Philosophical basis for constitution

posted by Kaihsu Tai on October 23rd, 2007

I talked with Bob about this paragraph he wrote, and he said (among other things), ‘Life is messy.’

There is no liberty that is more important to liberalism than the freedom to form, embrace, criticize, reject, and revise theories of every sort, especially political theories. For this reason it is misguided to suppose the liberal defense of civil liberties is well served by drawing a perimeter of privacy around “comprehensive moral views,” about which disagreement is expected, leaving theories of justice in the public realm, on the other side of the perimeter. It must be expected that in a liberal society political theories, like other moral, religious, and philosophical theories, not only may but will be objects of persistent disagreement. The consensus that a liberal political system certainly needs for its good order will have to be much less theoretical, and perhaps less tidy, than many have supposed. It will involve, most obviously, an agreement on sets of laws, especially constitutional laws, and a sharing of certain customs and habits of political behavior.

A Theory of Virtue by Robert Merrihew Adams (ISBN 978-0-19-920751-0)

So, for example, yesterday in the European Parliament:

Gerard Batten (IND/DEM). – Mr President, Gordon Brown said today that there will be no need for another EU Treaty for at least 10 years. He knows full well that there will never be a need for another Treaty. The proposed Reform Treaty is a self-amending Treaty. What little will be left of sovereign power can be transferred to the EU by decisions of the European Council without recourse to Parliament, let alone the people.

The Reform Treaty formally states the legitimacy and supremacy of EU law over national law. If the British Houses of Parliament accept and practise the provisions of the Reform Treaty as superior and at the expense of existing English and Scottish law, then it is an act of treason under the existing treason laws. Any member of the House of Commons or House of Lords that votes for ratification of the Reform Treaty is therefore, literally, a traitor to their country.

(Laughter)

Go and look at the treason laws if you do not believe me!

Der Präsident. − Herr Kollege! Mit solchen Formulierungen sollten wir zurückhaltend sein. (The President. − Mr Colleague, we should refrain from using such characterization.)

Published in: Books | on October 23rd, 2007 | Permanent Link to “Philosophical basis for constitution” | Comments Off on Philosophical basis for constitution

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