Constitution based on principles

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Constitution based on principles Empty Constitution based on principles

Post  glasiad on Tue 7 Feb 2012 - 13:55

I see a basic 'meta' problem here when thinking about constitutions. It's being thought of as a big set of rules by which a country will organise itself in much the same fashion as a political party, or some other type of organisation. This stems from a 19th century concept of a nation-state as construct of rules, regulations and laws of conduct and interaction between the constituent parts. Fine for social scientists and other rational controlling types, but it lacks an all important ethical dimension.

A 21st century nation needs to be a based on principles. These principles underlie and support all the rules and regulations built on top of them. The rules can always be debated, modified, re-framed in accordance with a changing society - but the principles are fundamental, similar to the 'amendments' in the USA constitution.

So the question is - what are our fundamental principles that should form the basis of our society?

Here's an example:

1. Everyone should be free to do as they please provided that it does not infringe upon other's freedom to do as they please and this should form the basis of law.

This principle will be a source of frustration to all those who like to control others "for their own good". It would spell the end to the War of Drugs, and even petty laws like compulsory seat belt wearing in cars would have to fall.

2. Complete freedom of speech - no restrictions on what can be communicated.

The controllers will claim that those advocating hateful, racist, warmongering, etc. type of rhetoric need to be silenced. But suppressed talk can claim victim-hood, goes underground, and spreads like fungus. Hate speech exposed to the bright light of truth and justice and rational debate quickly dies. If members of a society are well educated endowed with the faculties of reflective thinking and critical thought, hate-speech based on prejudices will find no crevice to cling to.

I could go on and type out a few other principles upon which a free and advanced society could be based on but it's just struck me that perhaps I am ahead of my time - our species is simply not advanced enough to live together on common principles but need tons of rules and regulations to control our thoughts and behaviour from cradle to grave.

So my questions to anyone who reads posts on this forum is - Is a constitution based on principles desirable or even possible? If yes, what do you think some of those fundamental principles should be? Or are we advanced enough as a species?

In tandem to the above, I wondering if its possible to organise a political party and platform based solely on principles as opposed to policies. It would be a radical departure most political parties based on Aims and Rules. The Aims and Rules would be subordinate to the Principles.

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