Apr 25, 17 / Gem 03, 01 21:33 UTC
Thoughts from an inactive community member ¶
*Topic Disclaimer: This post involves some personal backstory and subjects unrelated to the subforum. However, both my personal focus and the subject of this post as a whole are Asgardia's constitution. If the post must be moved then so be it but I feel it is most relevant here.*
I have been interested in Asgardia since almost the beginning. Like many others I was enamored with the potential in a new nation, a new opportunity to do things better, not to mention SPACE! With that in mind I made a conscious effort to involve myself in the facebook community. There I naturally gravitated to my preferred subjects of political philosophy and constitutional law. Soon after in my head it became a no-brainer that if I wanted to do the most I could to help it succeed, I should look into the thing I consider most important to a country: it's constitution.
I managed to become actively involved in a few groups working on constitution proposals. There were a few drafts, lots of revisions, and even more chaos as we all attempted to organize ourselves. It progressed to the point where a few drafts (chiefly one) were being consciously worked on and an "official" constitution group recognized. I should note that I was an administrator of this group, however due to some drama (that will not be discussed) and the concerns I will outline later in the post, I became largely inactive in the community shortly after it's creation. When the forums became available, I briefly returned to contribute a small amount of my thoughts, but again lapsed into inactivity for various reasons.
Through it all I got to see the various directions that different people wanted to take the constitution, and it all felt off to me. People were trying to mix each others ideas and merge philosophies in ways that seemed fine on the surface, but were inconsistent with the ideals underpinning them. Alongside this, important discussions were pushed to the back to make way for more immediate, yet superficial ones. For example, to my knowledge there has never been a sufficiently in depth discussion about the definition and origin of "Rights" in the official communication channels of Asgardia.
From what I saw, most of the volunteer work on constitutions created patch worked amalgamations of different systems of thought and intention. The philosophical consistency evaporated. Tens if not hundreds of man hours went into small improvements and modifications of fundamentally unsound works. Much of the work was done with quality, but a constitution must be consistent across the board, not just within each individual article. I really don't mean to say that people did bad work, but that much of it was in wrong directions.
As an example I can draw parallels to the American Constitution. The American constitution was based largely on the principles of classical liberalism, which was in turn consistent with and partly inspired by the common christian beliefs of the time. In addition, the people of that time were unified by the ideals of the American Revolution, and by nationalism. This combined into a document that was very consistent with the beliefs of the population, and was philosophically consistent. In contrast, Asgardia has some amount of (vague) unifying principles, but no school of thought to define them.
Without this, we risk a constitution that does not understand itself. A document that hails freedom above all else, until the page turns and security gets its turn.
I had hoped that we would be able to create an ideology of compromise. A system of understanding where for example the capitalists and communists would both agree on a set of principles that would benefit everyone even if they weren't optimal in any one side's eyes. Then, the Constitution could be built from this and Asgardia could use it as a framework. Honestly, it could be something similar to the declaration of Unity. However, it would have to be much clearer, and explained in depth in another document. Not to mention designed as a sort of ideological reference instead of a declaration.
Unfortunately, I could hardly get people to recognize the need for such a thing, let alone work towards one. But now it appears moot. The constitution team will either create an ideologically consistent document or they wont. I find it very unlikely that we would be able to change this. At best I see a potential change in the flavor of whichever outcome is decided for us. Then, it will be shown to us, we will have a few days to talk about it, then "vote".
Unless asked I will not give a detailed account of my views on the nature of the proposed constitutional "vote" and the current ability to discuss the constitution's table of contents. However, in short I find the first insulting and the second baffling.
I apologize for the rambling and the spelling and grammar mistakes I have undoubtedly made. If anyone would like to discuss what I've written I will probably be present for the next few days. Then I imagine I will fade away again. It's been nice to see dream again for a little bit regardless.