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Law Free Zones
Over time I’ve come to feel forced to conclude that that most people want large areas of life to be relative free of law. That is, they don’t want to allow legal complaints about harms in those areas. They instead want other social institutions to handle such harms, or such harms to just be suffered.
For example, many communities have norms against “snitches” who take complaints to legal authorities.
The law enforces matching promises as “contracts”, but usually won’t enforce single promises, even if they are made just as clearly or have similarly large consequences.
Even though courts tend to be eager to call it “fraud” when customers and business disagree about implied claims in commercial deals, the US Supreme Court struck down a law that would have punished people from lying about having military medals, saying citizens have a free speech right to make such lies.
Also, getting someone to have sex with you on the basis of lies usually isn’t considered a legal harm, or rape. And in general while we economists are falsely accused of being obsessed with money, law is in fact so obsessed. Typically one can’t sue for harms suffered unless one can show a monetary harm. For example, fan fiction isn’t a copyright violation if you don’t make cash from it.
The costs of using courts has risen greatly over the centuries, and far fewer people can be usefully sued today because the amount of money they could pay is less than the cost of suing them. Yet we hear few complaint about this, and few are interested in my proposal to radically lower the cost of lawsuits.
Consider also that in many common social interactions people greatly exaggerate and lie about many things. They lie about how nice people look, how much they like each other, and whether they plan to get together soon.
How to make sense of all this? I postulate that we have ancient styles of social interaction where in lies and big exaggerations are very common, and we like these styles. If we allowed law to apply to such areas, people would be penalized for using this ancient style. They’d instead have to be clear and careful about what they say. And while we see such literal speech as somewhat necessary for some areas of life, we just don’t want it in other areas of life.