I'm Roger Sanchez
Undemocratic Autocratic Evil Documents
Published on July 23, 2004 By Roger Sanchez In Politics
Consitutions are meant to define an organisations aims, what it could do and what it should do what it is allowed to do and what it isn`t. In theory this sounds alright. If I was founding say a local animal rights group I might want a constitution that says only Vegans are allowed in for example.
However in the past hundred years they have strayed in to areas that are not appropriate; nation states.

Why should a govt be restricted. Restricting a govt is like restrcting the people as the govt works on behalf of the people. And what can restrict the people but God alone and they can`t even agree if he exists or not.
Some guy said to me say that they are not just for restricting what a govt can do but then straight away he said that they give people rights, meaning that the govt is restricted from doing what it wants. He also said that these rights are "virtual and natural to humankind". I don`t see how this is the case. For rights to be universal God would have had to reach down from the sky and carve them on our rocks. What makes them universal? They just "are" are they? Nearly every right that has been argued for has been argued against by other people. For example the right to free speech people say you shouldn`t insult people, be racist against people, make up liars about people, incite criminal act, lie in court. Yes these rights aren`t recognised by autocratic states but that doesn`t make them right. But in states without a constitution these rights are still protected. Like Britain has no official rights to free speech this doesn`t mean its citizens are put away for abusing the govt.

The govt has been elected by the people and wants to carry out the will of the people yet you say that its still ok to restrict what the people want. This isn`t democratic. If the people want a ban on guns then should be allowed a ban on guns. If the people want to go to war the govt should take then not be restricted by the constitution like in Japan.

The guy I spoke to had been brought up in the land of propaganda that is America thankfully and not Britain so this is understandable.There they indoctrinate schoolchildren by forcing them to stand up EVERY day and pledge allegiance to all sorts of crap like the constituion giving up their lives and morals for America and then the go outside and wave the flag some more (it makes me sick).
If thats the type of land a Bill of Rights and a constitution make I am so glad I live in a democracy.

Comments
on Jul 26, 2004
Actually, I like in the UK and really would like to see a constitution in place. The beauty of a constitution is that it can ONLY be changed by the people in a referendum.

At the moment that is not the case in the UK and the government can happily change things so long as it has a majority. If Tony Blair decided he wanted to join the Prime Minister and King roles he could write a bill and get it passed by parliament tomorrow. No say to the people at all, except at the next election, where it's a bit late. If Blair decided he didn't like the house of lords, he could again change it by bill tomorrow. The problem with all this is that the country is always at the whim of the current administration and therefore open to possible abuse. They can change what they like, when they like. Sure the population could protest (like they did against the Iraq war) but if the government decides to ignore this then they can.

A second strong case for a constitution is to define the legal framework of a country. The UK currently works of a historical precence system coupled with legislation. This is a very poor system for protecting the basic rights of the population as is clearly seen by the huge number of court cases trying to establish precedence. Indeed it has been clearly established that human right issues within the UK are protected by the European courts and not the UK courts. The UK needs a definition of what it is and what it stands for. This is what is missing from the legal framework.

As for your statement of

in states without a constitution these rights are still protected


this is not true. The government can place gagging orders on any part of the press when they see fit. The right to freedom of speech is not guarenteed. Likewise the government can and has enacted draconian laws to arrest people and hold them without trial. At least in the US the legality of Guamtameno bay has been challenged in the courts. That cannot happen in the UK as there is no constitution gaurenteeing these freedoms. While the UK protests about the US holding UK citizens under such conditions it does the same itself. Sadly it is only at a European court level that these rights are gaurenteed. I for one do not like the thought of relying on Europe to gaurentee my freedom of speech, or my freedom of movement or my right to life, in the event of my government deciding to change the law.

I do agree with a number of your points in regard to constitutions restricting government. A constitution should set out the way the country is to be run. It should define the institutions, principles and foundations of the country. That should be it. It should NEVER be used as a legislative tool. Legislation is the job of the government.

Paul.

on Jul 26, 2004
Yeah sorry I actually did know it was voluntary. But how voluntary can it be when everyone else around you is doing it your five years old and your probably gonna get beats in the playground if you don`t say it. Are you sure it doesn`t say something about the constitution I thought it did?
I would say that pledging to allegiance to what America "stands for" is pledging allegiance to the constituion. What else does America stand for if its not the constitution. I would think most people would make that connection.

And pledging allegiance to America is exactly what giving up your life part I was talking about. I f you pledge allegiance to something you would do anything for them/it such as go to war/die that sort of thing. Even if its an unjust war.
And yes it does say stuff about giving up your morals because it talks about God and "liberty" and "justice" which could be against peoples morals and are against my own.
on Jul 26, 2004
"And yes it does say stuff about giving up your morals because it talks about God and "liberty" and "justice" which could be against peoples morals and are against my own."


How sad and nihilistic. Good to watch, though, because someday intellectualism may cave-in on itself here in the US as well. All great societies seem to crumble that way when people can't really find anything to believe in or care about beyond their 'eat-squat-sleep' universe. It's like societies age, get senile, and forget to do anything but sleep and wet themselves. If history is any guide, they usually have more vibrant neighbors willing to take advanage of their doddering. I wonder who the new vandals will be?

on Jul 26, 2004
But how voluntary can it be when everyone else around you is doing it your five years old and your probably gonna get beats in the playground if you don`t say it.

You really believe that five-year-olds give a dam about whether their classmates say the pledge?

And pledging allegiance to America is exactly what giving up your life part I was talking about. I f you pledge allegiance to something you would do anything for them/it such as go to war/die that sort of thing.

Um, no. Allegiance is not necessarily unconditional, unthinking, unquestioning servitude.
on Jul 26, 2004
My cousin was forced to say the pledge of allegiance when he was on exchange in the US - when he refused he was sent home to "think about what he stood for". But I'll give the benefit of the doubt and assume that this was a one-off incident.

You really believe that five-year-olds give a dam about whether their classmates say the pledge?


Of course. "Peer pressure" is one of the most basic psychological phenomena, affecting the very young and old alike.
on Jul 26, 2004
Of course. "Peer pressure" is one of the most basic psychological phenomena, affecting the very young and old alike.

I'm well aware of what peer presure can do. I just question that the subject of the Pledge is something that would interest 5-year-olds enough to actually use that power. How many 5-year-olds even understand the significance of what they are saying and doing when they recite the Pledge?
on Aug 04, 2004
I can understand and take CS guys point about five year olds and hes probably right but what about 13 year olds?
Can any american actually tell me how many people in the classes theyve been in say the pledge. I suspect that they all do except maybe some a clique of non conformist teenagers they might refuse to. Anyone I`d be very interested.

As to Baker Street I really have no idea what hes on about. He seems to be just insulting my views and saying I don`t beleive in anything (which is untrue). It`d be nice to find out exactly what his problems are.
As to my comment that "liberty" and "justice" is against my morality, its only in the strictest sense and anyway pledges definatly are against my ethical system
on Aug 04, 2004

How many 5-year-olds even understand the significance of what they are saying and doing when they recite the Pledge?


Not very many.


As for the 13 year olds..I can tell you from experience that they are more concerned about the student who refused to say it getting into trouble than the kid's reasons for refusing to recite it.


Som pledges are against you ethical system, huh?  Exactly what kind if system would that be?

on Aug 04, 2004
Back to your original point, it seems to me that the role of a constitution is to be a check on the principle of democracy, kind of a circuit breaker on short term decisions that violate agreed on principles. It's not that you cannot decide to place a limit on freedom of expression. It's that the courts will take a dim view of any substantial imposement on that limit, unless it is very narrow and clearly a part of public policy. As you say, the law may still prevent me from exercising my expression dishonestly in court.

Of course, the population is still free to go back and change its agreed on principles by means of amendment -- but the process is made lengthy and difficult to be sure that such a change in agreed on principles is not just a matter of a passing overreaction, because that has historically been seen as the weakest spot in democratic style government.

Maybe I am wrong, but I think you are really opposed not to constitutions but to any "agreed upon principles", and that you are opposed to any limitatations that the group would put on the individual. If so, I don't think you have given enough thought to where that road leads, either for the individual or for society.
on Aug 04, 2004
Since leaders cannot be trusted as philosopher-kings, it's a good idea to have Laws in writing.
on Aug 04, 2004

it seems to me that the role of a constitution is to be a check on the principle of democracy, kind of a circuit breaker on short term decisions that violate agreed on principles


That's what I thought it was for as well. I've often wished that the UK had a written constitution...for exactly the reason Steven gave.

on Aug 04, 2004
As I sit here at my desk and peruse my copy of The Constitution Of The United States I am struck by the fact that it is in fairly simple words and sentences, a framework that has alowed us to be a nation of law. The Bill of Rights is an amazing start point for a nation. perhaps you might read it and think about what a document like that would mean to someone from a country like North korea where the secret police can come by and take you to the gulag to work in a coal mine just because some party hack decided he didn't like you. I have sworn an Oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and will do my utmost to ensure that it remains a viable proof of justice and freedom .
on Aug 05, 2004
OK answers- I`m a utilitarian

I`ve already read the US constitution-
Yes its shortish which is good.
However I don`t see what benefit it would give to the people of N. Korea. It doesn`t even guarentee the right to vote for anyone. For centuries after the constituion was agreed on blacks and women weren`t allowed to vote: America wasn`t a democracy and minorities were persecuted. If this is what you want for north korea your pretty sick geezer.

The only constitution I`d accept was one that garenteed everyone the right to vote and maybe said some stuff about political framework and institutions.

I don`t have any problem with restrictions being put on individuals, Don. What I have a problem with is restrictions being put on a democracy by a bunch of evil white men in a field 200 years ago.
on Aug 05, 2004
Actually we do have ammendments in place that gauruntee everyone's right to vote. Globally women and blacks did not have the right to vote at the time the original Constitution was written. As a matter of fact women and blacks had little to no rights at all in any country. It took us some time but we eventually saw the error in our beliefs about women and blacks and have rectified the situation by ammending our Constitution to gauruntee the right to vote and all rights of the Bill of Rights for all people regardless of race, creed, religion, or sex.
Meta
Views
» 1439
Comments
» 14
Category
Sponsored Links