- Published on Wednesday, 27 July 2016 09:48
Discussion and deliberation on how to create non-hierarchical structures involves groups and individuals who have very different perspectives/world views. In the UK, we pride ourselves on the Magna Carta and the "mother of all parliaments", seemingly blind to the obvious shortcomings of the originating document and the resulting institution. Hence, the debate can, if we're not careful, polarise between establishing fundamental principles to form the foundation of a new political economy and using flawed pre-existing constitutional pillars to attempt to build a better settlement for all.
The email correspondence in the following document is UK-centric but is universally pertinent, not least because so many countries' constitutions have been drafted by British civil servants.
Before we get too bogged down in constructing a "watertight" constitutional framework which may or may not be necessary, we should start from first principles encompassed in five questions:
1) Is there any means by which any number of individuals can delegate to someone else the moral right to do something which none of the individuals have the moral right to do themselves?
2) Do those who wield political power (presidents, legislators, etc.) have the moral right to do things which other people do not have the moral right to do? If so, from whom and how did they acquire such a right?
3) Is there any process (e.g., constitutions, elections, legislation) by which human beings can transform an immoral act into a moral act (without changing the act itself)?
4) When law-makers and law-enforcers use coercion and force in the name of law and government, do they bear the same responsibility for their actions that anyone else would who did the same thing on his own?
5) When there is a conflict between an individual's own moral conscience, and the commands of a political authority, is the individual morally obligated to do what he personally views as wrong in order to "obey the law"?
We are so conditioned to believe in the "state" and "rule of law" that we don't see the contradictions in the religion of "statism".
The more corrupt a society, the more numerous its laws.