“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.
- Modern states – international and domestic law – great and fragile human inventions – fragile order and consensus on principles.
- Legal entities – states – natural persons – constitutional and statute bodies – corporations.
- Their creators, purposes, principles, intentions, motives, goals, rights, duties and actions.
- How they are all subject to law.
- Social contract and popular sovereignty doctrines (state power from people).
- Constitutional actors – exclusive right to use force and force of law – can enter private contracts and hold property – prerogative rights.
- No template checklists for rule of law and democratic systems.
- Liberty – and its various expressions.
- Control of state power – no arbitrary power.
- Rights protections.
- Established political practices versus binding constitutional laws.
- Democratic mediation of public will – more than elections.
- Democratic constraints on majorities and state power.
- Liberal democracy (not about liberal parties) – quests for liberty and reason.
- Pluralist democracies – protection and projection of factions created by exercises of liberty.
- Social contract groups – civic principles based nationalism versus systems based on race, religion or ethnicity.
- The long battle for private identity, rights and freedom from the dictates of masters.
- Private rights pre-exist and are not the gift of states – many modern paths to rights.
- Claimed rights – legally enforceable rights – legal system means to validate and declare rights.
- Capitalism and the quest for private rights – a quest put at risk by its modern elements.
- Long protected private civil right of freedom of contract – key to agency and economies.
- Private rights – to protection from the actions of others – to associate and act jointly with others – to hold personal, real or intellectual property.
- Corporate entities – their centuries long standing – economic and social roles – collective actions – shared risk – permanent existence – vested rights and duties.
- Public criminal Law – protection of communities from public or private actions.
- Public regulatory law – risk mitigation purposes.
- No regulation without risk of loss – liability only for what one causes.
- Mechanics of regulation.
- Distinct and interrelated roles of regulation and private contracts.
- Service expectations – commercial and non-commercial – public and private.
- Regulation – service to the public and protected parties.
- Essential services in a functional state.
- Service quality, rights and finance.
- Eternal political disputes over public and private service roles – contract freedoms – scarce public funds – market failure.
- 21st century states – remain political pillars – require 21st century governance.
- Not about – right or left – capitalism or communism – political parties – proportional representation or first past the post.
- Integrated issues of rule of law, democracy and functional states.
- Basic functions don’t change – new or improved ways of – mediating and projecting diverse public will – of controlling government power – of meeting diverse needs.
- The need to balance reforms and protection of core legacy principles.
- The need – sometimes – for caution and incremental reform.
- The need to overcome the forces and inertia of the status quo – and other obstacles to innovation.
- Modern economies, enterprises and workplaces depend on improved governance.