LAW AND GOVERNANCE IN THE NEW AGE

 

The Story so far

Governance is based on power and self-interest. When parliaments replace monarchs, dictatorships and military rule as the main source of law, political parties immediately polarize according to perceived class interests, the Right representing the wealthy and powerful, the Left representing working classes, peasants and factory employees. Religious sectarianism apart, elected assemblies throughout the world become polarized in this way, the Left-Right confrontation always evident. Some individual legislators may be motivated by idealism, but most are motivated by their class interests, the opportunity for personal self-aggrandizement and prestige, and in many cases the interests of those who financed their campaigns.

In the democratic tradition, governance is based on the power of numbers. Majority will is law, even though it might be irresponsible or disadvantageous to minorities, or to future generations, or even to the financial credibility of over-indebted governments, the Majority is always right. As the expenditure of growing taxation takes over from simple legislation as the main pre-occupation of government, the added influence accompanying the power to dispense money tends to corrupt legislators. The “rewards” of office increase, as also does campaign expenditure, and those who finance the campaigns of legislature-hopefuls naturally expect to be rewarded if their candidate is successful. Governments have become quietly oppressive, unresponsive and secretive, their powers and the taxation needed to support them steadily increasing without any apparent limit.

Meanwhile some of the most important tasks of governance remain ignored, a major example being the banking system which, although arguably the most vital element of a nation’s infrastructure, is left largely to its own devices, to gamble with the nation's financial destiny secure in the knowledge that if they lose, the government will bail them out.

Though attempts to establish basic human rights and to set limits on law have always been pursued, the concept of inherent rightness in law and social conduct has never been considered. This will become the basis of law and governance in the New Age.


Preamble

The seeds of self-preservation and self-improvement are, of necessity, born into every one of us. If we use this impetus to create, to invent, to improve on what has gone before, collaborating with those around us, then civilization will advance to the benefit of all. But if the desire for self-aggrandizement is exercised at the expense of others, if we seek to gain wealth, not through our own creative labours alone but by exploiting and dispossessing others, by expropriating the work and wealth of others, the more aggressive will become richer while others grow poorer, and resentment, acrimony, conflict, confrontation and ultimately war will result. This simple, fundamental truth provides the motivation of law and governance in the New Age.

The foundation of law and social conduct in the New Age is the perception that none should have power or dominion over others; none should be permitted to exploit or steal from others; none should be able to gain at the expense of others, none should increase his or her wealth by diminishing that of others.

Simply stated, governance is based on a Presumption of Liberty, everyone being free to do as they like, qualified only by one simple, supreme law: Do No Harm. The purpose of law and governance is to prevent people from injuring one another.

Injury can take many forms, personal injury, unfair or irresponsible use of natural resources, dishonesty and inequity in trade and commerce. The duty of government is to identify injury then take steps to prevent it, while at the same time ensuring that government itself remains honest, open and productive, and that its laws remain within the strictly defined limitation of the prevention of injury.


The Structure of Government

The whole structure and purpose of government is guided by one Supreme Law: Do No Harm. This law is held in the custody of the EXECUTIVE, which has three duties:

1. It verifies all proposed legislation in order to ensure that it complies with the One Law. If there is an injured party, or if any injury is committed, the law must be seen to prevent that injury. But it is equally important to ensure that the law goes no further, thus intruding into personal liberty without justification. If there is no injured party, there can be no law. When verifying that proposed legislation is thus compliant, the process by which the law was debated and formulated is also verified to ensure that all the specified due processes were complied with and all those involved were duly heard.

2. The Executive maintains open-access to all, receiving complaints of insufficient or excessive law, and if justified ensuring timely and effective remedy. Agents of the Executive will also ensure through personal investigation that the processes of enforcement, justice and correction are carried out in the manner prescribed by law.

3. The Executive is responsible for ensuring that every process and department of governance is executed to the highest standards at the lowest cost, that is to say, that productivity in all departments of governance is maximized. Accounts and productivity assessments are conducted on a regular basis, either by the Executive's own office, or by independent auditors. All accounts and proceedings of all aspects of government are public at all times. The operations of the Executive are likewise audited on a regular basis by not less than two independent auditors.

The operations of the Executive are supervised by an Executive Committee, its members selected by the Legislative Representatives (see Legislature). Any individual may institute a Referendum proposing the censure or removal of any officer or officers of the Executive Committee.

Beneath the Executive are three managerially and financially autonomous departments of governance:

1) Legislative Proceedings
2) Natural Resources Management
3) Economic Management

Each of these three Departments is charged with specific duties and responsibilities, and is answerable to the Executive for its performance.


1) Legislative Proceedings

Where there is injury, there must be protective law. The function of the Legislative Department falls into three stages.

First, Injury is identified and registered. This can be initiated by any person, group, or association, either by direct application to the Legislative Administration, or to the local Legislative Representative. Legislative Representatives for each region are proposed and elected within the region on the basis of trust and confidence, also for preference, having a knowledge of law and liberty allowing them to explain laws to their constituents and to advise on the definition of possible injury enquiries.

Second, debate is scheduled in which all interested parties, individuals, special-interests groups and societies are invited to participate.

Third, an Injury having been confirmed and clearly identified, protective legislation must be formulated which can minimize or prevent the injury while not creating any side-effects or risking possible injury elsewhere. Legislation must deal with the Injury in question, without going further than is essential and thus risking unnecessary intrusion and limitation of liberty.

Legislation thus formulated is then passed to the Executive, where it is checked to ensure (a) that the process of debate and formulation were carried out according to prescribed rules, (b) that the injury will thus be effectively prevented, and (c) that no further intrusion is created. Only then does it formally become law.

Issues dealing specifically with Natural Resources apportionment or Economics and Commerce are dealt with by separate Departments.


2) Natural Resources Management

The Department of Natural Resources functions in three stages.

First it maintains an on-going inventory and assessment of all natural resources under its administration, above and below ground, inland and coastal. Categories include mineable assets, agricultural land of different soil types suitable for different crops, areas of outstanding natural beauty, wilderness areas preserved for environmental balance and protection.

Second, it maintains an on-going assessment of current and foreseeable requirements in terms of resource-extraction, agriculture, recreation, residential, commercial and transportation needs.

Third, it attempts to balance availability with requirements in such a way as to fulfill as many needs, desires and requirements as possible while minimizing environmental impact and surface footprint, and within the disciplines of good stewardship. While land-use titles cannot be bought and sold and are granted on lease only, permanence of tenure is guaranteed wherever possible, contingent upon responsible usage. Where ownership of land-use titles are transferred between holders, any investment or improvement undertaken may be recompensed.

The proceedings of the Department are open at all times to participation by any interested or affected individuals, special interest groups and societies, and local Legislative Representatives, and are subject to regular productivity assessment and account auditing.


3) Economic Management

Economic Management has three objectives to fulfill:
Economic and Monetary Stability,
Opportunity for everyone to participate to the fullest extent of their desires and capabilities,
and assurance of maximum Productivity and Quality.

The Supreme “One Law” requires that trade and commerce should be equitable, that is, commercial exchanges of goods and services should represent equal value in terms of price for product or service. In order to fulfill this requirement, a standard system of work measurement sets a work-value on every job. This ensures that each job is rewarded fairly in relation to others, thus avoiding any need to dispute remunerations with its associated acrimony. In addition, the basic work-unit becomes the monetary unit, thus the monetary unit has stability and definition in terms of work done. The Work and Remuneration Council regularly reviews job changes and new developments, and accepts submissions at any time from anyone who may consider a particular aspect of work is neglected or inappropriately rewarded. Total outgoings in terms of remunerations, materials and capital repayments determine prices. Profits, that is, the surplus of income over costs, are strictly limited. Stability of remunerations and prices is thus ensured.

As a result of monetary stability, economic activity can be expanded to full employment capacity without any problem of inflation. The universal division of labour renders it difficult for individuals to initiate self-employment unsupported and unaided; it is therefore considered essential that services be available to ensure that everyone is able to participate economically to the fullest extent of their desires and capabilities. Full employment is assured by “empowerment economics” in which credit is used aggressively through Regional Development Agencies to promote new enterprises or improve productivity of existing enterprises. Availability of credit is reinforced by expert advice and assistance in the relevant field, together with on-going financial supervision and monitoring. The project itself forms the credit collateral. Usury is not practiced, and interest is neither charged on loans, nor paid on bank credit balances, though a charge is made purely reflecting administrative costs borne by the lending institution.

It is also considered vital for the advancement of civilization, that productivity and quality be continuously maximized, offering at all times the best products and services at the lowest possible cost. Credit and expert technical and financial advice and support are constantly available to this end; in addition, a universal register of product and operational standards, continuously updated, shares information on the latest products and production techniques. Managements are expected to keep themselves informed of developments, to update where appropriate, and to contribute any new ideas they may themselves develop. Monitoring of productivity in essential, infrastructure, and monopoly services is particularly strict.

Nor are departments of government exempt from productivity scrutiny. It is easy for government, as an enforced monopoly, to slip into the path of steadily increasing costs (taxes) in combination with decreasing productivity, a danger to which New Age Government is especially alert.

The “productivity-ethic” prevalent throughout business and industry ensures that productive efficiency is constantly increasing. This is actively encouraged by the investing banks. As productivity increases, the labour-cost is reduced, and since price is based on labour-cost, prices fall as productivity increases. Though interest is not paid on savings, the value of money in terms of purchasing power is constantly increasing so that in practice, your money buys more each year.

Under New Age Governance, the sole purpose of law is to prevent injury. And all departments of governance are themselves strictly disciplined in their own conduct and finances.

Thomas Jefferson may have glimpsed the future in his first Inaugural Address given on March 4th, 1801:

“A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another yet leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and which shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned: this is the sum of good Government necessary to complete the circle of our felicities”.


End Note

The difference between government and people is that government holds power over people. This is necessary. If a society is to function in a peaceful, orderly and productive fashion, a degree of regulation is required, and this is the function of government. It is important that the people accept the regulation and laws of government; it is equally important that the departments of governance are perceived as competent, just and honest. If government becomes self-indulgent and oppressive, revolution will inevitably result. The power of government must be conditional upon its fulfillment of specific duties, with limits on its power clearly set out. The people must have a course whereby they can peaceably criticize or remove any government department or official of government when misuse or abuse of power is perceived to exist.

The quality of governance is dependent on the quality of the people not only inside, but outside government. The Law exists to protect liberty, but individuals must develop and respect a common culture which rejects any aggression between people, or imposition of one will upon others. Thus it is of prime importance to ensure, through education at the earliest stage, that any signs of aggression are discouraged through explanation and training. Collaboration rather than aggressive competition should accompany each individual's growth. Daily practice of tolerance, goodwill, seeing other points of view, and of course always the renunciation of aggression and the imposition of self upon others, such practice will help to ensure and preserve the dream of lasting peace on earth.

 
LAW and GOVERNANCE in the NEW AGE

If any man, any woman, acquires or is granted power over any other or others, this will not may, but will most surely and certainly lead to abuse, misuse and corruption.

The only Power that is competent and can be trusted to regulate the affairs of community and society is the Power of Principle, the Principle that in the pursuit of self-improvement and the exercise of liberty, no-one should injure or exploit others.

This Principle of Non-Injury is neutral and impersonal. It is a shield, preventing injury.

Legislators hold no arbitrary or discretionary power. They are simply Interpreters, applying the Principle in terms of everyday events and actions. The process of Interpretation is clearly delineated and circumscribed in terms of obligation and limitation. If there is Injury, there must be Prevention. If there is no Injury, then there is neither cause nor justification for the interference of law.

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