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How would an Objectivist go about constructing a constitution?

Category: Constitution Talks

Anything leading to discussion of the new constitution

Rights and Responsiblities

When a new constitution finally comes out I think what we will be looking at is a document that has not only rights but mention of responsibility as well. That is one thing that I noticed about the USA constitution. Rights are scattered from one end to the other, no systematic presentation. Rights are vague and open to too much interpretation. Government on the other hand has most of the power with little mention of its responsibilites. We need something that clearly defines limits of government power and confirms individual rights and spells out individual responsibilites. Miss Rand indicated that government should be small, but how small and what do we do if it gets to big or continues to do inappropreate things. It’s going to have to be individual citizens that make the effort to change it. The government will never reform itself and frankly would be a disaster if it tried. A committee with political agenda’s will never be able to build a decent constitution. So what are the key components of a constitution?

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Combatting poverty

Doesn’t it make you want to laugh whenÂa politician stands at the podeum and says they want to combat poverty. And they wonder why statistics say people trust politicians less than used car salesmen. My own Premier went on TV just today and said he wanted to combat poverty. It must have been his alter-ego Alan Cholic talking. Unrestricted capitalism is the answer, of course. Spending more money on more infrastructer and study is not, of course. (I heard more about Brad Pitts new daughter this weekend.) Do these people know that they are ten times more interested in preserving socialism? I think we need to go after socialism head on.

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A State of Maturity

John Locke, chapter 6, Of paternal power

He has some interesting ideas and conclusions here. He covers a problem I thought of years ago. What is the status of children and child minded individuals. He clearly confirms the father as the authority in a childs life. If the father dies without appointing a guardian the authority falls to the law.

This has been a point of contention for a long time. In my lifetime, children have been apprehended by social services simply because their father died. He was right about the state of maturity. He has an interesting way of putting it, children are governed during their minority. By their own parents, guardian, or government appointee, but they must be capable of knowing the law before the child can have his own will to choose.

After this Locke goes on to ask more questions than he answers. I have my own ideas on the subject. It doesn’t work to say children or child minded individuals have no rights. They do; Rights are of course not clearly defined but when they are I think we will find children do have rights. Childrens Rights are supplimental to their parents rights. It’s one good reason why you can’t give a child rights by taking them away from it’s parents, it’s a contradiction. That’s for another post though. I think one right a child should have is a right to one parent. Temporary foster care is not good, the child knows it’s not their parent. Actual parental authority is critical to halfway normal child development. If neither parent can be in the childs life. The proxy must be complete or the authority split will reek havoc in the childs life.

In the case of a genuine orphan with no potential for relatives to adopt it, The government should not be permitted to “warehouse” the child indefinitely. As soon as is practiceable an adoptive parent should be approved. Further, if a child somehow gets overlooked by the law. The child should have the right to try and arrange for their own adoptive parent.

Thinking about it just now I should clearify. The parental rights belong to the parent. The child of living parents active in the childs life cannot sell the parental rights or “trade up”. The childs parents should retain parental rights until and/or unless it becomes impossible.

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John Locke, Chap#5: Of property

I was reading John Locke again this week end. First time in a while. I found a situation in the ownership of property I hadn’t thought of before.

Paraphrasing: John Locke felt if someone picked acorns or apples, the goods were theirs as soon as picked. he only need use them or even give them away before they spoiled or else he took more than his share and robbed others. It is indeed a foolish thing, as well as dishonest to hoard what you cannot use.

What sort of lesson is this? Use everything you need and sell the rest perhaps? Don’t keep a lot of clutter in your life? Is there some socialist aspect to this? Is it a warning to not waste your time?

He goes on to say that money is an agreement between men by mutual consent for a lasting thing that would keep without spoiling. Paraphrasing: He goes on to say that the invention of money made it possible to continue and enlarge their fortune. For without the concept of money a person would only produce what they need for themselves and their closed society, The people they know.

John Locke seems to be indicating that ongoing and expanding commerce should be an integral part of our lives. That tends to reject socialism as a proper system.

I can’t wait to read more.

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Taboo’s

From Jeff Olstad

Hi,

What do Taboo’s have to do with Objectivism? A lot.
If you think about it, there are many subjects people avoid. Subjects that go to the core of our being. Subjects almost everyone is uncomfortable talking about. What are the components of fear? Socialism is a failure, let’s purge it from our lives? The phenomenon of Failure? To name just a few.

We will have to discuss these things at some point if we want to progress. I have been giving some thought to restrictions of government power, what should they be? I think it should written in the first or second paragraph that the Individual citizens of the realm have the Right to reject Bullshit. (If a smoother word is discovered it can be considered) I don’t mean off the cuff, some proof would be reasonable. It would be good because right now any “Expert” on the planet can say whatever pops into their head and it is “fact”. It is going to take a lot of shoveling to clean the “facts” out of that barn.

In the movie “on golden pond”, Henry Fonda said, You like that word, Bullshit” The boy says Ya” Henry says, It’s a good word”.

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Libertarians, The competition

From Jeff Olstad

I was recently invited to join a libertarian group that is trying to develop a new constitution. They are decidedly anti-Rand, They are second-handing, contradicting, trying to reform socialism.

They are also serious, they have reasonably well moderated discussion, and within the confines of their broken philosophy they are trying to be honest with each other. They are currently going over all the same ground we will have to cover. If they keep it up, they will come up with something, should they have any success politically. It will make our job harder when we finally start.

Let’s go.

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The Venture Party

From Jeff Olstad

When I was thinking about a name for a new political party, I wanted no mistake about it’s vision. Capitalist party would not have worked, It would only be seen as a new right wing party. We needed something entirely new, Basing a new political party on a new philosophy is bold, but what else can we do. There has never before in history been a political party that’s constitution was completely devoid of socialism, but this one will be. There is no point in making any concessions. It is not being built simply to win a election. If it were flawed it would be dismissed by the masses. It will have a tough enough time winning as it is.

So where do we begin, with John Locke.

Jeff

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Thomas Jefferson

From Jeff Olstad

Welcome, All Objectivist Minded Individuals

In the spring of 1776, TJ here, In the middle of a big ugly conference, somewhat reluctantly, set about writing the preamble for a constitution.

I have no documentation, but my guess is he went outside and said to himself, “What the hell do I do now”. Being the book worm he was, and being quite far from home, I think he went down to the local library, checked out a copy of a book that was at that time almost one hundred years old. John Locke’s, Two Treaties of Government.

You would think in the last three hundred and sixteen years someone would written something more advanced. No, John Locke is still on the leading edge.
Way to go John.

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