Basic Elements of Democracy
Popular sovereignty is a basic idea of democracy. Popular sovereignty means that the people are the ultimate source of the authority of their government.
Popular sovereignty means that democratic government is BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE,for the benefit of the people, not for the benefit of those who govern in their name.
Government in a democracy is the
SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE; it is not their master. Therefore, those who govern are PUBLIC SERVANTS ,they hold public office only to serve the people, not to serve themselves.
The PEOPLE are the HIGHEST POLITICAL AUTHORITY in any democracy.
The People are the ultimate rulers.
In a democracy, political authority FLOWS FROM THE PEOPLE to the government Not FROM GOVERNMENT to the People.
Popular sovereignty means that the government can only exercise authority if it has been given permission to do so by the People.
Therefore, popular sovereignty
LIMITS THE POWERS OF GOVERNMENT.
In a democracy the People delegate
their sovereign authority to a monarch/ government
ONLY FOR THE PURPOSES set forth in their constitution.
The People give to the government ONLY AS MUCH AUTHORITY as is necessary to fulfill the purposes for which government is established.
The only legitimate power that government has in a democracy comes from the
CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE.
It is an ABUSE OF POWER for the government to claim more powers than the People have delegated to it.
In a democracy the People
OWN THE GOVERNMENT.
It is theirs and they have the right to change it by lawful, constitutional methods if it does not perform to their satisfaction.
Individual sovereignty means that it is evil for any other person to interfere with one’s honest and peaceful choices.
This prescription comes from natural moral law, as expressed by the universal ethic:
”Harm” means an invasion into another’s domain.
All acts, and only those acts, which coercively harm others, are evil.
Welcomed benefits are good.
All other acts are neutral.
Natural moral law is derived from mankinds individuality and equality, and the premise of equality implies individual sovereignty.
For if one is not sovereign, some other person has the moral authority to be a master, and equality does not exist.
Individual sovereignty is moral equality taken to its logical conclusion. The concept of “self ownership” is the same as individual sovereignty.
Because individual sovereignty derives from the universal ethic and its premise of human equality, it does not imply that a sovereign individual may do anything he pleases.
A self-owner may not impose coercive harm on others.
One may do as one pleases so long as one’s actions are honest and peaceful.
An honest action does not coercively harm others through fraud.
“A man or woman has a functioning mind and the actual or potential ability to make choices based on reason and awareness”
Young children have such minds and are therefore also sovereign.
But the ability to use reason is something that develops as children mature, and therefore the parents have a responsibility to exercise some of the sovereignty rights on behalf of their children.
Conversely, creating a child also creates a moral obligation of the parent to provide judgment as well as material needs for their children.
Upon some age of maturity, the child becomes a fully sovereign being.
Power is always exercised by individual men and woman, not by mental constructs.
Governments and states are mental constructs, having no reality other than what people believe.
If a government exercises its sovereign power, in reality, it is the president or prime minister applying the forces of government, ultimately its army, police, and prison guards.
Arbitrary state power is ultimately the unequal power of some individuals over others.
There is no moral authority or legitimacy for government other than to enforce the universal ethic, which implies that it is immoral for government to interfere with peaceful and honest individual sovereignty.
Equality as the first natural right of man.
Equality is the most important aspect of the Declaration of 1793.
In its second article, equality is the first right mentioned (followed by liberty, security, and property).
In Article 3 states “All men are equal by nature and before the law”.
As such, for the authors of this declaration equality is not only before the law but it is also a natural right, that is to say, a fact of nature.
There was already at that time a school of thought that stated that liberty and equality can quickly become contradictory: indeed liberty doesn’t solve social inequalities since there exist some natural inequalities (of talent, intelligence, etc.).
That school of thought considered that the government had only to protect liberty and to only proclaim natural equality, and eventually liberty would prevail over social equality since all people have different talents and abilities and are free to exercise them.
The question raised by this declaration is how to solve social inequalities.
Article 21 states that every citizen has a right to public help, that society is indebted to each citizen and therefore has the duty to help them.
Citizens have there a right to work and society has a duty to provide relief to those who cannot work.
Article 22 declares a right to education.
These rights are considered “2nd generation rights of Man”, economic and social rights (the first ones would be natural or political).
These rights entail a greater government intervention in order to reach society’s goal, stated in article 1
: common welfareThe Declaration of the Rights of the Man and of the Citizen of 1793
(French: Déclaration des droits de l’Homme et du citoyen de 1793) is a French political document that preceded that country’s first republican constitution.
The Declaration and Constitution were ratified by popular vote in July 1793, and officially adopted on 10 August; however, they never went into effect, and the constitution was officially suspended on 10 October.
It is unclear whether this suspension was thought to affect the Declaration as well.
The Declaration was written by the commission that included Louis Antoine Léon de Saint-Just and Marie-Jean Hérault de Séchelles during the period of the French Revolution.
The main distinction between the Declaration of 1793 and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 is its egalitarian tendency: equality is the prevailing right in this declaration.
The 1793 version included new rights, and revisions to prior ones: to work, to public assistance, to education, and to resist oppression.
The text was mainly written by Hérault de Séchelles, whose style and writing can be found on most of the documents of the commission that also wrote the French Constitution of 1793 (“Constitution of the Year I”) that was never implemented.
The first project of the Constitution of the French Fourth Republic also referred to the 1793 version of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.
The 1793 document was written by Jacobins after they had expelled the Girondists.
It was a compromise designed as a propaganda weapon and did not fully reflect the radicalism of the Jacobin leaders. It was never put in force.
The protections of Liberty.
Individual liberty is still a primary right and some aspects are more precisely defined than in Declaration of 1789.
The declaration explicitly states the freedom of religion, of assembly, and of the press (article 7), of commerce (article 17), of petition (article 32).
Slavery is prohibited by article 18 which states “Every man can contract his services and his time, but he cannot sell himself nor be sold: his person is not an alienable property.”
The protections of the citizens against their own government.
If in a way, this declaration has a more liberal bent in the modern sense, since it states that there ought to be public policies for the general welfare, it also contains some very strong libertarian aspects.
Article 7 states “The necessity of enunciating these rights supposes either the presence or the fresh recollection of despotism.”
Article 9: “The law ought to protect public and personal liberty against the oppression of those who govern.”
Article 33 states that resisting tyranny is a logical consequence of the rights of man:
“Resistance to oppression is the consequence of the other rights of man”.
Article 34 states that if one is oppressed, everyone is.
Article 27 states “Let any person who may usurp the sovereignty be instantly put to death by free men.”
Though the usurpation of sovereignty is not detailed, sovereignty is explained in article 25 as residing “in the people”.
There is no doubt that this way of thinking deeply influenced the revolutionary government during the Terror.
article 35 states “
When the government violates the rights of the people, insurrection is for the people and for each portion of the people the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of duties.” Though this declaration was never enforced (like the Constitution of 1793), history has shown that the French people have followed this advice with many successful (1830, 1848) and unsuccessful (1832, 1870) revolutions throughout the 19th century.
Make no mistake sovereignty is yours we are each the masters of ourselves and our creation called Parliament/governments and dont let anyone fool you otherwise.
For there to be a crime there must be an injured party for if there is no harm committed there can be no crime committed.
For if you wish good will and love to all and commit no unnecessary harm to other you have fulfilled the law.