DJ and commenters have really gotten the “Constitution 2.0” thing moving. I’m just starting to catch up. But before diving into constitutional nuts and bolts (which DJ’s doing terrifically) I want an axiomatic start. What is the Constitution 2.0 for?
Of course that’s also the Founders’ and DJ’s idea, with the Preamble and the Executive Summary, respectively. DJ eliminated the phrase “general welfare”…
This is due to the fact that the meaning of the word welfare has changed dramatically since 1787.
Exactly right, but I want to be much more ruthless. Always oversimplify rather than overcomplicate. Make things too simple, the problem will soon be obvious. Too complicated…? You may never find the right answer.
So the ideal Preamble has been flensed to the bone, by Occam’s Razor.
DJ eliminated one clause, for very good reason. But several others still remain. Can we eliminate or consolidate the rest? Can we boil the Preamble down to a single concept? In my opinion, we must. Remember that every idea, every word in the federal operating system will suffer constant assault by hackers and viruses. Intelligent and creative people will seek to subvert it as soon as it passes and will continue so long as it exists. The simplier this organism, the longer it will live.
So what’s the simplest Preamble you can live with? What is the miminum number of ideas to address? Now, if you’d like to skip the pondering and find the best one, that’s already done. It is as follows:
We, the People, in order to maximize Liberty, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
Usually I preface statements with “IMHO”-type caveats. Not this time. DJ pointed out the corruption of “public welfare”. Well, even two “basic” concepts is one too many. It lets future hackers (lawyers) and coders (legislators) play them against each other for personal benefit.
Take the “Tranquility” clause. Is it absolutely necessary to the Preamble? Tranquility is subjective. What’s peaceful to me might be stupifying to you yet sheer chaos to DJ. Of course we know what the Founders meant. But it’s what they said that’s subject to abuse. You could use the Tranquility clause to justify bribing the OWS crowd with federal funds just to get them to shut up for a minute.
There is one (and only one) concept immune to tyrannical abuse: freedom. You can use “welfare” and “tranquility” and “justice” to rationalize any restraint imaginable. Now try it with “freedom”, “liberty”, or “independence”.
I vaguely remember coining a “Law” once before. Too bad. Because I like this as “Wormme’s Law”:
Any concept except liberty can and will be used to infringe liberty.
Now to search the archives…
Heh heh. Yep, there’s a pre-existing one:
Anyone not constantly and consciously fighting for freedom is losing it.
This wormdude is a real monomaniac, eh? Looking at both…I’ll go with the more recent as the actual law. The original “law” seems more of a necessary inference.
Anyway, that’s my proposed Preamble. Please don’t whip the “anarchy” card out until after the next “C2.0” post. We’ll get into the Founders’ major blunder.