Constitution Worship Undermines the Cause for Freedom

Mike,

Well…we don’t have a state religion (no 10 commandments in City
Hall), we do have a free press (Ron Getty need not be too concerned
calling the City police “disfunctional”), and we can peacefully
assemble (lots just did regarding immigaration). So, the
Constitution looks pretty effective to me. Again, I do not know
whether the same thing could be achieved without a written document,
since that feat has never been achieved in heterogeneous complex
groups.

Yes, you are correct that most unfortunately all the laws and rules
in the world did not keep you from harm. And, yes, you are correct
that we could “organize to defend ourselves.” I suppose where we
differ is that, 1) I cannot visualize any system that would keep
every member a group from harm; the best we can do is to choose a
system that will keep most from harm; and 2) we can organize to
defend ourselves in a variety of ways (neighborhood watch, group
instruction in self defense methods, town hall meetings to bring
about safer streets, walking buddies).

On second thought, it is OK if we do not agree on whether the
Constitution helps or hinders liberty; or whether it is better to be
a minimalist or an anarchist. We keep moving toward your goal of a
rule-free society, which necessarily means moving toward my goal of a
least-amount-of-rules-as-possible society! Deal?

Marcy

— In lpsf-activists@yahoogroups.com, “Acree, Michael” <acreem@…>
wrote:

Thanks, Justin. Of course, we know that “are guaranteed” and “shall
make no law” were about equally effective.

From: lpsf-activists@yahoogroups.com
[mailto:lpsf-activists@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Justin T.
Sampson
Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2006 1:29 PM
To: lpsf-activists@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [lpsf-activists] Re: Constitution Worship Undermines
the
Cause for Freedom

Your comparison with Argentina is especially interesting. I
haven’t

read Argentina’s Constitution, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it
were

rather similar to ours. The Soviet Union famously had a
Constitution

which supposed guaranteed all sorts of wonderful things. If
that’s

true, it inclines me to think that it isn’t the Constitution
that’s

making the difference, so much as something about the culture.
Again,

the point that, if the supporting culture is there, the
Constitution

is superfluous; if it isn’t, a Constitution won’t help.

The Soviet “constitution” actually had some interesting, and perhaps
important, stylistic differences from the Constitution for the USA.
Whereas the Constitution for the USA is a foundational legal
document,
dominated by “shall’s” and “shall not’s”, the Soviet constitution
was
more of a press release every several years, dominated by “is’s”,
“do’s”, and “have’s”.

USA: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the
freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people
peaceably
to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of
grievances.”

http://constitution.org/billofr_.htm

USSR: “In accordance with the interests of the people and in order
to
strengthen and develop the socialist system, citizens of the USSR
are
guaranteed
freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly,
meetings,
street processions and demonstrations.
Exercise of these political freedoms is ensured by putting public
buildings, streets and squares at the disposal of the working
people and
their organisations, by broad dissemination of information, and by
the
opportunity to use the press, television, and radio.”

http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/russian/const/77cons02.html

(Emphasis on “shall make no law” and “are guaranteed” is mine.)

Cheers,
Justin

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