Abramson (All): Great series. FYI: Origin of European legal oddities is the first principle of European civilizational law: individual sovereignty. Meaning these are outlets to circumvent the problem of the absence of discretionary authority, where the exercise of any authority violates the first principle of the law and produces an incentive for retaliation against the authority. Unlike the river valley civilizations, where production, defense, policing, taxation and administration could be concentrated, Europeans couldn’t produce equal political efficiency given the territory. So it took Mediterranean trade, Lotharingian trade routes, north sea trade, and Atlantic trade to pay the higher cost of political organization.
Conversely, Jewish homogeneity and interdependence for survival made possible by the absence of responsibility for territorial conquest, domestication, and defense allowed the formation of collective and judicial authority without undermining the production of internal order. So, Europeans had the opposite organizing problem that originated in the west Indo-European development of a universal militia funded by families. In simplistic terms, the origin of European civilization is that of entrepreneurial warriors who merged horse, bronze, and wheel on the steppe, then used the superiority of that social and military order to conquer most of Eurasia despite the absence of centralized productivity made possible by the river valleys of the flood river civilizations.
We see this in the universal consistency of the means by which pirates organize: democratic government, a division of power, and the ‘corporation’ of warriors. Or in trivial terms “conquerors and colonizers require different organizing principles to domesticate territory and people prior to the organization of production and trade. The ‘entrepreneurship of violence’ necessary for such conquest, colonization, and domestication produces a different shareholder agreement from that of the traders that follow them.
We can see the limit of the hierarchy of these organizations failing in the steppe, desert, and arctic for the same reason. An analogy to the three bears. Only certain territories favor certain organizing principles. And it explains why the steppe and desert produced the waves of the conquest of river civilizations that caused the low trust civilization of the middle east by the constant rotation of power. And conversely the higher trust Indians, next higher trust of East Asians, and the highest trust of north Europeans.
In other words, we are all the product of our geography combined with path dependency of our founding people’s organizing principles. It’s kind of beautiful in retrospect.