Gypsy Law: Justice For Me, But Not For Thee
Dave Killion — September 8, 2012
“The rules, in large part common to the different communities, can be usefully grouped into two categories. One consists of ordinary legal rules covering the obligations of gypsies to each other. Swindling or stealing from a fellow gypsy is an offense to be dealt with, swindling or stealing from a non-gypsy comes under gypsy law only to the extent that it creates problems for other gypsies.”
This first category sounds as if it could have come from a book I read recently ; “ The Invisible Hook“, by Peter Leeson. The rules by which pirates regulated themselves were very much in the vein of maintaining peaceful, honest conduct within the group, while permitting (or more correctly, encouraging) violent, dishonest behaviour toward outsiders. I imagine such systems have been very common throughout history. You can read a summary of Leeson’s thoughts here.
While on the topic of pirates, I’ll let you know that during our next meeting, the club will be discussing the chapter on Somali Law from the Friedman book I cited yesterday. Have a look, and consider sharing with us any thoughts you might have.
Disclaimer: The articles and opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Libertarian Book Club.