"The legitimate powers of government extend only
to such acts as are injurious to others." -- Thomas Jefferson
The governing aspects of social life in New Liberty Village fall under the domain of our Human Rights Life. Our government's functions are limited to a very distinct, discrete, area of our life; that is, rights relations between persons, and that alone. We believe only in these matters can group or social opinion justly be involved in our personal lives, and our economic transactions.
The concept of rights, by definition, is a social term. A "right" involves a relationship between persons. Only social issues arise in our government. What a man or woman is or does that has no bearing on someone else is outside the domain of public decision or influence.
There are some things every single person shares purely by the fact that he or she is a human being, and every human being of voting age, in our society is given equal opportunity to help define these "rights" through voice and vote. Examples of rights that most would agree upon is the right for protection from violence against ones person, the "right" for personal, private property, freedom to express one's opinion, to practice one's religion.
Defining these as rights, then deciding upon appropriate actions when these right's are trangressed, is a valid and necessary function of government at this point of development. When differentiating the three areas of social life, the Spiritual Cultural Life, the Economics Life, and this, the Human Rights life, each arena requires an entirely different set of circumstances or conditions for it's optimal function in a society. The keyword for Human rights is Equality. If a matter arises for consideration that does not apply to all Men equally, then it is not a concern of our government. If it is a matter of individuality, or how to best produce, distribute, or consume a commodity, then equality, sameness and commonality no longer apply. Our Government has nothing to say on how to raise a family, educate our children, what we can say, think, and believe, or how we make our living. The only time an action by any individual enters into the domain of government is when it can be determined that this action involves the injury of another.
Whenever a question arises of one person's rights being trespassed by another, our court and legal system are brought into play by petition from the person or group of person's involved. It is the function of the Rights life to define the laws and regulations by providing the methods and institutions for reaching consensus through a truly democratic process. When individuals petition that their rights have been transgressed, the actual adjudgement is another matter, involving individuality and the Spiritual branch of our society. Peer judges and juries are drawn from organizations within the Spiritual/Cultural order, the selection process actively participated in by the defendant. Our government's only concern are matters of Human Rights involving law enforcement, maintenance of civil and criminal courts, the police and armed forces, and public welfare, striving to assure that decided upon basic human needs are met when they can not be provided by individuals themselves.
Again, the by-word for the Human Rights division is equality. This concept can and does not apply to either of the other two divisions of our social life. Individuals have different, not equal, needs, talents and personalities. No one would want to be equal to everyone else in questions of individuality, culture, and thought. The same is true for Economic life. We do not have equal circumstances, needs, motivation, skills, experience and expertise in producing, distributing or consuming goods and services. In neither the Spiritual/cultural, nor the economic areas of social Life, is equality an ideal to be sought after, or striven for. In the Human Rights arena alone, is equality a precursor to justice and fair treatment for all.
We are all equal in our humanity. Simply by being human, we share certain things in common. We all get hungry and thirsty, and we all need shelter from the elements. We also each need protection from others who would harm us. This is true regardless of our individual idiosyncrasies, or the extent of our abilities to produce goods and services. We take it as a basic assumption that these fundamental needs are our right by being human when we as a group define them as such, and as we define them. We might for example determine that if a person appears capable of working to provide his needs for food and shelter, that there is no social obligation to provide him with a minimum subsistence, but on the other hand, can define conditions such as age, either youth or old age, when in fact the social body can rightfully assume such an obligation. What we would wish for ourselves, we would wish for others. We have presently decided that if for some reason we could not grow our own food, or perform some economic social function in exchange for food or money, then each of us would hope that someone else would look out for us until we could.
If someone or a group of persons intends to do us physical harm, or otherwise make our life uncomfortable, we might also well hope that the larger body social has made provisions to discourage or prevent this from happening. These are valid functions of society, we believe. We do not adopt a completely anarchistic, each man for himself, social philosophy, given our present social evolution.
Again, individualism, or economics should not encroach on this domain of Human rights. We have come to see that because a man or a group of men have amassed great power in the form of money, or charisma, or political power, these issues determined as rights must be guaranteed independent of class or financial status, race, sex, amount of education, or any other basis. Power politics and lobbying groups have no place in our ideals of government. Rights relationships between individuals give no basis for economic influence on decisions or legislation.
Any use of our natural base of food, air, land or mineral substances by one man or company of men means that someone else can not use it. We are becoming increasingly aware that the natural base is not unlimited. Given an enlightened effort and good will, we believe men and women should be able to work things out so the benefits of the earth can be shared justly, and so we all can survive and lead meaningful lives. Ownership property rights (under construction) are being re-examined in relationship to individuality; each man is not in fact an island unto himself, and social responsibility and action is an inevitable part in many areas of our lives. Defining what is rightfully a matter for social jurisdiction needs to be continually considered and voted upon in a democratic manner.
As humans, we believe each one should have equal voice and power in defining what these rights are, and determining that they are allotted to each of us equally. Each vote carries equal weight with any other. Emphasis, in the New Liberty Village, is being placed on assuring that each person has this voice and power, instead of only token measures that give the illusion that one is in control of ones rights. Outside our society, it is evident that a lot of the decisions that effect everyone are heavily based on money and power politics. We see we must build into our social life means to assure that this cannot happen again. Our discernment and structuring of our society into three very different social organs is an important step towards this.
Each one of us is intrinsically involved in the rights life because we have dealings with others. Persons who play an active role in determining and enforcing human rights as leaders in the rights area are elected by majority vote in New Liberty Village. The cost for maintaining the police and armed forces, and the maintenance of the courts and other governing functions is derived from taxes. No, we have not figured out how to get around taxes! We believe it is more realistic to add a percentage to the price of goods introduced into the social setting rather than an income tax on our labor. Each item produced is intrinsically involved in the social rights aspect of life. If I use a substance, someone else cannot. Their is production, distribution, and purchase of goods and service is dependent upon social relationships. My labor is a function of my own individuality, will and talent which is not a social event. We enjoy discussion and consideration of such questions, and always want to hear from as many as we can in debate of issues involving social and individual rights.
In these early days of formation of our new social forms, we encourage help and input into the Rights Life Discussion Group. If you will submit any links, any comments, or even treatises on these subject matters, you are likely to find your comments included below. You also may be interested in casting your vote on important matters coming before us now in our town hall meetings where we debate rights issues, then vote democratically on them.
RIGHTS LIFE DISCUSSION GROUP
February 21, 2000
I really don't get it. Why is freedom so
undoubtedly accepted as top of the list? The thing that should be, and that we
can't do without. It's time we stop this romantic foolish talks. Time to stop
telling stories and leave this demagogy. Before freedom there is strength
and willingness to take responsibilities of our decisions, choices we make and
actions we take. Or simply stop bullshitting ourselves, that we are
reasonable. Freedom is not a good thing, taken as a pure substance. There
is no one man! Every single human being is a social animal, and now we
want to set him free of his society. Leave him to go where he wants to. And bomb
the poor thing with everyday ads, commercials? What if he doesn't want to
be free? As it is for most of the people (including myself) it's too hard
for one person to make decisions. Impossible. Most people are
unwilling to make such decisions, because it's too damn responsible. Then why
giving "freedom'? Freedom from what - from the place they love, from
the family they have, from their friends and the love they feel?
Modern society wants from everybody to forget about the others and care only for themselves. We go after some desperate words of lonely scholars, who don't know anything about people, and we still believe that we've found the core of everything. But you say - I need to rest from this asylum - cities, people. That's right. But in most of the cases we do not go somewhere out of it alone. We need a human soul, we need our tribe, our fireplace, we need to feel that we are part of something. Men and women are not born to live alone. They don't need to be free just for freedom's sake.
And another thing - RIGHTS, equal rights. This is another poem that has nothing to do with the real world. There should not be equal rights. Everybody should know where is his place and live with it. There is no equality, people. There never was, never will be. People are the same, but not equal. This is not natural. Not everybody can be king, or king's wife, or writer, or musician, or who knows what. Equalizing is a stupid thing. And the most sad thing is when saying - equal rights, we think of how we shall be rich as Rockefeller. Everybody should know his rights and stop fighting for equality. There always will be differences. Beautiful words we are saying, but these are stories for children. It makes it easier to paint the world and live in it, but it won't change the world. It is not a thing about justice. It's about the way it is.
I'm not sure if I expressed the storm in my mind with several sentences. I guess I'm no good at it, but I tried.
Thanx for reading this!
February 25, 2000
Jerry B email@example.com
I highly value your comments, for the intensity of feeling and conviction, and the points you make. Your viewpoints differ from mine, that is the nature of being human, and being individuals. We, now, gratefully so, have the freedom to express our thoughts on the Internet, and the freedom to think what ever we wish, and reach our own conclusions. This to me, as I am sure it is to you, very important. I very much value this type of discourse, and hope to continue it. To be able to do so, even across oceans is a remarkable, unexpected development in forming world community, beyond our families and various clans and tribes. In a very real sense, our families and neighborhoods are growing, though day to day contact with flesh and spirit is for certain crucial and fulfilling in ways electronic communication is not. In some sense, I agree with most of what you say, with the reservations and emphasis I state in my reply to FREEDOM?
January 30, 1998
subject: Killing is Killing
I believe that the world would be a better place if we didn't condone any kind of killing, be it abortion, the electrocution chair or bombing someone from afar. When we condone any kind of murder then we become de-sensitized to the tragedy of death. I believe that life is the most precious thing in the world and our efforts should be about making it a reality than making death more accessible. lani
April 26, 1998
......yet there are tragedies that are arguably greater than death. It is difficult to prescribe the termination of a phenomena or course of action without addressing the causal problem. Would it be any less tragic to have teenage girls bear babies that they cannot afford (economically or psycho-logically) to bring up? Would it be okay to have killers run rampant through society? Would it be okay to have maniac powerheads do as they wish--Hitlers, Saddams, and the like? I think that the world would be a better place to live if we could develop utopian ideals--such as "no more killing"--and then go through systematic reforms that can yield REALISTICALLY this end. geci
February 19, 1998
Its all very well having this quaint little site , but can a sense of reality be injected into it ; like what if an alcoholic moved into the area with his anti social kids; what if a drug dealer moved in? I would like to see a site that could deal with with scenarios like these. I would be able to offer or pose many problems based on actual occurrences.
If your site is able to offer through its many contributors constructive information on such like please E-mail me .......almac
February 20, 1998
Editor's response .....Our imaginary community does not exclude certain persons from moving into it. So such persons as you speak of do move into New Liberty Village. Like other communities, we have laws, one being a law that makes it illegal and subject to prosecution to sell controlled substances to minors. These laws are derived from a true democratic forum and vote process that, to an unusual degree, represents the views of our citizens. Lengthy and lively debate stands behind each limit placed on individual freedom when others are affected by our behavior. A drug dealer, if caught, would come before our magistrate, if it were determined there was sufficient cause, he could be held over in jail until the person accused selected a judge and jury from a list of available citizens who have volunteered for a set time for their particular duty. Sentencing and treatment of the person will be based on thorough consideration of the individual person, his needs and motives in relationship to the communities needs and offerings. Once a lawbreaker has been arraigned, persons and peers from the "private" sector, not government employees, decide the actions and immediate fate of the one who has broken social regulations. The government, the Human rights group only makes the arrangements for the activities to be carried out, and if need be, even incarcerate individuals till the private individual citizens meet together and come to settlements and arrangements with the accused.
Being in the formative stage, many of our citizens are meeting once a week in the
community center, debating and deliberating a whole list of issues, included whether, and
in what form, drugs should be legalized or not. The difference in our town is that the
vote of each persons of voting age has equal power and voice of every other person, each
person determining how he or she himself would expect to be treated, not some wealthy
vested interest or powerful government committee or organization. We
are being surprised how educated and concerned the general public is on such matters, and are able to see in clear relief how often the present laws of the land do not always reflect the majority view, such as on drug regulation. When one out of 135 males are incarcerated in prisons in the United States, it should be evident that revaluation of our legal system and more basic, the ramifications of our society at large, must soon occur. Some pretty basic things obviously are amiss.
Laws and group enforcement are the last recourse only when one's behavior has disrupted other's well being to the point something must be done to change the situation. If adequate opportunities are allowed growing persons at an early enough age, and these persons know in actuality that he or she can determine his or her own life, they are much more likely tol choose activities that give him or her a feeling of confidence , self-esteem, and a sense of purpose. Having experienced the joys of accomplishment, waking up in the morning with a number of things to do that one looks forward to with major parts of one's being, knowing that neighbors and friends are immediately available in intimate ways, one's desires and needs for the types of sensations and awareness that drugs and alcohol provide for are certainly lessoned or never arise. When the feeling of backbone, confidence, and strength comes from within ones own being, rather than loaned by some outer substance, the implications for a society and it's individuals are great indeed! Psychological or spiritual muscles are developed that offer one the chance to respond in a variety of ways. Someone who hasn't developed these stengths are limited to narrow choices. Our village, by providing that individual attention is available to learn appropriate and desirable occupations and vocations as one reaches the age one explores ones interests and particular talents, results in far fewer frustrated and bored young people. Those that have not found a chance to respond, or learned how, never develop the ability to respond, or responsibility. Unused muscles grow weaker, especially if vehicles such as drugs or alcohol are relied on to do the work and replace personal excercise of choice and a wide variety of stimulating, confidence building, rather than destructive, experiences.
Because our movement is towards decentralization into smaller communities, local
economy, and strong interpersonal bonds derived from our free economic associations, a new
and vital sense of community is present few of us had experienced before. We each see
clearer what our part is in the overall scheme of our joint daily life. When one of us
seems bent on self destructive or group destructive behavior, more persons learn of it and
are affected by it than in the anonymous roles we played before. Our peer pressures
and "gang" activities have a different set of values and ambitions. We have more
opportunities to get "high" on life. When one begins to show signs of distress
or discouragement, someone is more likely to notice. If a teenager comes before the
attention of the courts here, a whole bevy of local citizens is called upon to involve
themselves in the individuals life, people in our town who have volunteered for such
"duties" just because they find it gratifying to help out someone in need. A
young person will spend little time behind bars or in isolation. Rehabilitation simply
becomes getting into life, discovering what one really thrives on, and making the most of
opportunities provided in the community. When individuality is at stake, our free
Individual/cultural/spiritual Life is the realm that interfaces on a person to person
basis. As our village develops, more concrete examples can be given. We are not
utopian, nor do we unrealistically limit our citizenship only to perfected or conforming
persons! Jerry B
VOTING ISSUES (Under Construction)
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