[2005-08-07] An Alternate Form of "Social Contract"http://dennisleewilson.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=9.msg35#msg35 http://tinyurl.com/7xesn46
An Alternate Form of "Social Contract"http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle331-20050807-01.html#letter3
Letter from Dennis Wilson
In response to "What The Hell To Do Now?"
, by Alan R. Weiss http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle329-20050724-08.html
Kitty Antonik Wakfer wrote in http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle330-20050731-01.html#letter4
- "Paul [Wakfer] (with my editing assistance) is still at work refining the Natural Social Contract—the minimal framework for a self-ordered society operating under the principles of his Social Meta-Needs theory. <SNIP>. Once you have read and deeply considered the new concepts presented, your public comments and questions would be most welcome..."</SNIP>
I took a look at the "Natural Social Contract"
and with all due respect for the good intentions of its authors, the Contract is way too long and has way too much legalese detail. As such, it violates the principle of simplicity that is needed for understanding, and results in obfuscation of the underlying principles of individual freedom.
It also suffers from the same deficiency as the US Constitution, something that L. Neil Smith has written about, namely that it has no provision for enforcement, i.e. punishment of those who violate the Constitution (or Contract). Indeed, the Natural Social Contract
has mind numbing "definitions" (35 in all) about "Trial" and "Restitution" and "Peonage" (?!?). But the nearest thing to enforcement that I could discern was a (very long) section titled "B. General Stipulations Regarding Responsibilities and Dispute Settlement". I won't attempt to summarize it because it was too confusing and has too much detail to hold in my mind. It should make a wonderful career opportunity for any lawyers who are displaced from our current system by this Contract.
Please do not take this as a personal attack. I have committed the same errors myself. I have the same desire as you to improve the manner in which people conduct interpersonal relationships. But I think your efforts are as doomed as the effort I expended on a similar project, which I describe below.
It is always easy enough to criticize someone else's effort, but that leaves the critic (me) in the position of proposing an alternate form of "social contract" or code of interpersonal relationship conduct among rational beings. Personally, I always thought that the "Live & Let Live" principle in John Galt's oath in Atlas Shrugged
by Ayn Rand was sufficient for that purpose:
- "I SWEAR, BY MY LIFE AND MY LOVE OF IT, THAT I WILL NEVER LIVE FOR THE SAKE OF ANOTHER MAN, NOR ASK ANOTHER MAN TO LIVE FOR MINE".
Realizing that interpersonal relationships are not always limited to other Objectivists, I took a clue from the final pages of Atlas Shrugged:
- The rectangle of light in the acres of a farm was the window of the library of Judge Narragansett. He sat at a table, and the light of his lamp fell on the copy of an ancient document. He had marked and crossed out the contradictions in its statements that had once been the cause of its destruction. He was now adding a new clause to its pages: "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade..."
and I created the "Judge Narragansett New Constitution Project"
, an attempt to create a workable, generic "Constitution".
After working at this for nearly a year, two things happened to make me abandon the project. I read Hologram of Liberty
by Kenneth Royce (aka Boston T Party), which showed me the futility of starting with the old Constitution, and I discovered a document that—without contradicting it—actually expanded on the "Live & Let Live" principle in Galt's Oath, but without all the legalese and other problems of the Constitution. (It also exemplifies the Keep It Simple principle). It is L. Neil Smith's Covenant of Unanimous Consent
. Unlike the U.S. Constitution, which was created by a committee of Lawyers, L. Neil Smith's "Covenant of Unanimous Consent" actually fulfills the promise of individual freedom in Thomas Jefferson's "Declaration of Independence". It has further virtue in that it is simple, rational, personal, easy to understand and is even short enough to memorize. I view the "Covenant of Unanimous Consent" as a means to fulfill the promise of the Declaration of Independence, because it is an agreement by and amongst Sovereign Individuals, signed by those individuals rather than some dead "Founding Lawyers", and it does not resort to mind numbing legalese or an authoritarian governmental structure.
I seek to associate with other Sovereign Individuals who agree to and are Signatories to the Covenant of Unanimous Consent. By so doing, I can establish—with my own effort—as much liberty for myself as is possible in my lifetime, given that I find myself in the midst of an increasingly totalitarian society—not unlike a Jew in Hitler's Germany, but with no "America" to which to flee.
The people in control of the government have no legitimate authority, but a revised, improved Constitution will not correct that situation. Moving to a place like Wyoming may be a means to reduce the number of authoritarian types in my immediate vicinity and to increase the number of liberty minded people in my immediate vicinity. Seeking and finding other Signatories has already enriched my life and made my life more free. I hope it will do the same for you.
Dennis Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org
Objectivist and Jeffersonian
Signatory: Covenant of Unanimous Consent Creative CommonsAttribution Share Alike