Legitimate Infrastructure for a Free Environment (LIFE)
The Respect Evolution.
Freeing us to take responsibility.
The changes that we need to make to our societies will require voluntary participation, broad cooperation, thorough devolution and universal, mutual respect. Without this respect there will be no trust, and if we do not trust one another we simply will not be able to organize ourselves in a sufficiently coordinated fashion to turn from our fate, towards our destiny.
The time has come to use a universal constitutional template as the new foundation of freedom for our legal and government systems. Not only because it is the right thing to do but also because we have to do it to survive. If we are going to work together like we need to, if we are going to leverage technology in the way that we need to, then we are going to have to trust each other a whole lot more than we do right now.
One of the fundamental tenants of the Standards of LIFE is that we simply cannot afford to spend our resources, our energy and our time on anything other than meeting the basic needs of our societies. Those needs are simply too urgent, too important and so poorly satisfied by our current structures, that we simply don’t have the time to do anything else until we have figured out how to do the most basic stuff.
The natural linkage between respect for the privacy of the individual, and the respect of the individual for the sanctity of public space, is a simple truth that persists beyond opinions or beliefs.
This is neither new nor rocket science, the framers of the American Constitution clearly understood this more than 250 years ago. Government must be secular. Government is about the organization of societies and the provision of services to everyone, and as such it is simply not possible for effective government to have religious affiliations.
What each of us chooses to do in our own private space has nothing to do with anybody else, and it is certainly beyond the bounds of anyone else’s right to tell us what to do or how to do it.
Perhaps the greatest and most enduring gift that we have received from the last thousand years of cultural development is the “Rule of Law”. The structure of a universal, common law which no one is above, and which assumes the innocence of any accused transgressor, and which entitles all to a fair trial judged by a jury of their peers. This basic practice of law has stood the test of time, is well understood and has been thoroughly documented.
The Rule of Law is a foundation of our societies and a principle of the Standards of LIFE.
A necessary companion of the Rule of Law, is respect for the private rights of everyone. This results in several necessary conditions:
The law can only concern itself with the public space and has no juristiction in the private space of individuals
The law is a passive requirement of citizens, it cannot validly be actively intrusive
The law is a set of rules, not a set of judgements
Restitution and the protection of the innocent are the limits of our remedies in a free society.
Our goals for those sufficiently damaged or blind to break the laws of our society are to:
provide restitution for those who have been hurt,
protect others from repetition of the same actions and
reintegrate the law breaker as a fully fledged citizen in our community.
The quantity of resources we devote to the policing of our laws, prosecution of offenders and incarceration of the dangerous should be as little as possible. The least time, energy and expense we have to spend, and waste, on these matters, the more we will have for actually providing the infrastructure for our sustainable future.
Our ability to fully utilize modern computer and information technology in the management and organization of our societies has the potential to greatly increase the efficiency of our governments. If we can take the law out of our private spaces, then we can build the mutual respect that will enable us to trust each other, so we will allow technology into the fabric of our societies.
There is no better example of this than the matter of digital identification. This is such a contentious issue primarily because most people suspect that there is at least some small aspect of their life that may contravene an intrusive law or transgress some government regulation. Secondly, most people, quite rightly, do not trust a massive bureaucracy, staffed by people just like themselves, not to mishandle or abuse a system that was not set up with the intention of helping them, but rather with the intention of controlling them. This failure to introduce a digital identification system is at the root of our failure to fully use computer technology to benefit our societies.
Making respect for the freedom of the individual a core principle of our societies, is absolutely essential to the construction of the rest of the infrastructure for sustainable peace and the consequential prosperity.
If we cannot respect the rights of every human to think and do what they want to in their own private space, we have contravened an intuitively understood, natural law of Nature. In so doing, we automatically break the bond between the individual and the society they live in, such that not only government, but also all of the other members of the society, are worthy only of the same level of respect that is accorded to the individual.
The ultimate goal of all these formulations about how we organize ourselves, and the rules that we agree to live by, is simply to create a sustainable peace. And the reason why sustainable peace is so important, is because it is only when we are at peace that we can receive the awareness of, and dedicate the resources to, creating a sustainable prosperity.
Without peace we are enmeshed and enmired in battles that consume our minds, bodies and souls and which produces a myopia that prevents us from seeing the big picture. We are the fruits of our planet and we carry its seeds. Our survival depends on the existence of a fertile and nurturing soil within which to plant our successors. The distinguishing characteristic of humans is that we have learned how to adapt to our environment to suit our needs, with this awesome gift comes the awesome responsibility to manage that very same environment. This requires that we spend an equal amount of effort managing our impact on the environment, as we do adapting it.