Friday, January 7, 2011

After the Revolution Comes -- Again

I broke off yesterday with the topic of Citizens' rights, privileges and responsibilities in and to the New Model America to be created after the revolution comes.

As I put it yesterday:

  • 15) Citizenship includes civil, political, and economic rights and privileges, as well as civil, political and economic responsibilities.

  • Not to put too fine a point on it, but that is a very difficult concept for most Americans -- and especially the Civil Libertarian crowd -- to grasp.

    That there can be categories of rights, that there can be privileges which aren't rights, and that there can be economic as well as civil and political rights is radical thinking in the United States today, as it has been most of our history. That rights and privileges come with responsibilities is even more radical.

    But unless these concepts are accepted and internalized, I see no way past our current level of non-responsive governance by a self-selected Elite/Aristocracy.

  • Civil Rights:

  • Citizens have the right to be secure from search and seizure in their persons and effects by any authority public or private;
  • Citizens have the right to speak and write and otherwise express themselves as they see fit subject to limitation only on the basis of libel, slander, public disturbance, and falsely causing panic;
  • Citizens have the right to worship the Divine -- or not worship -- as they see fit and proper. Citizens' right to worship -- or not worship -- shall only be restricted to the extent one's rights interferes with another's;
  • Citizens have the right to travel freely within the borders of the Regions and between them. No internal passports shall be required. Travel outside the Nation shall not be unduly restricted, nor shall onerous requirements be imposed on either exiting or returning to the nation;
  • Citizens have the right to fair and impartial justice under the law;
  • Citizens have the right to vote by secret ballot in free and fair elections for local, regional, and national representatives;
  • Citizens have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times by the state and its authorized agents;
  • Citizens have the right to contest any charges against them;
  • Citizens have the right to legal representation in any action brought by civil or criminal authorities and in any private dispute between parties;
  • Citizens have the right to protest, the right to petition, and the right to seek redress of grievance from the state and/or its authorized agents;
  • Citizens have the right to organize in concert with other citizens for any lawful purpose;
  • Citizens have the right to an education, to decent and safe housing, to health care, and to gainful employment and to a dignified retirement.

  • Privileges include honors for achievement, financial and other rewards for innovation and development, and distinctions awarded for outstanding wisdom.

    Responsibilities include the responsibility to vote in elections, the responsibility to learn, to follow the law, to care for one's self and one's family, to contribute to the economic well being of the society as a whole, to respect one another, and to be involved in local and regional public affairs.

    We could certainly add to this far from comprehensive list.

    These kinds of rights, privileges and responsibilities are the sorts of things that make civil (and other) Libertarians cringe and pull their hair out, for the simple reason that in the system that I'm proposing, economic, political and social predators are not protected as they are in the current system.

    Once you take away protection for systemic predators, what seems impossible now becomes far more possible. It's a truly radical, indeed Revolutionary, approach to problem solving and mutual development.

    So long as predators are protected by the Constitution, by custom, and by statute, so long will we be mired in misery.
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