Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Voluntary Justice (4) Protection

If the accused person is judged to be innocent, the tribal leaders will provide the innocent person with protection from any further harassment.

Belonging to a tribe is voluntary, but the condition for belonging is submission to the authority of tribal leaders. Willingness to submit disputes to a judge and agreement to comply with the judge’s verdict is also a condition for belonging. Freedom is not reduced, because the person is always free to leave their tribe and cease submission. They would lose the benefits of being part of their tribe, but they are always free to go.

Moses is an example of one who used his freedom to escape justice (Ex 11:11-21). The price he paid was forty years in the wildness tending sheep for a much poorer tribe (God used this for good). This is different from the modern nation-state, where submission to authority is enforced with force and people are usually not free to leave.

Tribal affiliations are fluid. If the leaders of a tribe started to impose bad justice, people would leave that tribe and join another related tribe with better standards of justice. The bad tribe would shrink away.


Gene Redlin said...

I can't help thinking of Islam as you write this.

Certainly the justice system is flawed. Will the people shrink away?

Or is it so not voluntary?

Steve Scott said...

Where do I sign up?

RonMcK said...

I do not understand what you are saying.

Many Moslem societies, like American society, are not voluntary. In both cases, state justice is imposed by state force.

The American government would not allow someone who does not American justice, to switch allegiance to another tribe, so it uses force to make sure that it does not shrink away.

There are still some tribal cultures in Moslem countries, where it is possible to switch allegiance, if your tribe turns sour. However, these are getting rare, as it most countries in the world western colonial powers set up centralised governments that destroyed traditional tribal justice.