Life and Law - Part 1 - Unifying Principles for an Age of Division
Presented By 2050 Knowledge Corporation – Speaker – John Boon, J.D.
For … everyone – not just policy wonks – because state and enterprise systems that provide life support for all can’t be taken for granted.


“Democracy is under attack and falling out of favour with many living in democratic states. We can’t settle for democracy without rights or rights without democracies.” Yascha Mounk, Harvard University


No person can isolate themselves from matters of state and enterprise. Functional service and regulatory states – if grounded in principles of liberty, democracy and rule of law -– provide life support for all.

Differences in societies – especially free societies – are unavoidable. Deep divisions now threatening social cohesion, institutions of governance and foundation principles are avoidable if causes are addressed.

No single template or checklist exists to measure the success of these fragile human systems. People must continually define and aspire to high ideals and principles.

Greater public knowledge and dialogue can soothe divisions, drive innovation, defend legacies of law and liberty and build new unifying principles.

Public and private sector innovation is vital to ensure gateways to progress for all are removed, but it must be balanced with protection of positive legacies of law, liberty, democratic and functional governance and dynamic, fair and sustainable commerce. Status quo forces must get on board.

Solutions to major threats – to economies, commerce, social well-being, security, the environment and public health – depend on effective individual and group actions that in turn depend on these principles.

Summary Outline - Papers and Articles Discussed
  1. Management and Legal Principles 
    1.  Legal entities – states – people – groups – relationships – actions – intentions – motives – needs – wants – goals – principles – cause and effect systems.
    2. Legal systems and laws – instruments to bring order and norms of behaviour to relationships – social peace – individual and collective progress.
    3. Liberties – freedoms – claimed rights – legally enforceable rights – aspirations – realities.
  2. Modern States – Legal Systems – Constitutional Actors 
    1. Modern states and legal systems – fragile human inventions – fragile order and principles.
    2. Practical application of social contract and popular sovereignty doctrines (state power from people with pre-existing rights).
    3. Constitutional actors and their awesome, legitimate and exclusive powers of force and law.
    4. Control of state and constitutional actors’ powers – core to democratic and rule of law systems.
    5. The political and legal need for consistent state values – expressed domestically and internationally.
    6. Delegations of powers to administrative delegates – effective government – vital controls.
    7. International law and domestic law – interdependence and tensions. 
  3. Principles of State – Rights – Values – Rule of Law – Democracy – Functional States – No Template 
    1. States have values and principles that guide actions – ongoing battle to determine what they are.
    2. Human rights doctrines – positivism – natural rights – constitutional and statutory rights.
    3. No single template for related rule of law, democratic and functional state systems.
    4. Liberty – and its various expressions.
    5. Control of state and majority power – no arbitrary power – rights protections.
    6. Democratic mediation of public will – more than elections.
    7. Types of democracy – majoritarian – procedural – pluralist.
    8. Good and bad nationalism – civic and principles based nationalism.
    9. Real existential threats to democratic principles – failure – failed states.
  4. Principles of State – Private Identity and Rights 
    1. The long battle for private identity, rights and freedom from the dictates of masters.
    2. Private identity and rights – foundation of states – not creations of states.
    3. Claimed rights – legally enforceable rights – legal system means to validate and declare rights.
    4. Capitalism, contract freedoms and corporations – private rights origins – modern expressions.
  5. Regulatory State – Services State – Functional or Failed States – Reforms 
    1. Public criminal law – public regulatory law – risk mitigation – mechanics of regulation.
    2. Distinct and interrelated roles of regulation and private contracts.
    3. Essential services in a functional state – service quality, rights and finance – public and private roles.
    4. The need to balance reforms and protection of core legacy principles.
    5. Positive globalization, trade and international development – the key to success at home.