A political manifesto...
The purpose of government is to regulate the interactions between individuals and incorporations of individuals, with a goal of maximum freedom for the individual, while minimising intrusion into their activities.
Government is not permitted take any human life under any circumstances whatsoever.
An explicit list of individual freedoms and rights that government may not intrude upon - which should include a general clause indicating that the list is not meant to be the final definition. I.E., "unenumerated" rights accrue to the individual and may not be usurped by the government or any form of corporation. I think these should include (among probably several more):
- Freedom of Speech - at the individual level, also accorded to some forms of corporations - to include any means of expression that do not infringe on other individuals freedoms and rights
- Freedom of thought
- Freedom of conscience and religion
- Freedom of assembly and association
- The right not to provide evidence that may be self incriminating, or to testify against oneself. This protection should extend to those in a Family corporation also - so long as they are not associated through any other sort of corporation
- The right to just compensation when public efforts are deemed to require use of private properties
- Freedom from searches and seizures of persons and individual and family property
- Privacy and freedom in marriage (family corporations), reproduction, and sexual arrangements, and their customs
- The right and obligation to become formally educated in the basic knowledge and skills of the local customs and culture at large, funded by the government. Education that is trade oriented should be assisted by the government but ultimately be a cost born by the individual
- The right and freedom of travel and movement without hindrance or examination
- Dress (or not!)
- The right to bring suit, whether criminal or civil, and have counsel in such suit
- Access to water, air, food, shelter and open land completely free of poisonous contaminants
- The right to petition for dissolution or reformation of any corporation or part of the goverment that abridges any of these explicit rights and freedoms
- Democratically elected representative assemblies should be used to construct such laws as may be necessary for the regulation of corporate actions.
- Individual action is only allowed to be regulated insofar as it impinges upon the freedom of other individuals to live and act
- Laws and regulations to apply over as wide a geographic area as possible to ensure fair and equal opportunity
- On the other hand, enforcement, judicial arbitration, and punitive measures should be kept as local as possible
- All laws will have "sunset' clauses, with durations a multiple of the sort of corporation they apply to
- An independent judiciary with several branches - criminal, civil (individual), and for taxed, non-taxed, and family corporations
- Some part of the judiciary should have (impeachable) life terms, some should be elected, I think, and some would be hired employees
- The complex branch of the government charged with "law enforcement" should likewise be divided among the various sorts of corporate laws, and include lifetime, elected, and hired employees
- The divisions between these forms of appointment should be considered carefully, I feel that generally the largest areas of responsibility should be borne by the lifetime appointees, followed by the elected and hired offices - but this "layering" should probably repeat, not simply be extended "down the chain" once
- There would be no exclusions from any law passed for any group, individual, public, or private
- Political contributions only permitted by individuals (who may form PAC's to work together)
- Ensuring, defending, and regulating a free economy
- Determining and distributing a "basic needs" payment to all humans
- Private income, wealth, gifts, and inheritances would be subject to fairly heavy progressive taxes - "corporate" wealth that falls under the inheritance tax would be sold off on the various markets to keep it in private hands.
- By the same token, regressive taxes (including "fees for services") would be strictly regulated - if not simply illegal
- Working as a form of corporation to meet the needs of the population at large - for example, managing the conservation and preservation of natural resources, managing the arrangements for general and mass transportation facilities, managing educational institutions via accreditation and funding, and, I suppose, forming, enforcing and evaluating laws intended to promote the general and individual welfare.
Basic economic structure and guidelines:
In a free economy individuals are allowed to participate in profitable transactions and trades without having to get permission. They may unite their efforts in corporations and competitive labor unions to perform work that requires a division of labor and skills.
In order to avoid the poverty likely for the less skilled, bypassed or temporarily unneeded efforts of some, there must be a basic income floor sufficient for subsistence survival provided from the surplus a capitalist system generates. This acts as a cushion against temporary unemployment, people whose skills are not needed whether in the short term or long term, and those whose lifes effort is not necessarily valued in the free market of the economy. It also eliminates the need for a mandated minimum wage.
Corporate rights strictly limited by type of charter (for profit, non profit, PAC, religious, etc.)
Corporate/labor entities' rights and restrictions...
Applies to all:
- Full annual financial disclosure, including sources of all funds and all expenditures (expenditure disclosure not required beyond distribution to individuals)
- Limited duration of charter, renewable under appropriate scrutiny. To be developed by experiment, legislation and judicial procedure
The following types would as far as possible be immune from taxation, and monies donated to them should be tax deductible
- May sell stock and bonds to raise capital in a market regulated by the government
- No "freedom of speech," thus advertising can be strictly regulated
- "Takings" clause applies very narrowly, the potential profit on a piece of property is not considered a part of its current value unless it is completely usurped by the public use in question
- Monopolies permitted but may be regulated if they form (as to profit margin, etc.).
- Predatory tactics of competition regulated
- Duration of (renewable) charter most closely regulated of all corporations, I suggest a 25 year absolute maximum
- May not be used to sheild decision makers from criminal and constitutional statute
- Again, no freedom of speech. These organisations exist for the purpose of negotiating workplace conditions and rewards.
- Competitive unions permitted in order to minimise waste and bureaucracy
- Strikes fully legal - except I suppose in certain "emergency" type trades?
- Labor corporations may not negotiate with "individual" (as opposed to corporate) employers
- Not for profit
- Charged with reporting all goverment and corporate activites
- "Equal time" when reviewing elective concerns of government
- Advertising permitted but regulated as to position and percentage of content?
- Greater freedom of "speech"
- Charter restricts realm of activity
- Freedom of speech largely unregulated except for fact checking.
- No wealth accumulation allowed
- Strict regulation of "costs"
- No paid positions except hired office help
- Formed by groups of individuals to pool their common concerned efforts
- As free as possible - speech, assembly, practices, etc.
- No direct political action permitted - i.e., separation of "church" and "state" is a strictly impermeable barrier
- A family corporation is a form that creates a "privacy shell," very similar to the aggregation of individual rights, within which people may contract to pool their personal incomes, responsibilities, and roles in child rearing, caring for elders, etc.
- The family corporation should be taxed at individual rates, pro rated by the number of members
- Method of sharing expenses and distributing incomes should be addressed in the charter
- It is likely a few "boilerplate" family corporations will develop:
- One would be immediately adopted that accords to its members the rights and obligations developed under the historical "marriage" contract, and the explicit and common laws already governing it.
- Other small group arrangements would probably become popular as the social need for them developed
- The "marriage" form of corporation may be further regulated by the government only in the court system, and only in application to specific forms of charter
- The family corporation does not have "freedom of speech," since this is exercised by its individual members
- The family charter is the only one which may be renewed indefinitely, that is perpetuated and continued, by its members
Government or "The State" (added 4/20/01):
- In my original working of this piece, "government" got it's own special category (above), but there is no reason why it should not be considered to be a sort of corporation, that is a body of people coming together for a common purpose. As far as it constitutes the State, government has some special properties, namely:
- Coercion of membership - this is the one form of corporation whose only "opt-out" mode is to move outside the boundaries within which it is "sovereign." As such is has a special burden to justify itself and can at some abstract level only exist with the unanimous consent of those who fall within its purview.
- The tribunal of last resort - so not only must there be a system of justice for redressing wrongs and addressing disputes generated in other corporate and personal areas, it must be configured so as to answer to the individual or class which has a dispute or has been wronged by the State itself.
- Government is unlikely to have to pay taxes.
- Government, the State, shall have a special version of free speech - similar to that which we affirm in courts of law - the Sovereign shall be restricted to telling the truth and required to tell the whole truth in its publications and reports.
- The State must always remain subservient to the individual and the classes of individuals incorporated within it. This does not mean "all things are permitted" (though they should be!) but that since the Sovereign is acting only with the permission of its subjects, and on their behalf, it may not be permitted to take any life, and all its actions must perpetually be open to challenge and redress.
- While a complex body of law is bound to build up around the subtle political workings of the nature of a particular State, I feel as little as possible should be pre-ordained. Let the people decide what they want...
Some issues I think should be addressed at a fundamental level also...
All so-called "drugs," that is intoxicating substances, legal but regulated for purity and in some cases perhaps age of consent, and of course conditions of use (no operating dangerous machinery and all that sort of thing)
Full and accurate labelling of ingredients and processes used in any manufactured item (ie, food, machinery, clothing)
Permanent responsibility for all products and the disposal of their waste (including the product itself when it no longer functions) assigned to the principals (individuals) who manufactured and sold them.
Corporations to spread risks ("insurance companies") not covered under the basic needs clause might need their own category
Financial donations to political causes should perhaps be required to be anonymous to their recipients
Hell, I should just become an anarchist, this would be so much simpler!
8/18/00 - 3 AM
© Huw Powell
Printer-friendly version - (no indent)