Extrange

The Two Principles, Part 2

Fri, 25 Feb 2011 | norman

As new democracies are being brought about, they would do well to embrace not just new-found individual freedoms, but also the wellbeing of Africa, the Middle East, and Islamic democracies in their own right.

A little while ago I wrote about a thought about two principles that should serve as guides for a constitution, or a legal system.

I'd like to refine that a little. I think that a legal system, or constitution should be an implementation of the intersection of the two principles, and I'll generalise them;

  1. Promoting the interests of the collective
  2. Promoting the interests of the individual

The interests of the collective ensure long-term benefit to its individuals. And the interests of the individuals ensure their desire to support and to promote the collective.

It makes sense to define the collective as Humanity, but it is not necessary. The idea works on all scales. As individuals, we benefit from the wellbeing of our families, and rely on the wellbeing of our nations, societies, Humanity, the greater environment (including plants, animals, chemicals and climate) that our survival depends on.

Promoting individual liberties and the facilitation of personal fulfillment will result in a system that will attract and stimulate the kinds of individuals that would benefit the collective. But promoting the interests of the collective will result in long-term success over other collectives that only prioritise the individual. This is something the West struggles with. It has often benefited from the incidental success of society. But if the society, or Humanity, or Earth were thought of as a single entity, as one does, for example, "the economy", or a political entity, then progress and long-term wellbeing would be driven in a direct way.

As new democracies are being brought about, they would do well to embrace not just new-found individual freedoms, but also the wellbeing of Africa, the Middle East, and Islamic democracies in their own right.

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