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Original Posting: New Political System for the Information Age Draft #04

In reponse to In full agreement about the inadequacies of the existing Political Systems for the future - [Herb Kirstein]
Email: Sat, 29 May 2004 21:54:54 -0700

Preliminary comments on “U.S. CONSTITUTION for 21st CENTURY and BEYOND”
Monday, 31 May 2004 14:15 Singapore

Hi, Mr Herb Kirstein, good day to you.

You said:

“I welcome your review and commentary on "U.S. CONSTITUTION for 21st CENTURY and BEYOND", along with your reference to "New Political System for the Information Age."

Fundamentally, we are in full agreement about "...inadequacies of the existing Political Systems for the future...."

I am looking forward to reviewing the full range and scope of "New Political Systems for the Information Age Draft #4." As soon as this is possible, I will be in touch with you.”

Thank you very much. I shall be glad to hear from you at your convenience.
“You may be interested to know that I also working on a new website for further exploration of requirements for Political Systems for the future. Hopefully, this will be completed in 2004. If you are interested, the URL will be forwarded to you.”
There appears to be many areas of common and complementary interests here. We shall be able to co-operate and share information and ideas on how best the new political system for the future could operate. Yes, I shall be delighted to have the URL.
“Meanwhile, I am happy to provide full permission for a suggested hyperlink in your website to "U.S. CONSTITUTION for 21st CENTURY and BEYOND" under NPS-USA.”
Thank you.
“Looking forward to further exploring the complex, seemingly-unlimited horizons of this field with you.

Best wishes.”

Yes, we do share similar sentiments and concerns here. The search for a New Political System for the Information Age (NPS) is a worthwhile project that goes beyond local concerns with global and historic significance.

And you have the technical capability to draw up a complete Constitution. By the latest, at the end of the journey in search of New Political System for the Information Age, we also need a properly drafted complete Constitution. I hope you would be able to assist us in this respect. Anyway, that is a long way to go. We are now at step 4 of the NPS journey.

“U.S. CONSTITUTION for 21st CENTURY and BEYOND” (“the proposed Constitution”) is a complete constitution and is difficult to digest fully in a short time. Perhaps, you would like to give a summary of the areas you consider are the most important departures from the existing US Constitution that would make it a ‘new’ Constitution. You have documented well the problems and shortcomings of the existing US Constitution.

You have stated here the major objectives of the proposed Constitution, but apparently you have not elaborated specifically on how these objectives are to be achieved.

Similarly, Article I states: “All powers shall reside with the CITIZENS of the United States of America.” And then you go on to describe at page 14 what these powers are:

“ The POWERS of the CITIZENS shall include authority (1) to elect, or appoint, representatives to administer the will of the people through representative government; (2) to directly enact laws by a national referendum vote of eligible citizens; (3) to instruct, remove, or impeach representatives elected, or appointed, to the White House, Congress, and other components of Government; (4) to enact, amend, revise, and repeal laws and provisions of the Constitution, as required by circumstances, events, and times; and (5) to perform such other duties and acts necessary for effective government by consent of the governed under Representative Democracy.”
However, you have apparently also not elaborated specifically on how these powers are to be exercised by the people. In fact, these are precisely the problems with the existing political systems and constitutions. They also have many beautiful clauses of the people’s rights and powers, but, in reality, such rights and powers are often sick jokes.

Moreover, you apparently are still relying on the old constitutional separation of powers and political processes for the proposed Constitution, although you yourself have already documented the many problems and shortcomings of these constitutional provisions and political processes that, in the first place, have prompted you to draft the proposed Constitution.

The one new thing in the proposed Constitution, that I have come across so far, is the mandatory “knowledge qualifications” for the top and senior public officials. So unless you are suggesting that with such knowledge qualifications all the major problems of the existing political systems and constitutions would go away, your aforesaid reliance on the old constitutional separation of powers and political processes does not make good sense.

I agree that top and senior pubic officials with the relevant “knowledge qualifications” would be an advantage for the political system and may be a benefit to the people and nation, but I would not go further than that. I have reservations on the proposed mandatory “knowledge qualifications” for the following reasons:

  1. like in ancient China (the Imperial Examination System and the Mandarin scholar class who had perpetuated themselves for thousands of years), the mandatory “knowledge qualifications” would eventually produce a self-perpetuating ruling class of ‘scholars’ and other vested interests whose real expertise is in the exploitation of the people for their personal and group benefits. Note the disastrous history of 19th and 20th century China.

  2. Such a ruling class of ‘scholars’ tends to be conservative and oppose necessary changes. They are ‘proud’ of their ‘knowledge’ and social status, and tend to be contemptuous of the ordinary folks whom they see as masses of ignoramuses to be exploited.

  3. the mandatory “knowledge qualifications” favour examination smart people who are not necessarily good leaders and public officials.

  4. people with the relevant mandatory “knowledge qualifications” are often as selfish or self-centred as any other person and cannot be relied on to serve the people and nation without supervision. The mega corporate scandals of recent years in the US are cases in point. Here we have seen how highly qualified, professionally trained people and at the top of their highly respected professions with mega remunerations or fees for their services showing extra-ordinary greed and selfishness.

  5. people with the relevant “knowledge qualifications” can be employed to assist the national leaders and top public officials who need such knowledge. That is why the people have generally considered “knowledge qualifications” as desirable, but not essential for the jobs of top public officials.

  6. the people elect those whom can trust best in their character, ability, general knowledge and judgement to be their representatives, but because of the survival conditions and requirements of the existing political systems, the best have often proven to be hopelessly wanting. And the existing political systems usually ensure that the people are stuck with their choice for the next 4 or 5 years, a situation that encourages betrayal of the people’s trust.

  7. however, most important of all, the mandatory “knowledge qualifications” denies the people the national leaders and top public officials of their choice. This is clearly undemocratic and a mechanism, although unintended, for the manipulation, cheating and betrayal of the people.

I hope that the above are preliminary fair comments on the shortcomings of the “U.S. CONSTITUTION for 21st CENTURY and BEYOND” which is on the whole a very impressive and comprehensive document, unlike the NPS Draft #04.

Best Regards

Replies by:

  1. Herb Kirstein

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