Saturday, November 28, 2020

Taking the Cons out of our Constitution

In a recent Constitution Center podcast, The Constitution Drafting Project speculated what changes would be made if a modern American constitution were rewritten today. Three teams presented their positions on how it would differ from the 18th century document. Conservative, progressive and libertarian points of view were offered.

Although the positions shared were interesting, they varied very little from the original document, focusing on limiting the role of government, enfranchising all citizens and generally affirming the rights of conquesting humans and their descendants. Nothing truly radical or revolutionary was suggested, let alone a Green New Deal style mission statement.  All said, it was a sad report on modern creativity, wisdom and compassion.  Indeed, human leadership seems ultimately loyal to one thing, its own species.

The original constitutional document transcended ruling paradigms by designating "we the people" above kings and imaginary gods to self govern, alas that is old news today as so many countries have since adopted constitutional governments that imperfectly pursue that intermediate goal. All in all, these constitutions mostly empower conqueror cultures to power themselves with free market pyramid schemes, unconstrained human population growth, and general disregard for all things non-human.

A truly breakthrough, global inspired constitution would reroute power away from self-concerned humans to more perfect constructs that embrace the spirit and letter of truly egalitarian law.  Specifically, a new constitution could designate representatives for not only human society, but also for global environment, the many ecosystems therein, as well as each species, and each and every sentient creature that has inherited a right to live on Earth. Of course, the perception of human sacredness blinds us from planning such a truly transcendent planetary regime that takes all these into consideration. 

Sadly, if there is one thing we humans are good at, it's hiding from our own greater responsibility to the planet. A constitution drafted for all of Earth, straining to be as idealistic as possible, just might be the first true step toward a long-term positive future for the planet as a whole. 

Let's get writing, shall we?

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