exceptions existed at various times ranging from varied rights of sanctuary and draconic "forest" (which didn't just apply to wooded areas) restrictions meant to promote hunting privileges.   

       Amongst that history you'll find the reasons for the emergence of a more uniform legal system from a long history of struggle.
Aristotle, Apr 06 2009

       I'm aware of that history to some extent. I was particularly negatively impressed by the likes of Arkwright tying people into his factory economically. The same thing happens today in various ways. However, i would ask you to compare and contrast the likes of LETS (whereof i'm not a fan except as a brief transitional stage when necessary) and the token system in early nineteenth century mills. There's a big difference, and whereas the feudal system is infinitely dodgy (and may also, rather disturbingly, be coming back in some areas where it went away for a while), the reinvention of such a system needn't be the same as it was before. A modern steam locomotive with a well-insulated boiler running on diesel is very different than a twentieth century locomotive using coal, a brick fireplace and a relatively thin, poorly sealed and uninsulated boiler.
nineteenthly, Apr 06 2009


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