David D. Friedman – Legal Systems Very Different From Ours

David D Friedman‘s talk, “Legal Systems Very Different from Ours”, is now available:

David Friedman at the 2009 Seasteading Conference

At the 2009 Seasteading Conference, David D. Friedman customized his academic seminar entitled Legal Systems Very Different from Our Own as the basis for his presentation, narrowing in on the two possible high-level legal situations for a seastead: one arising from existence inside the territorial waters of an existing state, and one emergent of a clearly independent existence out on the high seas.

There are theoretically endless legal configurations possible, but it can be difficult for residents of ostensibly monolegal systems — countries in which only one system of legality applies to all citizens in all places — to imagine how polylegalities could arise and be of benefit to a seastead. Friedman uses examples from history and the actuality of legal process in modern life (particularly tort law versus criminal law in the United States) to demonstrate that polylegal states have been far from marginal in human societies and may strongly inform the formation of certain seasteading configurations.

Friedman’s perspective draws from a staggeringly colorful variety of historical legal systems and anthropological situations, from modern gypsies to saga-period Iceland to classical Athens, and many more. Will the first Seasteads arise first from, as David Friedman puts it, “a sort of a collection of different kinds of nuts” in a polylegal agglomeration, or from situations far more homogenous and uniform? Listen to his talk and envision the possibilities!

Related: Future Imperfect: Technology and Freedom in an Uncertain World by David D. Friedman


Leave a Reply