The entire fucking core of Austrian economics is that you can’t judge value outside of a voluntary economic interaction but that makes actual punishment for crimes impossible so for that they ignore it and allow judges or victims to decide the value of things by fiat.

That’s what Lex Talionis is for – we might not disagree on the dollar value of an eye, but we can definitely agree that an eye is an eye, so if you’ve taken mine, I’ll have yours – or a sum of money we agree on, if you’d rather part with that than your eye.

In Bloodtaking and Peacemaking, Miller tells the story of some Norwegian merchants who had chopped off Skæring’s hand and thought the judgment too steep:

“Then I shall make you another proposal,” said Gudmund. “I will pay Skæring the thirty hundreds that you were judged to pay, but I shall choose one man from amongst you who seems to me of equivalent standing with Skæring and chop off his hand. You may then compensate that man’s hand as cheaply as you wish.”

This did not appeal to the Norwegians and they decided to pay the original award immediately. Gudmund took Skæring with him when they left the ship.


To the Norwegians the award should reflect the price of a middling Icelandic hand. Gudmund forces them to conceive of the award in a different way: it is not the price of buying Skæring’s hand, but the price of preserving a Norwegian hand.

If a small person gets punched by a big dude to a level that really pains him, do the small person get to strike him with the same force as he struck which the big dude can just shrug off or is the some measure of  comparative pain there?  Hell, is there some measure of comparing the gentleness of the eye or hand removal?  This is more “Shit logic Austrians wouldn’t accept under any other circumstances.“

Also “Choose one other man among you of a similar standing“ yay fucking individualism. Also fuckin hilarious with Rothbard saying the polar opposite, that bosses cannot be held liable for subordinates under basically any circumstance.

I mean for maximum hilarity, the small person subcontracts the punching to a person with as much size advantage in this new punch as the big dude had when he punched the little dude.

Also Vikings weren’t that individualist.

Also Rothbard is wrong about a lot of things.

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