I think the article is slightly misinformed however, the Sharia legal and judicial instrument which was adopted by the Somali people after the growth of the Muslim faith in the region was another system of justice and social order that arrived well before attempted European colonisation.
On a tangent, interesting things are happening with the Somali federal government now with respect to the telecommunications industry. Not only does Somalia now have its own top down domain (.so) but fiber optic lines are slowly being rolled out in the capital.
I find it ironic to think that in Australia the government is singing praises for copper network lines (after repealing the NBN) yet war torn anarchic Somali is pushing in the other direction. Somalia and Africas future really does look interesting.
(from wikipedia) > It is an example of how customary law works within a stateless society
Anything that uses the word "stateless" is guaranteed to make it to the front page of HN, an immutable conglomeration of immutability fanatics.
Social media / web blog / MMORPG code of conduct / Karma scheme / online digital currency / standards of behavior all belong here?
If, today, on eveonline, or any other mmorpg, enough people wanted to roll a system out for conflict resolution, well, here's a historical system thats known to work and be stable and well documented, or documented well enough anyway. It might actually transplant successfully.
Much as most social media is essentially workforce automation for grade school girl playground scale interpersonal relations, there are obvious startup opportunities to provide distributed worldwide mediation services using proven stable and successful historical techniques with a thin patina of CRUD web app and mobile phone data harvesting app smeared over it. Although this paragraph is hyper sarcastic its also serious, there are obvious startup opportunities for a proven stable and workable mediation system. Other than having problems educating the participants, I see no particular reason it couldn't scale worldwide for mediation. MaaS is Mediation as a Service? I suppose the startup would base their support call center in .so for obvious reasons? Its a very interesting idea and I'm almost sorry to state it publicly because I'd almost want to roll it out myself.
Oh, I may not have made that clear. I'd roll out outside the West and maybe enter the general US market, maybe not. The GDP of Africa as a continent is about $2T and growing relatively fast.
It's not perfect - it seems to rely on individual companies to remain honest, for instance - but one can go to a local market and add funds to their account with cash, then send those funds to others via a text message.
Seeing that such a system has still yet to take off in many industrialized countries, I find that pretty amazing :)
As an aside, in South Africa, there's a palpable sense of anxiety in the business press that we could be, in a few decades, overtaken by our neighbours to the north. We have entrenched interests, and inflexible and poorly educated labour force and a business world that has historically been dominated by monopolists.
I do not know much about the anxiety in SA. What competitive advantages do people fear from the northern neighbors?
South Africa's school education system is dismal. The black education system was horrific, and designed to create a permanent underclass. The white education system, while far better, emphasised conformism, rather than innovation. Still it produced Elon Musk, so it couldn't have been that bad. Today, limited resources, poor planning, and stupid teachers (protected by a powerful union) have led to our near-bottom position in world rankings.
It was recently revealed that the dominant teachers' union has been selling posts in some provinces (in black schools). Bizzarely, parents in School Governing Bodies, who would presumably be expected to look after their childrens' interests, were in on this scam. The rest of Africa seems to have less dysfunctional education systems.
A more sensitive point is that South Africa also has a small middle class (largely white), with a huge amount of wealth, but diminishing brain power due to emigration. Their self-preservation instincts mean that development is often stifled because of their needs. Want to build a high-density development close to a city centre, or a rapid-transit system? Not near these NIMBYs (they delayed a much-needed Bus Rapid Transit link between central Johannesburg and Sandton for years because it passed their leafy suburbs, it was finally rerouted last year). Want to build a high speed train service, for these same people - one that they have come to love? Their political representatives tried to kill it. Want to improve the freeways funded by electronic tolling to eliminate multi-hour traffic delays? - they try their utmost to sabotage it. Social solidarity is dead, and many are utterly opposed to transformation - many white government school governing bodies have managed to create a situation akin to apartheid, by cheating on admissions, and co-opting a few government officials by allowing their children in. I expect this sort of attitude to backfire quite badly, which is why I am heading for the exits myself.
South African business is dominated by monpollists, and the government lacks the skill to rein them in. Our dominant cellphone networks have been ripping consumers off for years, and use the judicial system to stymie remedies.
The list goes on.
Another way to look at it is that white South Africans jealously guard their piece of the pie. Black South Africans are trying to get a bigger slice of the same pie. Other countries in Africa are focused on growing their pies. Oh, and the South African stock market is booming because South African companies find it more profitable to help the rest of Africa bake pies.
You can't look at an outlier to make a statement about the average.
.so doesn't have much for resources other than pirates and hungry people, so if they're going to have to import everything, may as well be the new stuff.
Another way to look at .au vs .so is .au is very sparsely populated other than coasts so "most people" will likely end up using wireless for everything, and copper only in unusual areas, and perhaps not so in .so where a very substantial fiber investment might be required to pepper the entire country with wireless towers.
Inherently fiber "should be" much cheaper tech that copper, but due to existing infrastructure and historical economic conditions, its currently applied the other way around, so expensive fiber is for big cities and cell towers, but copper is for providing DSL to that cattle ranch 100 miles from civilization. If .so only serves the rich in the big cities, they have no use for copper to feed the rural poor who won't be getting service, as a theoretical example.
Australia has a 90% urbanisation rate, which is one of the highest of all non-city-state nations, though our cities are quite spread out. It's a total myth that we're all comfortable in the Outback, one that most of us seem to believe ourselves. We're suburbanites and urbanites, as a rule of thumb.
Regarding the costs, laying new fiber is more expensive than not laying new copper, but the copper circuits we have are so old that maintenance costs are ballooning. There's not really a serious cost argument for or against the NBN, it's really about politics.
copper is for providing DSL to that cattle ranch 100 miles from civilization
DSL doesn't stretch that far, by an order of magnitude (perhaps two orders) :)
> which is one of the highest of all non-city-state nations
Including all nations, it only drops to 17th - still in the top 10%.
> seem like someone who wants to point out that running copper is
> like hanging dollar bills because, you know, the Poors.
I have never seen a civil society / NGO telecom development project that did not rule out running copper in an impoverished country with a weak government. Have you? The problem is not "the poors." The problem is a failed economy and no rule of law.
You obviously have no clue about the real happenings of Somalia. The standards of living, core metrics like life expectancy, all of them really except school enrollment, have increased despite being anarchic for the last 20+ years. In comparison to neighbors like Ethiopia, Somalia is doing well. If you look at mobile adoption and access to tech, the improvement in Somalia outshadows most other African countries.
There is the rule of law where Xeer is used. Xeer is suppressed only in the area of the south where war is being waged between UN insurgents and al-Shabaab fighters. The rest of the country beyond Galkayo (Puntland and Somaliland) is not a "failed economy" by any measure besides the faulty assumption that an economy requires strict intervention in a western-progressive style.
> The standards of living, core metrics like life expectancy, all of
> them really except school enrollment, have increased despite being
> anarchic for the last 20+ years.
I am genuinely interested in seeing these statistics because the picture you paint of Somalia is much rosier than the picture painted by the people at the Somali-Bantu Community Center in my county. I am trying to keep an open mind but I have to admit my skepticism about the situation in somalia meant that I read your comment as:
"All of the core metrics [except education but everyone knows education is a useless metric for judging living conditions] in Somalia have increased [from zero] because it has been hellish in Somalia for twenty years.
There is a functioning economy and rule of law in Somalia [if you exclude the south where there is not a lot of positive things to talk about except that the government official targeted in yesterdays car bombing was not among the 11 people killed]."
My response to the rest is below ----
See Spencer Heath MacCallum's The Rule of Law without the State here: http://mises.org/daily/2701
>Imagine any part of the globe not being dominated by a central government and the people there surviving, even prospering. If such were to happen and the idea spread to other parts of Africa or other parts of the world, the mystique of the necessity of the state might be irreparably damaged, and many politicians and bureaucrats might find themselves walking about looking for work.
>If the expectation was that Somalia would plunge into an abyss of chaos, what is the reality? A number of recent studies address this question, including one by economist Peter Leeson drawing on statistical data from the United Nations Development Project, World Bank, CIA, and World Health Organization. Comparing the last five years under the central government (1985–1990) with the most recent five years of anarchy (2000–2005), Leeson finds these welfare changes:
- Life expectancy increased from 46 to 48.5 years. This is a poor expectancy as compared with developed countries. But in any measurement of welfare, what is important to observe is not where a population stands at a given time, but what is the trend. Is the trend positive, or is it the reverse?
- Number of one-year-olds fully immunized against measles rose from 30 to 40 percent.
- Number of physicians per 100,000 population rose from 3.4 to 4.
- Number of infants with low birth weight fell from 16 per thousand to 0.3 — almost none.
- Infant mortality per 1,000 births fell from 152 to 114.9.
- Maternal mortality per 100,000 births fell from 1,600 to 1,100.
- Percent of population with access to sanitation rose from 18 to 26.
- Percent of population with access to at least one health facility rose from 28 to 54.8.
- Percent of population in extreme poverty (i.e., less than $1 per day) fell from 60 to 43.2.
- Radios per thousand population rose from 4 to 98.5.
- Telephones per thousand population rose from 1.9 to 14.9.
- TVs per 1,000 population rose from 1.2 to 3.7.
- Fatalities due to measles fell from 8,000 to 5,600.
You can verify any of these statistics yourself through sources like the mentioned CIA Factbook: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/...
>I am genuinely interested in seeing these statistics because the picture you paint of Somalia is much rosier than the picture painted by the people at the Somali-Bantu Community Center in my county. I am trying to keep an open mind but I have to admit my skepticism about the situation in somalia meant that I read your comment as:
>"All of the core metrics [except education but everyone knows education is a useless metric for judging living conditions] in Somalia have increased [from zero] because it has been hellish in Somalia for twenty years.
>There is a functioning economy and rule of law in Somalia [if you exclude the south where there is not a lot of positive things to talk about except that the government official targeted in yesterdays car bombing was not among the 11 people killed]."
Bantu in Somalia are part of the chaotic southwest. The southwestern provinces such as Bay and Bakool have recently either declared autonomy from Mogadishu or have started to discuss it.
The port city of Kismayo had been a pivotal stronghold for al-Shabaab who held it for the past few years. Al-Shabaab has lost a ton of ground in the past year whereas it had controlled the majority of south Somalia for the three years or so prior.
There was a shit ton of military action and natural disasters such as the drought affecting this area, so certainly this part of the country is no utopia.
The other parts of the country is like another world. As al-Shabaab has lost ground in the south, they have moved some operations to the divided city of Galkayo. 1/3 of the city is controlled by the south and whatever Transitional Government is ruling now while the other 2/3 of the city is part of Puntland. This is about the extent of violence in Somalia. Coincidentally, the 2/3 of the geographical area of Somalia besides south of Galkayo.. the Horn and Somaliland, are relatively peaceful with only a dash of violence spreading from the UN conflict zone.
Education matters, I was just mentioning the truth that all metrics have improved besides schools. You can make of that what you want. There was no real widespread schooling system before and there isn't one still. The UN-backed Transitional Government is having a hard time keeping terrorist bombings out of Mogadishu, so it isn't anywhere near spreading schools around the country.
> verify any of these statistics yourself
- Physicians per 100,000:4 (this is tenth lowest and FYI the CIA uses per 1k)
- Infant mortality: 3rd highest 100 Afghanistan highest at 114.
- Maternal morbidity: 1,000 3rd behind South Sudan (2,000) and Chad (1,100)
- Sanitation Down to 23%
The article is using the following sources as mentioned therein: "statistical data from the United Nations Development Project, World Bank, CIA, and World Health Organization"
You obviously have some sort of state apologist agenda by your intellectually dishonest statements here.
If you are going to start spitting out statistics, you better provide a source as well.
"Physicians per 100,000:4 (this is tenth lowest and FYI the CIA uses per 1k)"
Where are you getting 4 per 100K from? The CIA factbook says 4 per 1,000.
"Infant mortality: 3rd highest 100 Afghanistan highest at 114."
"Maternal morbidity: 1,000 3rd behind South Sudan (2,000) and Chad (1,100)"
Meanwhile the the facts are: 'Infant mortality per 1,000 births fell from 152 to 114.9' and 'Maternal mortality per 100,000 births fell from 1,600 to 1,100'
The point is there was improvement, not that Somalia is a great place to live based on first-world country standards, so saying, "Oh that is still the 3rd worst in the world!" is utterly irrelevant.
"Sanitation Down to 23%"
After an increase in the period discussed, the first 5 years of anarchy. The CIA Factbook currently says 23.6% for improved sanitation facilities, versus 26% mentioned in the article. Is this 3 percentage points of decrease that important?
The fact remains that things have generally gotten better for Somalia despite the terrible military and economic intervention.
>> "Physicians per 100k:4 (this is 10th lowest...)"
> Where are you getting 4 per 100K from?
> The CIA factbook says 4 per 1,000.
Or do you need a source for the math? I do not think converting 0.04/1,000 to 4/100,000 is part of the proprietary math instruction I received at the state-apologist reeducation camp.
> "Infant mortality: 3rd highest 100 ...
> "Maternal morbidity: 1,000 3rd behind South Sudan...
> "Sanitation Down to 23%"
> The CIA Factbook currently says 23.6% for improved
> sanitation facilities, versus 26% mentioned in the
> article. Is this 3 percentage points of decrease that
> Meanwhile the the facts are: 'Infant mortality per 1,000 births fell from 152 to 114.9' and 'Maternal mortality per 100,000 births fell from 1,600 to 1,100'
Everybody's stats for this fell: http://web.archive.org/web/20091028133430/https://www.cia.go...
> The point is there was improvement, not that Somalia
> is a great place to live based on first-world country
> standards, so saying, "Oh that is still the 3rd worst
> in the world!" is utterly irrelevant.
Now in power, they've realised what a stupid platform they've run on, since anything they do is breaking a "we won't do that" promise they made earlier. Abandoning the NBN is a relatively minor pledge that they can keep so it doesn't look like a total rout. Their Communications minister certainly doesn't give the impression that he thinks it's the right thing to do.
Would be a fun experiment. Do different classifiers who have been taught with different data sets tend to classify data points similarly? I'm unsure of an exciting real-world problem you could use where this would be beneficial over teaching one classifier with all of the data, but I'm also not super familiar with the math behind many of the classification algorithms out there.
This makes no sense, given the remainder of the article, as a modern, well-functioning economy (of which Somalia certainly does not have one) requires diversity. Xeer relies heavily on ingrained cultural norms, and is discriminatory against minorities and women. Lack of impartiality is also a question, given that you are assigned a judge at birth.
It might work well in Somalia, but I can't see what is described as being translatable elsewhere. There are some elements that aren't Xeer-specific (like reducing focus on punitive measures), but as a whole, I can't see it working somewhere else that doesn't have the same social structure.
Nope. Have you seen Somalia?
Illuminating quotes, "the government forbade clanism and stressed loyalty to the central authorities", "Barre also sought to eradicate the importance of clan (qabil) affiliation within government and civil society".
I can advocate Xeer as a functional model of non-state governance in exactly the same way that parliamentary democracy did not become defunct after the Revolutionary War and that liberal democracy did not sing its swan song after the overthrow of the Shah or during the Lebanese civil war.
But another angle, that seem to describe more closely the long term evolution and progress of human societies, is that laws and ethics have been slowly built by human societies against the law of nature. The direst way to express this is that in a natural environment, the weak and the disabled are left aside and die quickly, which we humans have decided to try hard to avoid.
So maybe a softer, more informal, "stateless" society like this Xeer could be valuable. But if it was, it would be because it would better protect us from the law of nature.
This simply isn't true. Humans evolved feelings like compassion because such cooperation and caring was beneficial to our survival. These emotions exist outside of any deliberate human decision making or social planning. Even monkeys have evolved forms of altruistic behaviour. 'Ethics' in the sense of empathy and compassionate behaviour is hence just as much a part of the 'law of nature' as the more violent behaviours associated with it.
That's a plausible hypothesis, but considering that it cannot be proven or disproven, it is an ultimately uninteresting one. gbog was talking about social evolution, which is a topic of social sciences. On second thought, perhaps reclassifying evolutionary psychology as a social science would be in order.
I'm sorry, but I can't agree with this kind of point. Ok, maybe by looking very closely, one could find traces of altruistic behaviors in monkey societies, but this cannot count as an argument against the amorality of Nature. Because it would mean to take the exception for the normality. Any unskewed view on natural behavior in animals is just saying the plain obvious: animals do not care at all if they inflict pain to other animals or kill them, except for their offspring. This is the norm, the natural way. You can count the exceptions, it will not change the norm.
On the opposite, in human societies, it happens that some people do not care (do not feel anything) when they inflict
pain on other beings, but this is the exception, not the norm. And this has been built very slowly against nature, by the process of civilization (in the good old "natural" times, most human did not care if people of other race or slaves were suffering).
So let's not forget that. Nature is beautiful, but it feels nothing, we feel for her.
The time when slavery and contact between races existed is generally not considered the 'state of nature'. In pre-civilised (pre-agricultural) society, populations were so small and transportation technology so limited that it would have been quite rare for people of different races to come in contact.
Natural law is an orthogonal concept to the laws of nature (i.e. physics) and to the empirical consequences of stateless societies (e.g. property is often stolen from the weak).
Another example: you can't really have tigers and humans living too close of each other. A part of the work of civilization process has been to kill tigers so to let human offspring live. As much as we may like tigers (so beautiful, and endangered!), we still should prefer humans, right?
Then maybe my point still holds: wishing for a life closer to nature, going back to "good old times", removed from all the "artificial institutions" (such as the Law and the State), as emphasised in the article, is not that much of a good idea, if we consider that, in ancient times, life was in average much harder on the weaks and the disabled (and the women, and the enemies, and the different ones).
There are plenty of exceptions. Maybe one can find a time window in some places where e.g. homosexuals were better accepted than right now. But still, these exceptions will not change the big picture, wich was much darker before.
It's rich with deeper meaning that there are a number of comments here about the development of rules and laws as we comment on an article posted on Wikipedia. I am one of thousands of volunteer editors on Wikipedia (since May 2010) years after having been (1) an editor of a glossy monthly bilingual publication about a foreign country as an expatriate resident of that country, (2) an editor of a series of English-language trade magazines about manufactured products from that same country, and (3) a student-editor (usually the only kind of editor such a publication has) of a law review. I started editing Wikipedia as late as I did, years after Wikipedia was founded, because when I first heard about Wikipedia I thought its editorial policies are madness--and, sure enough, the articles that resulted from the original policy included a lot of cruft. As Wikipedia has continued in existence, it has not been able to continue an Ayn Rand anarchy of bullies but has gradually had to develop rules and procedures and (a little bit of) hierarchy and organization. Most of the articles on the topics I do the most of my professional research in are still LOUSY, and I have been interviewed twice by the Wikipedia Signpost in the last several months about what needs to be done to improve articles on Wikipedia for various WikiProjects. The article kindly submitted here illustrates the problem, with its incoherent presentation of facts and speculation from a mixture of good and poor sources.
I live among the largest Somali expatriate community in the world outside Somalia (Minneapolis and its suburbs--we can listen to Somali-language local radio here since the 1990s) and have a new client for my supplementary mathematics classes whose family is from Somalia. That country's internal conditions during my adult life have been HARSH, and I don't envy any Somali patriot's task in trying to build up a country with peace, stability, and justice for all Somali citizens. I do wish all Somalis well in adapted customary legal systems to the modern world.
Ayn Rand has absolutely nothing to do with this, and you shouldn't use her name as a form of generic insult. That is just stupid.
Also, Ayn Rand wrote at length against anarchy, so your insult doesn't even make sense. She also wrote at length against the arbitrary use of force, which is what bullies use.
Other commentary on the writings of Ayn Rand, who definitely has some of the most dedicated fans I have ever met, can be found in a famous blog post by John Rogers. I invite all the participants here to read it and see what you think.
As for your other link, let's be clear: you are simply name-calling. The slander you are referring to (quoted below) does not describe me. Nor does it describe a great many other Objectivists. I know you have way more karma than me, but please keep this trashy behavior off of HN. None of this has anything to do with the subject at hand.
> One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world.
You might get more mileage by keeping trashy derails off of HN, instead. OP had some interesting things to say, who cares about the Ayn Rand thing.
Rand's Objectivism pretty much says that government is a necessary evil, then goes out of its way to try to put together a system that is minimally invasive. Rand herself hated self-described libertarians and anarchists.
I'll take the English common law and equity any day of the week - flexible where it needs to be so it's capable of applying concepts of natural justice constrained by well established principle, while still providing vital certainty as to the law. This passage in the wikipedia article makes the legal scholar in me shiver:
"The lack of a central governing authority means that there is a slight variation in the interpretation of Xeer amongst different communities"
Dealing with conflict of laws without prejudicing parties in an international setting is hard enough: imagine having to pursue justice according to discrepancies between individual communities! Better have some cast-iron choice-of-law clauses in those trade agreements!
Xeer clearly comes from خير, or khayr, which is Arabic for good. It is good, but in the higher moralistic and religious sense in addition to the normal sense. So I wonder if it goes back to original interaction with the Arabs, 7th century as noted or prior. The general idea, consensus-based law as I see it, seems similar on the basic principle in Islam to Ijma', or consensus-based formation of jurisprudence. There are varying views, but that idea is that Islamic law (despite outside views of it) is not controlled by one but must be agreed upon by popular approval of jurisprudence scholars (of course this is loosely defined, but what can you do).
Xeer is definitely from the Arabic, as are many loanwords from Somali (as an Arabic speaker, who sat in linguistics courses where Somali speakers presented, I could be wrong). So I am not sure where the "no foreign loanwords" comment in the Wikipedia article came from.
Then again, maybe I am just reading to much into this name/book cover.
Xeer has existed for a long time, and probably longer than Islam has since there's similar systems of communal law and arbitration in neighboring communities like Gadaa that can be traced back to the pre-Islamic era.
And now to come full circle, the root structure for xeer in Arabic means confusion. Should have seen that one coming. Haha.
EDIT: Do you have resources on Xeer and similar practices with Gaada? I have some friends who would be very interested in these topics.
I know they are both Afro-Asiatic languages, but on different ends of the spectrum (Arabic is a not Cushitic language). It could be an original word, but I thought it was interesting coincidence. I only assume it is one because, as I said, because I did coursework in college and Somali speakers did gloss examples for us and I was surprised at how Arabic-heavy some vocab was. This does not make me an expert on the topic, and I would admit I know not enough of Somali to say anything definitive.
I just wrote what came to my head. Somali is very interesting to me, but I could not find any good etymology resources online.
Just like the mafia system has it's downsides, so does the Somali system as evidenced by going on several decades of bloodshed now.
This is an incredibly ignorant statement. The source of bloodshed in Somalia is foreign governments via the UN/AMISOM and their largely Kenyan/Ethiopian troops trying to prop up a government in Mogadishu, as well as the foreign-funded al-Shabaab they fight. This is not some noble jihad for democracy, just various factions struggling for the benefits a monopoly backed by strong foreign powers will bring.
The political climate and level of violence in south and southwest Somalia is vastly different than the rest of the region. Beyond Galkayo, there is pretty much no war. In Puntland and Somaliland, Xeer and customary law trumps the weak governments of the autonomous regions.
You falsely equate Xeer to the mafia and where the Xeer legal order reigns there is peace in Somalia. A mafia system is identical to a state except a state has public acceptance of the hegemony. The Somali people want Xeer and not state rule. Even during the Barre regime they would not recognize decisions of state courts and would handle the bulk of disputes their own way and ignore state rulings.
The decades of bloodshed come from a minority group of western-educated democracy lovers and psychopath "warlords" who have been waging war on the Mogadishu area for the prize of UN recognition and the trough of foreign aid money it brings.
which has been practised from way before 7th century ?
[ The Tone of the question is curiosity and not a flame-bait please]
Afaik, some kind of laws are common in clan societies. E.g. blood price, mentioned in the wikipedia article, was common in historical clan societies. (Famously, in Sweden if you killed someone from "Småland" in "Götaland", it was free. :-) )
How different is Xeer?
Is this related to the "farthings" of the Icelandic Commonwealth?
Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_Commonwealth#Court_sy...
There are quite a few place names in Sweden with "ting" in them, e.g. "Tingvalla". (I assume it is similar in the other Scandinavian countries.)
THE MYTH OF THE RULE OF LAW: http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/MythWeb.htm
HAYEK, THE COMMON LAW, AND FLUID DRIVE: http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/NYUFinal.pdf
I'm seeking people interested in this subject to exchange ideas.
(This is not a rhetorical question; it would help me understand what you're trying to achieve.)
Another major problem is the State, that would probably try to make this system illegal if it becomes popular. This shouldn't be a problem for the system itself, because it could work on a peer-to-peer basis, but to the parties involved in the cases, if their names are made public.
See also Zomia: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/the-undiscov...
Medieval Iceland: http://mises.org/daily/1121
and Ireland (page 3): https://mises.org/journals/lf/1971/1971_04.pdf
People are waxing about the superiority of "British common law" while its roots are a system of the Anglo-Saxons extremely similar to the Xeer.
I really wish I had more time and energy to devote to the study of polycentric law. It's something I feel very strongly about, and where I know enough to realize my understanding is incomplete :)
Sounds to me like a nicer way of saying failed state, which is what Somalia is.
That kinda sounds like a problem.
Personally I find it quite odd that so many self-proclaimed libertarians are so favourably disposed towards what is essentially a system for punishing the collective for the actions of the individual.