In the last entry I posed a question – “What good is our Micro Republic without law?”. In this entry I’ll discuss the rule of law vs. the rule of honor. A concept in the prepper community is a world Without the Rule Of Law (WROL). When it becomes a WROL tribes are going to face challenges. One of those challenges is the choice of whether to try and retain existing laws or abandon them. This entry is going to dig into that concept a bit and examine some historical examples along with how a tribe might implement its own set of laws.
As I stated before we’re assuming the proverbial feces have hit the rotary oscillator and the world forgot to duck. Never mind 911 the phone lines no longer work and any RFD (Rural Fire Department) has been raided for its equipment. Yup, we’re still on our own. So what now?
Examining history teaches us one important fact. That without laws groups of men and even cultures normally resort to a “Culture of Honor”. Sounds cool, right – Honor and all. Not exactly. The honor that those men and cultures resorted to was not the honor you see all the patriot movement and liberty bloggers write about. The cultures of honor that emerged and existed were the ones that gave birth to the concept of standing as determined by possessions (which creates an Aristocratic class that eventually becomes beyond reach of the honor law) and the notion that inspiring fear forms a better strategy than promoting kinship; and the concept that creating a reputation for swift and disproportionate retaliation increases the safety of one persons family and property. As an example look at the western Land Baron that perceived a wrong for smaller ranchers grazing their cattle on his property. The land baron had the resources through hired hands to beat, rob, and burn the smaller ranchers out – and they had no repercussions because of their lack of resources. The fundamental reason cultures and groups with their foundation in this kind of rule of honor collapse easily because that honor concept is so easily perverted for one parties gain and the other members eventually revolt against those that have morally wronged them. Another aspect of the historical rule of honor is the emergence of “Honor Killing” – think Sharia law on that one.
The cultural “Rule of Honor” most folks nowadays refer to is more similar to Bushido (which eventually transformed in Japanese Feudal Law) or the Chivalric Code. And those codes of honor are more like laws unto their subject group than the “rule of honor” which has historically arisen in cultures lacking the rule of law.
Now within the tribe it’s going to be a given that there is no real equality when it comes to some families holdings vs. others. And if we want a really cohesive tribe we need to have equity among the tribe members. So the historical rule of honor is out (that doesn’t mean we can’t act with honor as an individual or tribal attribute) and for SnG we’ve decided to establish our “Tribal Council” of the ten representatives from the families within the AO to have responsibility for our Tribal Security, Health, and Welfare. We also need some form of the rule of law to apply to our tribe and it’s members. But what laws and what punishments? Do we keep the existing ones or develop our own? Those are questions you are going to have to sort out within your tribe taking into account your common morals, ethics, and beliefs. IMHO If you plan on developing a model it should be simple and not ultra restrictive – we’re going to be living in a world that our common set of laws nowadays may just not suffice in. We also need a process by which our Tribal Council has to operate within – because don’t ya know dammit even the least little two bit politician is going to let that shit go to their head. So what I’ve done here is draft a VERY SIMPLE form of “Constitution” for our tribe. remember – I’m putting out examples – semper gumby it or choose another method altogether. This is designed to get you to think.
In it we enumerate the rights and responsibilities of the members, due process, our simplified criminal code, our local tribal government, and codify who is responsible for planning and executing what might be atypical in the way of Tribal community functions – Security, Communications, Health, and Welfare. It doesn’t address some things like Civil issues i.e. marriage, divorce, and such. It’d be all too easy to plug that stuff in there. But it’s not specific! It doesn’t address threats to the tribe or a whole lotta other stuff! Truth be told it’s designed to be flexible to allow the Tribe and the council to deal with evolving threats and issues related to those four areas. We don’t want uber-government telling us how to feed our cat. What it does do is restrict the council from becoming a corrupt little board of oligarchs. It does give the families in the Tribe equal representation regardless of holdings and a basic set of laws to help us retain our civility – which without we might as well be the dirtbags driving around raiding homesteads.
Like I stated – it’s far from perfect and only meant as an example. Semper gumby it, adapt it, make it fit your Tribe and their ideals.
Edit for a link: There’s a ton of stuff on the Native American Tribal Self-Governance site. Examples, etc. You have to dig but there’s some worthwhile reading in there.