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Idyllic Constitution V 1.0 - Federated Anarchist Inspired






Would you want to live in a nation like this one?
Yeah! Sounds great!
66%
 66%  [ 2 ]
Wouldn't mind it; no worse than what I have now.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Would be okay, but I really prefer something else.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Probably not, unless all the alternatives were horrible.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
I would never want to be a part of something so awful.
33%
 33%  [ 1 ]
Aha! You're assuming I want to live to begin with!
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 3

ocalhoun
This is my attempt at writing an ideal constitution for a hypothetical country. (Named... Thern)
It should, theoretically, be applicable to any geographic region and any group of people, requiring only slight modifications to suit different circumstances.
It is only a first attempt, so feel free to make suggestions for changes, but please remember the basic principles that I want to encourage, and refrain from making suggestions that would blatantly discourage or even eradicate these principles from it:
-Voluntary participation
-Avoidance of coercion
-Dividing and balancing of power
-Decentralization of power
-Equality in power, opportunity, and means

I know that it is very verbose, and quite a long read, but I think that it's worth reading and understanding, as it puts forth a new (and in my opinion) much better form of government.

And so, on to the documents:
In all of the documents, numbers such as {46} are reference numbers, and correspond to notes at the bottom of that document. These notes are generally explanatory in purpose and non-binding. Readers are encouraged to see the reference notes, as these will often explain why a particular phrase is written into the documents.
Changes after v1.0 will each be made in a different color. The list of colors and their corresponding change numbers will be provided in this space.

Constitutional Outline
This outline is explanatory only, and is non-binding.
The government of Thern will not be monolithic, it will be divided into three 'sections'. First is the 'Charter'. There will be a great many charters, some as large as a city, some as small as an individual. Government within a charter is based on one of several flavors of anarchism, and they are largely free to interact with each other as they please. Second is the 'Federation'. The Federation is a participatory democratic institution that organizes, regulates, and smooths interactions between various Charters. It can also assist with basic services within a Charter, but only when requested, and it must be reimbursed by the Charter for doing so.Third is the 'Shield'. The Shield is the intermediary in all relations between Thern and the other nations of the world. It makes international trade deals, fights wars when necessary, and engages in diplomacy. These three sections of government will be separate from each other, and generally unrelated.

Charter Mandate
This document is binding, and describes how Charters will form and operate.
Charters will form when a person or group of people voluntarily decide to form themselves into a cooperative group, or when a person or group of people leave or are banished {1} from an existing Charter, and choose to make a new one of their own.
Charters can be of nearly any size and for any purpose, {2} however, the maximum size for a new Charter is 10,000 individuals.
Charters of over 10,000 individuals may grow larger ONLY through people being born into the Charter. No individuals may join a 10,000+ member Charter except by being birthed by a member of that charter. {5}
However, if any Charter grows in size above 15,000 individuals, it MUST be split up into two or more smaller Charters. {3} {4}
Once a group of people have voluntarily come together and decided to form a charter, they must write a founding document for that charter that will serve as its constitution. This document will be called a 'charter'. {6}
This founding document will be submitted to the Federation for approval. The Federation will review the document to ensure it is consistent with the rules described here, and it will do so in a timely manner. {7} If the Federation finds that the charter document is consistent with these rules, it will grant approval to the Charter, {7} and it will officially be formed.
Charters must be formed under one of several anarchist-type models. These include mutualist, socialist, communist, syndicalist, and geoanarchist models. Certain social libertarian models may also be accepted. {8} {9} The Federation will maintain the list of approved models, and will provide that list and an explanation of the various models to any prospective Charter that asks for it. {7}
Charters may merge or divide, but the new charters must adopt already-approved documents, or submit new documents for approval just like a brand new Charter.
Charters may provide their own basic services, such as roads, utilities, security, et cetera, or they may purchase these commodities from the Federation. {10}
All Charters that request it will be granted land by the Federation, proportionate (in the Federation's opinion) to the size and stated purpose of the Charter. {11} This land may be taken away, however, if it is needed by another Charter, and especially if the possessing Charter is not making use of it, or is not using it to the full potential.
Charters are required to treat all members equally. Charters are required to provide (or arrange for the provision of) basic necessities of life to all members, subject to ability to do so. Members who do not contribute may or may not be expelled from the Charter, subject to the Charter's judgment.
Charters are prohibited from tolerating abuse of any {12} individual's rights by any member(s) of the Charter. If such abuse is proven to the Charter, the Charter must take action to prevent it from happening again, which may or may not include banishing the offending member(s) from the Charter. Banishment from the Charter is the maximum penalty that can be given by a Charter. If increased penalties are needed to enforce the banishment, the Federation must be asked for assistance. Charters that fail to do so will no longer be in accordance with this document, and therefore can no longer be officially mandated Charters, and will be dissolved by the Federation. Charters may request assistance in dealing with these problems from the Federation. The Federation may require payment, but is required to intervene in rights-violation matters regardless of ability to pay. {7}
Charters do not have the right to exclude non-members from their land, with the exception of banished members. They do, however, have the right to exclude non-members from anything built or purchased by the Charter. {13} Charters may purchase the right to exclude non-members from their land from the Federation by paying rent, in the amount to be determined by the Federation. {7} {14}
Charters may engage in trade with one another, with the Federation, or with other nations.
Trade between Charters will be taxed by the Federation. {15} Trade is not mandatory, however, and fully self-sufficient Charters will not be taxed so long as they do not trade with other Charters. {16}
Trade between Charters and the Federation will not be taxed, and the Federation will not make profit from trade with Charters. {7} {17}
Trade between Charters and other nations will (technically, not necessarily physically) pass through the Shield, and be taxed as international trade. {18} Charters may also trade with the Shield directly, and this trade will not be taxed, nor will the Shield make profits from it. {19} {20}
Charters will never make war upon other charters.
Charters will never steal property from other charters.
Charters will never violate the rights of any individual, except to prevent that individual from violating the rights of others. (Subject to exemption for certain special purpose charters, as determined by the Federation and Shield.) {21} Violating rights to prevent future violation is only permissible if the offender or the victim is a member of that Charter, and only in emergencies. In non-emergency situations, the Federation should be asked for assistance.
Charters will never make rules that unnecessarily restrict liberty of members. {22}
Charters will not have any interaction with other nations, except interaction approved and intermediated by the Shield.
No Charter will ever prevent any individual(s) from leaving the Charter, for any reason.
A Charter may dissolve at any time, if the members agree that it should be. However, former members must join other Charters or form new ones expediently (begin the process in less than 60 days), or the Federation will label them as 'unchartered'. {7} {23}

Notes For The Charter Mandate
These notes are explanatory only, and non-binding.
1- Being banished from a Charter is the maximum punishment any Charter can bestow without Federation approval.
2- Most Charters would either focus around an extended family group, a geographic location, or a particular industry as a unifying trait.
3- Charters will be kept relatively small in the interests of preventing them from amassing too much power and preventing them from growing too large to pay attention to individual members.
4- The average Charter size is intended to be much less than 10,000. Hopefully, most would be between 100 and 1,000.
5- Maternal line determines eligibility to be a member of a 10,000+ Charter, because it is much easier to determine.
6- Yes, the same name can be a little confusing, but that's where 'Charters' get their name from -- their founding documents.
7- Will be explicitly required in the Articles of Federation
8- Anarchist models are the most in line with the founding principles of this government.
9- Capitalist Anarchist and Individualist Anarchist models will not be accepted, because they replace exploitative government with exploitative corporations and because they disregard human rights, respectively.
10- If the means to do so are available, the Federation will often give Charters what they need for free, especially for new charters just starting out with no property or means of production.
11- For example, a farming Charter might get substantially more land than a housing-based Charter, but this land will also be more rural and further from population centers. A mining Charter would be given land that contained the minerals they were interested in mining.
12- This includes individuals outside of the Charter
13- This usually does not include things gifted to the Charter from the Foundation, only things they built or bought themselves
14- The exclusion rent price charged by the Federation will be based on how much non-members are likely to want to go there.
15- This is how the Federation will be funded.
16- This makes all taxation voluntary, in keeping with the founding principles.
17- The Federation will exist to serve the Charters, not to exploit them.
18- This is how the Shield will be funded.
19- The Shield will exist to serve the Charters, not exploit them.
20- Will be explicitly required in the Shield Mandate.
21- One exemption would be for warrior Charters, which would be given permission to violate certain rights of enemies during war time.
22- So no mandated religion, no mandated uniforms, that kind of thing.
23- Unchartered individuals will be moved into an exclusion zone, have an exclusion zone made around them, or be banished from the nation, subject to the Federation's wishes, but taking into account the individual's wishes. Everyone must be part of a Charter, even if it is only an individual Charter. This will be explained further in the Articles of Federation

Articles of Federation
This document is binding and describes the Federation.
The Federation derives its legitimacy from the consensual will of all the Charters. As such, it is run as a participatory democracy. Important decisions will be put up for a vote, but unanimity is highly valued -- great pains should be taken to ensure that the views of every Charter are considered. In circumstances where a decision must be made, at least 5/6 majority is required. If this majority cannot be accomplished, the decision must be re-framed, further discussion take place, or other alternatives put forward. A simple (greater than 1/2) majority is never adequate to make any decision. {24}
Routine decisions of the Federation will be made by various single-purpose councils. {25} The size, methodology, and membership of these councils will be decided in the participatory democratic fashion as described above. Councils MUST be formed only for a single specific purpose. In no case will any council be permitted to gather power over a wide variety of decisions. {26}
To provide the means to operate, the Federation is granted the power to tax inter-Charter trade. All inter-Charter trade must be taxed equally. The Federation does NOT have the power to tax Charters that do not engage in trade. The Federation does NOT have the power to tax trade directly between Charters and other nations. {27}
The Federation will create 'exclusion zones' within Thern's territory. These zones will be considered to be not under the influence of any nation. {28}
The Federation will punish individuals who violate the rights of others, and punish Charters that violate the rights of others. If no minor punishment will bring the offender(s) back in line, they may be banished from Thern. If one is banished from Thern, one has a two options: One can travel (at one's own expense) to any other nation that will accept one... Or, one can travel (at the Federation's expense) to any of the exclusion zones. {29} Banishments can be temporary or permanent. The ONLY case where the Federation may inflict a punishment worse than banishment is for offenders who violate the terms of their banishment and attempt to return to Thern territory. {30}
Any individual may travel outside of Thern's borders at any time, to include visiting or relocating to exclusion zones.
Exclusion zones are permitted to trade with Charters and with other nations. This will still be taxed as inter-Charter or international trade, and banished individuals are still not allowed to enter Thern territory, not even for trade purposes.
The Federation will make no attempt to enforce any law or order within exclusion zones. These zones are NOT within the Federation's jurisdiction.
If the residents of an exclusion zone begin to harass or attack neighboring Charters, the Federation may call upon the Shield to put an end to the threat. This will be considered part of the Shield's usual job of protecting from outside threats, and does not require extra compensation.
In extreme cases where the Federation is physically unable to enforce punishments to criminals, the Shield may be called for assistance. In such cases, the Shield must be compensated for this service. Shield assistance will never be used for periods longer than 1 year, and will never be used more than 3 cumulative years within any 10 year period. {31}
The Federation will develop, monitor, and maintain a national currency, called credits. All credits will be commodity and/or labor value based. The particular currency base may be determined by the Federation, as the ideal base may change over time.
The credit system is to facilitate inter-Charter trade, and to facilitate the taking of taxes from it. {32} Credits will have no physical manifestation; they will be tracked by databases run by the Federation. {33} Exchanging credits between Charters will be accomplished by the Charters contacting the Federation and requesting that credits be transferred from one account to another. All Charters will be granted read-only access to this database. {34}
The Federation will not be staffed by non-Charter individuals. All functions of the Federation will be accomplished by special-purpose Charters. Charters employed in this manner will receive compensation from the Federation for their efforts. {35}
The Federation will not have any interaction with other nations, except interaction approved and intermediated by the Shield.
The Federation will allow any individual(s) who wish to do so to leave the Federation. In such case, they may be required to leave Thern territory, or an exclusion zone may be created around them. {36}
The Federation shall not make any law that unnecessarily restricts the liberty of any individual.
The Federation will accept any international immigrants, and will provide them with assistance in joining or forming Charters. The Federation will not restrict travel between exclusion zones and other nations, except when this passes through Thern territory. {37}
If new territories wish to join and become a part of Thern territory, the Federation will allow this. The Federation will treat new territories and original territories equally. Although the Shield will be the section that deals with the other nation as it negotiates joining, the Federation will take over all interaction with it after the time that it officially becomes Thern territory.
The Federation will act as an intermediary between the Shield and the Charters. {38} (Except for those Charters directly employed by the Shield.)
The Federation will accumulate and maintain economic contingency stockpiles of various crucial goods. These will be slowly accumulated, and when completed should be sufficient to provide necessities for the entire nation for a period of 2 years. These stockpiles will be used only in an emergency, and in such an emergency, they will be freely (and equitably) distributed to Charters for free, no compensation demanded. The Shield may request use of these stockpiles, but only in a case of military emergency that threatens the very existence of Thern. The Federation has the ultimate decision on if these stockpiles are to be used or not in all situations.
The Federation will assist in the organization of infrastructure. {39} However, all services will still be provided by various Charters. The Federation assists only in an organizational capacity, helping Charters plan and helping them find efficient ways to implement infrastructure.
The Federation will provide long-haul highways and any inter-Charter roads; these will be provided and maintained by Charters employed by the Federation, and will be considered territory of the road-maintenance Charters. The Federation has an obligation to ensure that all Charters of over 100 members are equitably serviced by the road and highway system. The Federation is required to provide and maintain roadways to and from the territory of a Charter. The Charter itself is responsible for intra-Charter roads. The same concept will be applied to rail lines, though the Federation has no obligation to ensure that all Charters are serviced by rail lines. Any future invented transportation mode that requires land corridors to operate will be governed by rules similar to the road and rail rules.
The Federation has the power and the responsibility to dissolve and reallocate the resources of any Charter that grievously exploits individuals or other Charters. {40}
The Federation will develop, maintain, and publish communications and measurement standards. {41} Compliance with these standards is optional, but encouraged.
The Federation will assist in the organization of wireless communications, in such a way that helps avoid signal interference, yet restricts the actions of individuals as little as possible. The Federation will not attempt to monitor or regulate the content of these communications, the Federation will only prevent them from interfering with each other.
The Federation will set aside ample wilderness areas as natural preserves, not to be interfered with or possessed by any Charter. These will be maintained and patrolled by special forestry Charters employed by the Federation, however these areas will not be considered territory of the forestry Charters. {42} These preserve areas will be considered a special type of exclusion zone. Special because no individual may be banished to one, and the Federation has the right and the responsibility to ensure that no individual permanently resides in, defaces, or destroys these areas. The Federation will not prevent travel to and within these areas, although the Federation may place restrictions on the method of travel within these areas. {43}
The Federation has the right and responsibility to preserve threatened or endangered species both inside and outside of nature preserves, and is given the power to punish Charters that are detrimental to these species.
The Federation has the right and responsibility to prevent pollution of the environment throughout Thern territory, and may levy fines to offending Charters, or punish them, up to and including dissolution and banishment. The Federation may enact safety standards to prevent catastrophic pollution events, and may punish violation of those standards in the same way as actual pollution. {44}


Notes For The Articles of Federation
These notes are explanatory only, and non-binding.
24- This is to be consistent with the founding principles. Coercion without consent is to be avoided at all costs.
25- Some of these councils may include things like land grant councils, Charter approval councils, judiciary councils, tax rate councils, economic guidance councils, et cetera.
26- This is to prevent it from devolving into a representative democracy.
27- That is reserved for the Shield.
28- These zones may operate in true anarchy, or they may develop a society of their own; it all depends on the choices of the people sent there.
29- This again comes to the voluntary principle. If someone doesn't want to be bound by this society's laws, they are free to disregard them by traveling to one of the places where these laws do not apply.
30- Using implanted RFID chips and sensors along borders, it should be possible to make illegal return of banished people very difficult.
31- This is to prevent devolution into a military regime. Under normal circumstances, the Shield is prohibited from operations in Federation or Charter territory.
32- Under normal circumstances, the Federation would actually be an intermediary in the trade. For example, a road construction Charter might build a road for a farming Charter. The farming Charter doesn't have anything the construction Charter needs, so they instead give some of the proceeds of their crops to the Federation in exchange for some credits. These credits can then be given to the road construction Charter. The construction Charter then exchanges these credits with the Federation for some much-needed new construction equipment; something the farming Charter could never have provided. (And that equipment in turn comes from a factory Charter, et cetera.)
33- This makes tax evasion difficult; tax evasion would only be practical if a barter system was used, and the barter system is an impractical means of trade in most cases.
34- Which allows them to check their own accounts, and verify that trade partners have sufficient funds for prospective deals.
35- This should help prevent a Federation vs. Charters struggle, since all Federation decision makers would also be Charter members.
36- Usually a new exclusion zone would only be made for this purpose if the people who wanted to leave were large in number and geographically contiguous.
37- Great effort should be made to provide all exclusion zones with at least one international border or ocean frontage, to allow international interaction without passing through Thern territory.
38- For example, if the Shield needs a mercenary Charter for its military, it will not solicit one directly, it will ask the Federation to find one.
39- Such as a power grid, communications, highways, et cetera
40- For example, if the only hospital Charter in a region was heavily over-charging other Charters for medical services, the hospital Charter could be dissolved, and its physical resources allocated to a different Charter, one that has shown to be less exploitative.
41- In the interest of facilitating fair trade and interference-free communications
42- Like any Charter, forestry Charters could request territory of their own to possess, but they would not be granted preserve land.
43- Such as prohibiting the use of motor vehicles in sensitive areas.
44- Which would hopefully prevent a BP-style disaster.



Shield Mandate
This document is binding and describes the Shield.
The Shield derives its legitimacy from the will of the Federation, and is mandated to act as an intermediary between Thern and any other nation.
The Shield will be directed by the Thern Shield President, who will be elected once every 2 years by participatory democratic vote of the Federation, from a pool of candidates who have served in the higher ranks of Shield government at any point in their lives. {56} No individual may serve as Shield President for more than 2 consecutive terms. No Shield President will be allowed to resume any high office of the Shield after serving. {47}
These higher offices will be appointed by the Shield President, in purpose and membership, and can be rearranged at the President's will. {48} At least 5 must be maintained, however, and no high official can serve for more than 5 consecutive years in the same position. {50}
Any Shield official can be recalled and removed at any time, with a participatory democratic vote from the Federation. {49}
The Shield will monitor, regulate, and tax {45} international trade between Thern and other nations. The Shield will not restrict the import or export of any particular goods, though it may require warning labels on dangerous goods.
The Shield is given the power to agree to and enforce trade agreements with other nations.
The Shield is given the power and the responsibility to engage in diplomatic relations with other nations. In these diplomatic relations, the Shield is required to perform its duty in a manner beneficial to all of Thern, not in a manner beneficial only to the Shield.
The Shield is given the power and the responsibility to maintain military readiness in order to defend Thern when necessary. {51} All military forces will be provided by special-purpose charters, and the Shield will never compel any individual to unwillingly serve in the military, or any other branch of the Shield's structure.
The Shield is prohibited from being the aggressor in any conflict. Its military power is for strictly defensive purposes. {52}
The Shield is prohibited from using military force against any Thern citizen, unless this is specifically requested by the Federation to quell an emergency situation. Shield assistance within Federation territory will never be used for periods longer than 1 year, and will never be used more than 3 cumulative years within any 10 year period.
In the event that Thern is being attacked to an extent that the Shield may not be able to repel the attackers, the Shield may request assistance from both the Federation and Charters. However, the Shield does not have the authority to compel assistance, it can only request it.
The Shield shall not interact with any Charter without the Federation acting as an intermediary. (Except for Charters directly employed by the shield, or those engaging in international trade, and in these circumstances, interaction will be limited to employer-employee relationship or strictly trade regulation, respectively.) {53}
The Shield is given the power to regulate immigration to Thern, however, the Shield is also given the responsibility to ensure that no well-intentioned immigrant is ever turned away from Thern's borders. (Except for those banished by the Federation.)
The Shield will allow any individual to visit Thern, with two exceptions: Individuals who are a military threat, and individuals who have been banished by the Federation.
If any territory outside of Thern wishes to join Thern, the Shield will conduct the negotiations of how this is to be accomplished. Once negotiations are complete, control of the situation will be handed to the Federation. {54} The Shield will never actively pursue the acquisition of new territory, and the Shield will never coerce unwilling individuals to join Thern.
If it ever happens that the entire world joins Thern's government, the Shield will be dissolved, and the government will have only two sections. {55}


Notes For The Shield Mandate
These notes are explanatory only, and non-binding.
45- Taxing international trade is how the Shield will be funded.
46- Ha! I knew somebody would look up that reference number.
47- This should keep fresh blood in the Shield hierarchy, hopefully limiting corruption and cronyism.
48- Much like a presidential cabinet.
49- This should hopefully prevent the Shield leadership from doing anything too outrageous.
50- This helps ensure a wide selection for presidential candidates, and should also help reduce corruption and cronyism.
51- To this end, it will need to hire warrior Charters.
52- This should hopefully prevent the need for a outrageously large defense budget, and improve international relations.
53- Most people in Thern would have little if any interaction with the Shield.
54- Because at that point, the territory is internal Thern territory and under the jurisdiction of the Federation.
55- Because the Shield is for the purpose of interacting with other nations. If there are no other nations, then the Shield has no purpose.
56- The Shield is organized under a single person, rather than a participatory democracy like the Federation. The purpose of this is to enable it to respond quickly to changing situations, particularly in military situations. In emergencies, the slow and often held-up process of participatory democracy may mean lethal delay.



Bill of Rights
This document is binding, and describes the individual rights that all three sections of the government must respect.
These rights are intrinsic to all individuals and may not be removed by any section of the Thern government.
These rights may only be violated in the interest of protecting the rights of others.
These are the rights guaranteed to all citizens of Thern:
>Expression (speech, print, electronic, et cetera) (Always free to express yourself, yet can still be held accountable for the tangible results of your expression.) (includes the right to not express yourself if you choose not to.)
>Religion (to include separation of church and state)
>Assembly and association (however, some reasonable restrictions may be placed on time and location of assemblies, not to exceed 1 mile and not to exceed two days away from the intended venue for the assembly.) {57}
>Freedom of action (protects otherwise legal actions from becoming illegal by police order {58})
>Limited privacy (government, companies, and individuals not allowed to snoop into places you expect to be private, such as your home, your computer, et cetera... No protection of privacy in public places.) (Includes protection against unwarranted search)
>Property rights (protects against unwarranted seizure) (forces all taxes to be voluntary) (includes protection against forced labor, as one's labor is considered to be one's property, and forcing one to use it constitutes seizure of this property) (Also, any warranted property seizures must be directly donated to the poor or disadvantaged; the Federation and Shield may never keep seized property. Seized property may be granted to Charters, however.)
>Expedient trial, by jury of peers. (Also, right to confront accuser, right to legal representation, right to public trial (any of which can be waived, if chosen by the accused.))
>Legal system abuse protection (no double jeopardy, cannot be accused of treason in peace time, cannot be forced to self-incriminate, no excessive bail, no cruel/unusual punishment)
>Informed decisions (government (all three sections would do this, Charters for local, Federation for national, and Shield for international) should conveniently provide, or force Charters/individuals to provide accurate and sufficient information about decisions that individuals and Charters are expected to make.)
>Self-determination (right to harm self, as long as it does not hurt others {59}) (also protects actions taken between consenting adults, subject to the same restriction of not harming others)
>Self-defense (Any action taken in legitimate self-defense is legal; (qualified) citizens are allowed to take any/all of the same preparatory measures for self-defense that law enforcement officers do -- ie, it is legal to acquire any tools/weapons/training that any police force in the nation uses.) (however, it is acceptable to require reasonable levels of training in the use of such tools, and individuals proven to not be responsible enough may be denied them.) (Any force used against citizens of the country will be considered law enforcement force {60})
>Travel (Citizens will not be prevented from traveling throughout the country, or prevented from leaving the country. Certain exceptions apply, such as quarantines, Charter property being paid exclusion land rent on, and prohibited areas that are limited in size. {61})
>Immigration (All persons must be allowed entry or charged with a (non-border-crossing-related) crime upon crossing the border into the country. Persons desiring citizenship may not be denied, and must be processed expediently; no more than 30 days of waiting time.)
>Anti-Discrimination (protects against unreasonable discrimination on the basis of religion, sexual preference, and any condition that was not acquired by individual choice.)
>Asylum (Any individual may choose to leave the country rather than be subjected to any law of the country. Going to an exclusion zone counts as leaving the country.)
>Whistle-blower protections (No citizen may be punished for attempting to expose corruption. Citizens who successfully prove and expose corruption are entitled to substantial reward.)
>Waived rights protection (cannot be required to waive any enumerated right in order to exercise another. {62})
>Right to Life and Self (Cannot be killed, harmed, modified, or abused.) {63}


Notes For The Bill Of Rights
These notes are explanatory only, and non-binding.
57- For example, a funeral could request that no protests take place within one mile on that day.
58- IE, cannot be charged with resisting arrest, disobeying police order, defending self against police unless also charged and convicted of another crime.
59- Which would include things like legalizing most drugs and eliminating seatbelt/helmet laws.
60- So if the government uses tanks/jets/nukes on its citizens, the citizens then have a right to acquire their own tanks/jets/nukes.
61- These prohibited areas would usually be military installations, or government property storage areas that are vulnerable to theft, et cetera.
62- IE, cannot be required to waive the right to privacy in order to exercise the right to travel.
63- Having this right enables the government to violate other rights in order to protect people from murder, rape, abuse, et cetera.


Ratification And Enactment Guideline
This document is not binding once these documents are ratified and enacted.
Before that point though, they provide guidelines on how these documents will be approved.
These documents may only be enacted and enforced after being ratified by the citizens of Thern.
Ratification requires a 5/6 majority vote in favor of the documents. All adult citizens will be solicited for votes.
If such a majority in favor cannot be achieved, there are several options available:
-Modify the documents to be more agreeable.
-Educate the populace about the benefits of these documents.
-If dissenters are geographically contiguous, the dissenters can be placed in an exclusion zone, and then excluded from the vote.
Once the documents are ratified, they will be enacted. The transition time may involve some stretching of the rules laid forth by the documents, not to last longer than 5 years. {63} After no more than 5 years, the rules set forth by these documents must be adhered to strictly. {64}


Notes For Ratification And Enactment Guideline
These notes are explanatory only, and non-binding.
63- Things such as expedient approval of Charters. At first, there will be a huge wave of new Charter applications, to a Federation that has not yet gotten set up to handle any of them at all. This may mean that the first Charters may take much longer than 60 days to approve.
64- To prevent an indefinite transitional period. There will be no 'dictatorship of the proletariat while moving towards the ideal' here. The ideal is required to be enacted within a set time limit. This is a lesson learned directly from recent communist regimes where a supposedly temporary government is given power to facilitate the transition, but actually accumulates too much power and ends up being authoritarian, and never relinquishes the power as intended.


Modification Guideline
This document is binding, and describes the process of modifying these documents after enactment.
Any modification of these documents can only be done through participatory democratic means, with at least a 5/6 majority of adult citizens in favor of the change. Any dissenters from the change may leave the nation freely. Any geographically contiguous region of dissenters may declare themselves an exclusion zone and leave the nation in that manner.
All changes will go through a probationary period of 10 years. After 10 years of the change being enforced, it will be put up for a vote again, this time requiring a 2/3 majority in favor in order to remain changed, and not revert to the original version. {65} A change can be recalled and removed at any time by a 5/6 majority, and the removal of a change does not require a probationary period. {66}
The Bill Of Rights document can only have rights added to it, rights can never be removed or modified to be less than the original intent.
The Shield Mandate document can never be modified in a manner that allows for aggression and/or forcible territorial expansion.


Notes For Modification Guideline
These notes are explanatory only, and non-binding.
65- The probationary period will hopefully put a brake to the fickleness of the voting public, requiring them to stay in favor of an idea for more than 10 years in order to enact it... Which should prevent whimsical changes.
66- In case it becomes obvious that the idea was a bad one once it is enacted.
deanhills
I'm probably going to need some time as my eyes have been crossing over with lots of info to digest. Any way that it could be made a little more simple? I have had a brief glance at it, is it my imagination or does it sound a bit prescriptive. I like the warrior charters though. I think I would want to join those. Very Happy

But I'd also like the option to form my own charter, which apparently has been provided for. I'd also like to know who gets to decide to take my land away if it is needed by another charter?
ocalhoun
Updated to 0.2, mostly completed Articles of Federation
*edit*
Updated to 0.3, completed Articles of Federation and Shield Mandate
*edit*
Updated to 1.0, fully completed.

deanhills wrote:
I'm probably going to need some time as my eyes have been crossing over with lots of info to digest. Any way that it could be made a little more simple?

It is pretty verbose for a constitution, but I want it to be specific, since abuses can arise through creative interpretation of vague constitutions.
Quote:
I have had a brief glance at it, is it my imagination or does it sound a bit prescriptive. I like the warrior charters though. I think I would want to join those. Very Happy

It sounds cooler than it really would be, I think. A warrior Charter would be like a mercenary unit. They would be employed by the Shield, and since the Shield will be required to be quite pacifist, they would spend most of their time in training to keep their skills sharp in case they are needed.
It would be a bit more fun than a traditional military, since they would not be required to keep to as much national-scale regulations, but they would have standards to uphold, because if they failed to maintain those standards, they could lose their contract with the Shield and be forced to find another way to maintain their livelihood.
Quote:

But I'd also like the option to form my own charter, which apparently has been provided for. I'd also like to know who gets to decide to take my land away if it is needed by another charter?

That would be decided by the Federation. For very small-size decisions of this type, an appointed council could decide if you were using the land to its potential, and if any other charter needs it badly enough to deprive you of it.
In most cases, you would be left with a portion of your original land, the portion that the Federation thinks that you can make good use of. (Or you might be offered land somewhere else in compensation; you would have the same right to request land from the Federation that any other landless Charter does.)
Generally, you wouldn't be deprived of land you were actually using. If you had a farm and 20 acres of territory, but you were only cultivating 10 acres, the 10 acres that you weren't using could be taken away and given to another farming Charter.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
It sounds cooler than it really would be, I think. A warrior Charter would be like a mercenary unit. They would be employed by the Shield, and since the Shield will be required to be quite pacifist, they would spend most of their time in training to keep their skills sharp in case they are needed.
It would be a bit more fun than a traditional military, since they would not be required to keep to as much national-scale regulations, but they would have standards to uphold, because if they failed to maintain those standards, they could lose their contract with the Shield and be forced to find another way to maintain their livelihood.
I think it is a pretty awesome charter. In fact it sounds even better than before, i.e. keeping them sharp and combat ready. What kind of missions do you think they would be required for? Very Happy
ocalhoun wrote:
That would be decided by the Federation. For very small-size decisions of this type, an appointed council could decide if you were using the land to its potential, and if any other charter needs it badly enough to deprive you of it.
In most cases, you would be left with a portion of your original land, the portion that the Federation thinks that you can make good use of. (Or you might be offered land somewhere else in compensation; you would have the same right to request land from the Federation that any other landless Charter does.)
Generally, you wouldn't be deprived of land you were actually using. If you had a farm and 20 acres of territory, but you were only cultivating 10 acres, the 10 acres that you weren't using could be taken away and given to another farming Charter.
I'd hate for some of my land to be removed. I guess one would need a really apolitical type organisation to come to decisions like that, as this could easily become murky with greed and corruption.

Do you think this will apply to the out of the ordinary profits from companies like Microsoft? Would there be a Committee deciding what portion they don't really need and redistribute it as needed?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
I think it is a pretty awesome charter. In fact it sounds even better than before, i.e. keeping them sharp and combat ready. What kind of missions do you think they would be required for? Very Happy

A few border patrols, perhaps, during peace time.
During a time of war (and only defensive wars would be allowed), their particular missions would depend on their specialty and the Shield command's needs.
Ideally, each military charter would have a different specialty; ie, one charter might specialize in air-drop operations, another might specialize in roadblocks, another in general infantry roles, et cetera... or perhaps some would specialize in being multifaceted, self-contained and ready for any role without outside support.
Quote:

I'd hate for some of my land to be removed.

Well, this kind of ties into the 'possession' theory of ownership. ie. you only own what you're using; if you're not using it, it's not yours.
You also own what you make... but you didn't make the land; it was already there.
So, if you didn't make it, and are not using it, you have no right to it.

But, mainly, it is about equal access to the means of production. If any person or group of people is allowed to gain a near-monopoly on the means of production, it gives them a way to exploit the people who need that in order to make a living. So, farm land should belong to the farmer, factories should (collectively) belong to the factory workers, et cetera.
Now, there may not be enough to go around, especially if everybody gets everything they want... So, if you were actively farming 20 acres, but there was no unused land around, but plenty of people who wanted to be farmers, some of the land might still be taken away to provide equal opportunity for those new farmers.
(However, possession theory of ownership usually does give one the right to the fruits of your labor. If you improved that farm land, the Federation should compensate you fairly for the work you put into it, though not for the original value of the land itself.)
Quote:
I guess one would need a really apolitical type organisation to come to decisions like that, as this could easily become murky with greed and corruption.

Aye, it could. Hopefully, the fluid nature and easy recall-ability of all Federation administration could help put a stop to that.
...Which brings to mind, perhaps I should put in a change specifying a way for individuals or charters to petition locally for redress of wrongs without needing a national vote.
Quote:

Do you think this will apply to the out of the ordinary profits from companies like Microsoft?

Well, first of all, there wouldn't be companies as such... Microsoft would be a Charter.
Quote:
Would there be a Committee deciding what portion they don't really need and redistribute it as needed?

There would be... But there would also be a committee deciding if the Microsoft Charter's requests for various goods/land/et cetera should be fulfilled, and if so, from where. And this would mainly only be done with limited natural resources. Resources made or traded through Microsoft Charter's own work would need to be acquired by purchase or trade tax; they couldn't simply be taken away.

The point is that no facility/land/goods go unused except those that are truly wanted by nobody... And that nobody who wanted to do useful work on their own prerogative would be unable to because they couldn't get the tools/land/materials to do it with... And especially that nobody would be able to use exclusive ownership of tools/land/materials to make others work for the owner's benefit, rather than for the worker's own benefit.

(Which brings to mind a couple more changes I should probably make. I need to specify the rules about intellectual property, and I need to specify the reasons that property redistribution should and should not be used for... And perhaps make the protections for self-made possessions a bit more robust.)
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
There would be... But there would also be a committee deciding if the Microsoft Charter's requests for various goods/land/et cetera should be fulfilled, and if so, from where. And this would mainly only be done with limited natural resources. Resources made or traded through Microsoft Charter's own work would need to be acquired by purchase or trade tax; they couldn't simply be taken away.
That sounds right on. How about Hollywood actors and actresses? How would their income work through a charter? Some of them are billionaires. I guess with your system the income would be more practically disbursed but how would that happen?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
That sounds right on. How about Hollywood actors and actresses? How would their income work through a charter?

Well, some might be members of larger film making Charters, while others may make tiny individual or family Charters.
In the case of the larger Charters, income would be given to the Charter itself, to be distributed by the Charter's chosen method. (Charters could run on a wide variety of egalitarian economic models.)
For individual Charters, the income would be put directly into their (the individual Charter's) account.
However, since all transactions with any other person would be inter-Charter trade, every transaction such a person made would be taxed.
Quote:
Some of them are billionaires.

I'm still mulling over what treatment I should give intellectual property, but the protections for it will probably be rather weak, so people who make a living off of selling intellectual property (like movies) would likely not be quite as rich... I'm sure plenty of people will still do it, even if fame was the only reward.
(Just look at youtube; lots of people will do all kinds of things just to get noticed, with no promise of any monetary reward at all... And I suspect most actors chose that career more for the fame than for the money.)
Quote:
I guess with your system the income would be more practically disbursed but how would that happen?

Most Charters would run on small-scale communist, socialist, mutualist, or tightly-regulated capitalist economies... so income within a Charter would be distributed very fairly. (And if you had a problem with the way your Charter distributed income, you could move to a different one that suited you better.)
Income and wealth disparities between Charters would be somewhat moderated by the Federation; granting extra tools, land, and supplies to needy Charters* while not giving such grants to relatively rich Charters.


*Paid for by inter-Charter trade tax, or in the case of land, taken from wherever it is needed the least, given to where it is needed the most. Such grants would be especially common to be given to Charters that are just starting out, with grants to well-established but still needy Charters less common.




...Also, looking at the poll, it seems that there's a detractor around... I wish that person would post and point out why they think it is so terrible... Perhaps it could be fixed.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
...Also, looking at the poll, it seems that there's a detractor around... I wish that person would post and point out why they think it is so terrible... Perhaps it could be fixed.
Right, would have been interesting to hear his/her views. I've gone in to vote as I have not done so previously, not sure how helpful that has been.
jmi256
What's so wrong with the US Constitution? Its a pretty good document to base a democratic society upon, but the problem is when people decide that the words have different meanings than what they really are, that entire parts can be ignored, or parts and federal powers exist that simply are not provided. You need to tackle this issue first or whatever document you come up with will quickly be disregarded and twisted by the same statists we see today.
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
What's so wrong with the US Constitution? Its a pretty good document to base a democratic society upon, but the problem is when people decide that the words have different meanings than what they really are, that entire parts can be ignored, or parts and federal powers exist that simply are not provided. You need to tackle this issue first or whatever document you come up with will quickly be disregarded and twisted by the same statists we see today.
Good point. We were just having some fun though. But on a serious level I do agree people have gone crazy with their interpretation of everything to do with the Constitution and the Legal System. Like the tail wagging the dog scenario.
ocalhoun
jmi256 wrote:
What's so wrong with the US Constitution?

Well, lets see...
1- Allows for non-voluntary compulsion of citizens.
2- Has several vague portions very open to creative reinterpretation. -- particularly 'general welfare' and 'commerce' clauses.
3- Was designed to prevent corruption, but has failed to do so.
4- Makes 3rd party federal election more difficult than it needs to be, which leaves us trapped in a 2-party system.
5- Fails to prevent appointment of corrupt supreme court justices, letting unconstitutional laws pass unchallenged.
6- Fails to address economic inequality.

That will do for now. Perhaps I will think of some more things later.
Quote:
Its a pretty good document to base a democratic society upon, but the problem is when people decide that the words have different meanings than what they really are, that entire parts can be ignored, or parts and federal powers exist that simply are not provided. You need to tackle this issue first or whatever document you come up with will quickly be disregarded and twisted by the same statists we see today.

Perhaps this is true... I may not have included enough in the way of checks against unconstitutional laws and mandates.
I need to devise a mechanism to be used when one (or more) portions of the government disregard portions of these documents.
Perhaps something about veto powers... Anyway, I'll think about it, and probably make another edit soon.
Hello_World
Have not yet given it a thoughough reading, due to length and density, but is very interesting.

Some early concerns i have include:

10,000 limit. I see the point for this, and it is a good idea... yet... could it not also encourage exclusivity? Leading somehow to what we have today, where some players are so established others can't get a look in? (As in, today, monopolies etc, in Thern, possibly something similar in some scenarios...)

And I'm not altogether sure about the maternal line. I mean, sure, lol, I like it better than a paternal line, as I'm female. But, is it not as arbitrary as a paternal line? in divorces today, sure most children go to the mother, but not always, and often for good reason... while a clear rule would limit arguments... I'm not sure if it really is the best all the time, or fair and equal... presumably this rule would only come into contention if the partership between the parents had come to an end...

Schools. Schools. Schools! what about schools? How would this work? (Sorry if I skimmed over that bit). Without a formalised school system, education and thus the knowledge of society will devolve, i believe. Compulsory school attendence? Funded by the Federation? How does this work in?

Likewise other things like hospitals, will there by enough tax to cover it? Especially if tax is 'not forced'? I think, tax needs to be forced, like, if you join a charter, you need to pay tax. Choice.

Is not joining a charter almost a forced position anyway? Or else live individually in the exclusion zone, where lawlessness reigns and I imagine Hobbesian?

Just some early thoughts, like I said. I'll need to come back another time to keep reading... lol.
ocalhoun
Hello_World wrote:
Have not yet given it a thoughough reading, due to length and density, but is very interesting.

^.^ Yay! Somebody took the time to look at it, and made intelligent and pertinent comments too!
I was beginning to thing I had made a tl;dr post.
Quote:

10,000 limit. I see the point for this, and it is a good idea... yet... could it not also encourage exclusivity? Leading somehow to what we have today, where some players are so established others can't get a look in? (As in, today, monopolies etc, in Thern, possibly something similar in some scenarios...)

Yeah, I do suppose some charters may become very exclusive (really, charters of any size could do that -- extremely small ones would probably often be very exclusive).
I don't think it would cause a monopolistic effect though, since the limit should prevent any single charter from dominating a given market.
Hmm... exclusive charters might just have to be a small flaw of the system though... The ability to deny membership to various people is critical to the 'law enforcement' (such as it is).
I don't see a way that allows the charter to deny abusive people, while still requiring it to accept all innocent applicants.
Hopefully, though, the problem wouldn't come up too often. It seems to me that having more members would generally be advantageous.
Quote:

And I'm not altogether sure about the maternal line. I mean, sure, lol, I like it better than a paternal line, as I'm female. But, is it not as arbitrary as a paternal line? in divorces today, sure most children go to the mother, but not always, and often for good reason... while a clear rule would limit arguments... I'm not sure if it really is the best all the time, or fair and equal... presumably this rule would only come into contention if the partership between the parents had come to an end...

I chose maternal line for one simple expedient: it can sometimes be difficult to determine who the father of a child is, but it is pretty much always certain who the mother is.
Quote:

Schools. Schools. Schools! what about schools? How would this work? (Sorry if I skimmed over that bit). Without a formalised school system, education and thus the knowledge of society will devolve, i believe. Compulsory school attendence? Funded by the Federation? How does this work in?

Did I forget that? I might have.
I am sure that they should be free of charge, but not compulsory.
How would they be funded/equipped? Yeah, I suppose the federation would be best for that. Dedicated school charters could be formed in populated areas (I suppose only teachers and school 'employees' would be members of the school charter; the students would be visiting from their parents' charters.)... and perhaps more isolated charters could be given direct assistance in setting up schools.
'Funding' the schools would add to the tax burden, but I suppose there's no way around it, since schools are necessary and important, and shouldn't be denied to those without means to pay for them.
Quote:

Likewise other things like hospitals, will there by enough tax to cover it? Especially if tax is 'not forced'? I think, tax needs to be forced, like, if you join a charter, you need to pay tax. Choice.

I'd imagine this working on a more 'commercial' scale. Some dedicated hospital/medical charters might form... or larger charters might set up their own medical facilities.
Then there's the problem of figuring a way to make sure that A) medical staff are justly compensated for their work, and B) people who can't pay can still get cared for.
Doing that without huge amounts of government interference is troublesome... Let me think about it for a while and see if I can come up with anything.
*edit*
Maybe something to do with licensing. Doctors would still need to be licensed to help prevent quackery (or at least to help people spot it by the lack of a license). -- Which would only really be enforceable for doctors who practice on members of other charters, making it inter-charter trade and therefore regulate-able.
Helping people who can't pay might be made into part of the medical licensing process... Either requiring license holders to help anybody in need, or perhaps requiring them to do work on people who are unable to pay as part of their examination process.
...Then I've still got to find a way to prevent people who can pay from claiming they can't in order to get free medical service...

Pretty much the same problem the US just went through with it's recent health care legislation.
Trying to compensate doctors and provide care to all while still preventing abuse of the system is hard enough... Doing it without excessive government involvement is even harder.

Hm... perhaps another option is to use a modified version of the 'existing' resource-redistribution network that is used to help poor or starting charters. If medical care was viewed as a resource in that sense, it might be distributed with that system. (ie, if the federation identifies a charter that is 'poor' in medical services, it could use some of the tax funds to provide the needed 'resource'.)
Quote:

Is not joining a charter almost a forced position anyway? Or else live individually in the exclusion zone, where lawlessness reigns and I imagine Hobbesian?

Joining a charter is forced, though there is the option of having a 1-person charter.
The main reason for this being forced is to enable some kind of control... By forcing people to join (or make) a charter, it forces them to abide by the rules that charters have to follow.
Without that, lawlessness wouldn't be confined to exclusion zones; it would be all over the whole country.

--Also, the exclusion zones may or may not be lawless; the people sent there can set up their own government and laws if they want to... or they can live completely without laws... The point of those zones is that they provide an outlet for people who don't want to play along with the system.






------------------
Good points you made there... I suppose I aught to go down a list of usual government functions and determine how they would all function and/or be done without in this system... If I did that, I might identify these areas that need some work, like schools and hospitals.
SonLight
The schools are what we call a "natural monopoly" -- just like (parts of) the road system, communications systems, etc. It is not entirely clear what the proper limits of that term are, but clearly the school system affects the well-being of the nation as a whole in the long run, so it's a legitimate interest that must be allowed for. The US constitutions Commerce Clause could reasonably be interpreted as implying provisions for schools, although it had always been handled very locally at that time, and people weren't integrated as much into a national culture.

Some things could perhaps be left out of the constitution, as the most fundamental document. In the US the term "promote the general welfare" is used to imply such things. Perhaps there could be second level documents, where important principles like how education is handled would be laid out. These documents would trump current decisions were blatantly inconsistent with them, but might be somewhat easier to change than the constitution.

While some such secondary documents seem desirable, I anticipate that they would make the system more like a democracy, and that you might find them objectionable.
ocalhoun
SonLight wrote:

Some things could perhaps be left out of the constitution, as the most fundamental document. In the US the term "promote the general welfare" is used to imply such things. Perhaps there could be second level documents, where important principles like how education is handled would be laid out. These documents would trump current decisions were blatantly inconsistent with them, but might be somewhat easier to change than the constitution.

While some such secondary documents seem desirable, I anticipate that they would make the system more like a democracy, and that you might find them objectionable.

Actually, I rather like the idea. (As long as absolute voluntaryism* is enforced through an immutable clause in the base constitution.)
It would allow the constitution to not be overly wordy, overly detailed, and micromanaging... while still avoiding the vagueness that leads to re-interpretations that defeat the original purpose.

It might even be used to make the constitution itself justifiably unchangeable, as long as the changeable details were in the secondary documents it would allow enough flexibility to adapt to changes in the world, while retaining the core values of the constitution permanently.


...Or perhaps the whole thing could be written in 4 different colors:
Red: Legally binding and not changeable.
Blue: Not legally binding (explanation) and not changeable.
Green: Legally binding, but changeable (as long as it doesn't conflict with the rest of the document)
Purple: Not legally binding, changeable
That would allow it to be consolidated into one document, would incorporate something like the footnotes system I used, and still make it clear which parts are negotiable and which parts aren't.



*The belief that all actions should be voluntary; that no person should ever be coerced into (or away from) doing anything.
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