Friday, October 11, 2013

The Second Constitutional Convention

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by
their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit
of Happiness."

It was upon this idea, this singular principle that We the People of these United States made our stand against the British Empire and declared our independence. It was upon this principle that the Founding Fathers established the supreme law of our land and laid the foundation for our future. And it is upon this principle that We the People must now stand upon that foundation and erect a nation greater than anything the Founding Fathers could have envisioned.

The United States Constitution, the supreme law of our land, was conceived as a living document dynamic enough to account for and adapt to change, yet static enough to provide stability. The concept itself was genius and the execution, for that time, virtually flawless. It is a magnificent construct and its impact on the world at large has been incalculable. But as is the case with human beings and our limited knowledge, the truths of yesterday become the falsehoods of today and the certainties of yesteryear devolve into present-day ambiguities. For the past two hundred twenty-five years, United States citizens have lived, flourished, died and given way to new generations under this constitution. As we have progressed, we have borne witness to the evolution and growth of our public consciousness, all reflected in amendments to the Constitution. But as we move deeper into the twenty-first century, we have also borne witness to the devolution of the public intellect. As we have attempted to legislate humaneness into our mindsets by legally recognizing the humanity in beings of differing complexion, sexual orientation, age and even gender, we have grown lax as thinkers, as doers and as innovators. That is not to say we are at fault for trying to humanize our culture and society, but rather that we have lost sight of why the social matters we fight each other over even matter.

From the dawn of humankind to the end of the twentieth century, we burgeoned and blossomed as a result of a keen intellect, a genius for innovation that elevated our species to the status of the globe's most dominant apex predator. But the wisdom to properly, effectively and humanely utilize that genius and status did not come hand in hand with that growth. We have advanced our technological powers to ungodly levels, but continue in our pattern of intellectual misstep after misstep, none the wiser for all our forefathers mistakes. And now, as we near the precipice of humankind's greatest peak, we appear even more hellbent to err and fail, barreling at top speed toward the edge, dooming ourselves for a headfirst plunge off of that cliff into darkness.

There are projections that suggest our planet has enough resources to comfortably house ten billion human beings. The total human population on Earth is estimated to be at about seven billion. Of those seven billion, nearly four billion live in abject poverty. Of the three billion persons not living in abject poverty, only a few hundred million, a population once archaically referred to as the "First World", live in reasonable comfort. And while those few hundred million only make up about five percent of the human population, they annually consume a quarter of the world's total resources. In short, five percent of human beings enjoy having all their basic needs, and then some, met, while nearly sixty percent live in squalor. Suffice it to say, the economic disparity in the world is unfathomably enormous. And even more egregious than the size of the disparity is the reality that we as a species possess the means by which said disparity could be eradicated. We possess the technology and the resources to satisfy the basic needs of all human beings, but as a result of greed, humankind across the world suffers and will continue to suffer. Men and women suffer, children and old folk suffer, souls of every complexion and craniofacial build suffer, souls of every sexual orientation and physical constitution suffer. But in the wake of varying modes of persecution, we came to believe that the struggles different humans face are wholly separate and completely independent of one another. No. This is an illusion. Though each struggle is of different origin and circumstance, the truth of it is that humankind as a whole has been languishing in this hell of inequity. It is because of this inequity that the war we wage for social freedom as individuals and individual groups is all for naught. Man is, at present, far too greedy for any legal advance on these matters to truly make a difference in men's souls - hence why racism, sexism, ageism and the like are all still alive and well. As long as there is greed, as long as men desire for, tax and keep more than they could ever actually need, there can be no free and fair society.

But make no mistake - this is not a mere indictment of greed. That would be pointless, as greed is as natural to us now as say hunger, thirst or lust. Questions of how much is enough have plagued us since we settled down and became an agricultural species. But these questions only persist because we are, by nature, doomed to need. And as fears of being denied our needs escalated into ambition, greed was born - fathered then mothered by need. Alleviating need would probably fail to eradicate greed, much in the same way that one could not hope to put a rabid dog down by putting its' parents down. But our purpose is not to attempt to change or solve the riddles of human nature with legislation, that is beyond the reach of any set of laws or legalisms. Our purpose is to defend the right of human beings to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, to answer humankind's most basic needs and to provide for the growth and maturation of our species. And at present, our Constitution does not fully guarantee nor protect those needs. It does not provide for basic human needs: sanitary food, clean water, adequate shelter, weather appropriate clothing, sanitation, education and healthcare. Food and water that will not have deleterious effects on our health must be a given. Clothing and shelter to protect us from the elements are as necessary to life as the first two. Sanitation and healthcare must also be provided for, as the first four will be all for naught in the wake of unhealthily dirty living conditions and disease. Education, once it is revolutionized to serve as a sincere means of personal development rather than as an agent of human commoditization, must be included in the general welfare through to undergraduate levels, with graduate levels being, at the very least, provided for. These things are all unarguably essential to life in this modern society. As such, it must be made illegal for a single one of these needs to be left unmet and the government must be held accountable.

After our lives, our liberty too is at stake. Many of the guidelines set in place to govern political behavior were arbitrarily chosen and ambiguously worded, leaving room for the current day socioeconomic developments that have obstructed and irreversibly impaired the democratic process. Women are not properly represented or protected, the executive branch is overburdened, affluent corporations have too powerful an influence over government and government at large is not properly checked by the People it is meant to serve. If a power is existent in government, the collective body of representatives for the community, it must first have been existent in the individuals said government is meant to protect. For if the government should have powers that are not legally possessed by individuals, it has power over the citizenry, which it must not. The government is servant of the People, vicar of the People. It is not a tool by which wealthy men may impose their will on the People for the purpose of personal gain. It is a tool by which human beings must answer and then protect the immediate needs of humankind at large.

Given that the former two, life and liberty, are left unprotected, it is a given that the last is as well: a person cannot know or find happiness if their lives are eternally entrenched in the misery of merely surviving. And if the usurpation of these inalienable rights was enough for the colonies to wage war against the British Empire, it must also be enough for us. Where the Founding Fathers once stood against the British Empire, We the People must now stand against ourselves and the prejudices that sully our souls, obstruct our growth as a community and blind our judgement as human beings. Where our Continentals and ragtag militiamen once stood against British soldiers, We the People must now rise against the political corruption that destroys the democratic principles upon which our Republic was meant to stand. Where our American forefathers once fought to realize a dream of freedom from religious and monarchical persecution, We the People must now fight to realize the dream of a world freed of economic and prejudicial oppression. Though they may appear Hobbesian in tone, these words merely speak to the idea that the best of human beings is yet to come. And as the foremost political power on this Earth, We the People of these United States must lay the groundwork for future generations of human beings, even if doing so means abolishing the forms to which we have become accustomed.

It will be suggested that the Constitution be amended rather than totally overhauled. But we are at a crossroads. Despite the fact that government is meant to serve the public, it is able to and does act independent of the public will, something that has proved and continues to prove detrimental to the public. So not only would any effort on the public's part to petition for amendment be fruitless, the fact is that any amendment penned and ratified by the powers we seek to reform would fail to suffice. Faced with a crisis the likes of which our species has never known, the impoverishment and starvation of billions of men, women and little children, now is not the time for the uncertainty. Now is the time for clarity of purpose. Now is not the time for apathy nor fear. Now is the time for humanity. Now is not the time for standing pat and shortsightedly protecting Self while the world around us collapses. Now is the time for We the People to act with vision, to understand that elevating society beyond mere survival requires us to act together, as a whole, in Union. Now is the time for We the People to reconstruct the supreme law of our land so that it can wholly and more accurately provide for the security of all the People of the United States, which in turn will allow for America to revitalize the world.

It must begin with the People and end with the People, there is no other way.

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May love ever possess you, may peace come into your life.

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