Main Pillars of Liberalism: Constitutional Rule of Law

 
Main Pillars of Liberalism: Constitutional Rule of Law

The constitutional rule of law is the foundation used by liberalism to protect peaceful individuals and private property rights, and to further tolerance. this means that the constitutional rule of law decides the rules of the game within society – what is law, and what is not law.

In a liberal constitutional society, there are clear and stable rules for what is legal and what is not. All peaceful activity is permitted, while all violent activity is prohibited.

Problems with the Constitutional Society of Today

Today, most constitutional societies consist of principles that contradict each other. A society cannot both protect individuals against the use of force (a) and simultaneously introduce a statutory law that people have a right to «free» education (b) and healthcare (c). The last mentioned «rights» (b and c) must necessarily violate the first mentioned right (a).

Once you accept a violation of individual freedom through the interference of others, there is no longer a solid framework, within which the rule of law can operate. In a representative majority rule, the desires of a majority change from year to year, wherefore there is no long-term stability compared to what one would expect of the rule of law.

That which is a right today may be gone tomorrow, and may be replaced by an obligation instead. That which is allowed may be prohibited, and that which was voluntarily may be required.

Stability

The liberal constitutional society has the opposite effect: It provides long-term stability. The reason for this is simple: At its core, the liberal constitutional society should focus solely on protecting peaceful individuals against violent conflict. This is also known as negative freedom.

A majority cannot vote for parties that can amend the Constitution on the basis of, for instance, a 2/3 majority in Parliament. The principle of individual peace constitutes a core concept that dictates the Constitution and can never be changed.

Burden of Proof

One ingenious feature of the rule of law as outlined here is that all citizens on equal terms could be involved in shaping legislation. There is one important catch to the whole thing: You have to prove to a court what you might want to mandate or prohibit is necessary to ensure individual freedom and peace.

If your legislative proposal runs counter to the Constitution, it must be rejected by the courts. At that point, having the majority of the population on your side is no help. The random desires of the majority are overridden by the protection of the smallest minority that has ever existed – the individual.

Summary

  • The constitutional society of today consists of mutually exclusive principles
  • A liberal constitutional society has one task. To contribute the rules of the game so peaceful individuals are protected
  • Other consitutional societies are unstable because of a majority rule that is based on the random opinons of a majority of the population
  • On the other hand, the core of the liberal constitutional society can never be changed
  • The point is to create a solid framework to ensure long-term stability and peace
  • In other words, a majority can never decide over a minority, or vice versa, again

Resources

 
 

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