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Honor awakened a sleeping GIANT

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Re: Honor awakened a sleeping GIANT
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Jun 26, 2022 10:37 pm

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cthia wrote:However, I did not consider that my sentiments would be analyzed out of context. When I say that Manticore has no right to meddle in the SL's Constitution, I stand by it.


If you want to mean moral right, it's your right to have that opinion. It's difficult to debate subjective opinions, instead of hard facts. The fact was that there were requirements imposed in the books and that has happened in real life too, so they can occur.

The other problem with discussing morality, is that it's neither consistent in time nor in space. Different populations will have different moral principles and those will also drift over time. For example, slavery was morally acceptable throughout most of human history and was legal in some jurisdictions as late as 135 years ago [1], but today most people on Earth would say it is not acceptable.

[1] I'm not judging and don't want to get into discussion of whether forced labour of prison inmates, or what may be happening to certain populations in certain countries today is effectively slavery. I'm saying that there are no legal slavery any more.

For instance, war does not give a victor the "right" to do as he pleases. War gives a victor the opportunity to take liberties, yes, but it does not give them a human right to do so.

War does not give a victor an unalienable right to steal a government's priceless heirlooms, yet they oftentimes do. We hear all of the time of how these priceless heirlooms have finally been returned to their rightful resting place after decades.

War does not give a victor the right to rape the women of the conquered, or perform any number of other common atrocities just because they can. Although it has been happening for centuries, civilized governments now ban together to set things right. And these governments call out such acts for what they are. War crimes.


I completely agree. In fact, those are actually war crimes. But defining what is a war crime is a legal determination and that could change over time too. Some practices that we may consider completely legal today, not to say morally acceptable, may not be in 100, 200, or 2000 years from now.

Likewise, IMHO, war does not give a victor the "right" to meddle with another government's Constitution. The fact that it is done anyway does not make it "right" on any moral or human level.

No government will like its precious Constitution being "essentially" written by any foreign power; on that we seem to agree. But definitely not by a conquerer at gunpoint.


That one I disagree with. You appear to have a very US-centric view of how precious a constitution is. Most countries have had several constitutions in their histories, most of which in the last 300 years. Rewriting the Constitution to suit changing times is not uncommon. To give an example of a modern, industrialised country that did so without the force of arms due to losing a war: France. The Fifth Republic and its Constitution were created not because of a change in government type, like what had happened in the First through Fourth Republics, but through vote. That's not to say there weren't internal and external social pressures, but it wasn't a force of arms.

A victor has historically always gotten away with it by having enough weight in the britches to back it up. But if the smaller "nail" in those other britches becomes the hammer then he will likely nail your balls to the wall. So I personally don't recommend toying with an enemy's manhood if he will undoubtedly grow much bigger than you are and want to swallow you whole.


No dispute there.

But there's a difference between something being legally right, morally right, or a good idea. You have the legal right to donate all your money and savings to charity (minus legal obligations you may have incurred, like debts and alimony); some might say this is even morally right and laudable. That wouldn't necessarily make it a good idea.

Constitutions are sacred and this is old Terra, the cradle of civilization. Is there anyone who does not imagine the initial discussion going on in Chambers being something like this ...
[cut]
It is their (c)onstitution that needs to be changed. I agree that that is a difficult task to accomplish. But summoning an enemy's demons by inciting the worst ingredients of his (c)onstitution by MEDDLING with his precious, longest lived Constitution doesn't sound like a very good plan to me. YMMV.


Evidence shows that they did not treat such a Constitution in that high a esteem as you attribute to them. Most member systems only paid lip service to it, doing the minimum necessary with their representatives in the Assembly. The effective government of the League also tried to gut it by passing inconstitutional provisions like the direct taxation and saying that the right to secede had lapsed and was ineffective.

I agree that only shows the tendencies of a few. However, if such a Constitution was important to the population at large, they would have risen in anger against those attempts by the government both on Earth and on the closer member systems, and they didn't. What this tells me is that the average Solarian on the street did not care enough about the Solarian Constitution. And as I've said, for the vast majority of the world today, including that of the Western world where Constitutions and the rule of law are a thing, they have little qualms in rewriting those Constitutions from time to time.

Also remember we're told that a Solarian Citizen considers himself first and foremost a citizen of their system, before the League.

It is just not acceptable, and it won't be if something can be done about it down the road. War has always had the unspoken onus of civilized governments to handle victory, well, responsibly.


Again, agreed. Quod vide the Harrington Plan.

Constitutions are personal. Living with the knowledge that their precious Constitution was forced to be rewritten at gunpoint might be a constant source of aggrievement. One doesn't want another's aggrievements to become personal. That is what created many malignant war machines. That is how the MAlign was created.


No, they're not.

They're important, no doubt. But they're not even required for a proper rule of law, at least not as a single, standing document. See "United Kingdom."
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Re: Honor awakened a sleeping GIANT
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Jun 26, 2022 10:38 pm

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kzt wrote:The SLN says, "Well, if that's really what you want us to do..." Opens the cargo door and pushes them out of the airplane. "Fly and be free!"


Also known as "be careful what you wish for, you may get it."
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Re: Honor awakened a sleeping GIANT
Post by tlb   » Sun Jun 26, 2022 11:22 pm

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cthia wrote:Constitutions are sacred and this is old Terra, the cradle of civilization.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Evidence shows that they did not treat such a Constitution in that high a esteem as you attribute to them. Most member systems only paid lip service to it, doing the minimum necessary with their representatives in the Assembly. The effective government of the League also tried to gut it by passing inconstitutional provisions like the direct taxation and saying that the right to secede had lapsed and was ineffective.

I agree that only shows the tendencies of a few. However, if such a Constitution was important to the population at large, they would have risen in anger against those attempts by the government both on Earth and on the closer member systems, and they didn't. What this tells me is that the average Solarian on the street did not care enough about the Solarian Constitution. And as I've said, for the vast majority of the world today, including that of the Western world where Constitutions and the rule of law are a thing, they have little qualms in rewriting those Constitutions from time to time.

Also remember we're told that a Solarian Citizen considers himself first and foremost a citizen of their system, before the League.

I think there is a very important point here, that is not being emphasized enough. The constitution of the Solarian League is NOT like the US Constitution. Instead it is more like the agreement that formed the European Union, which is why "a Solarian Citizen considers himself first and foremost a citizen of their system, before the League". That is true of all citizens of the Core Worlds. So the post war changes forced on the Japanese should have been much more jarring than the changes made to the Solarian League will be to the citizens of the member worlds.
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Re: Honor awakened a sleeping GIANT
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Jun 27, 2022 12:14 am

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tlb wrote:I think there is a very important point here, that is not being emphasized enough. The constitution of the Solarian League is NOT like the US Constitution. Instead it is more like the agreement that formed the European Union, which is why "a Solarian Citizen considers himself first and foremost a citizen of their system, before the League". That is true of all citizens of the Core Worlds. So the post war changes forced on the Japanese should have been much more jarring than the changes made to the Solarian League will be to the citizens of the member worlds.


The Treaty of Rome (1957), though Maastricht (1992) was the one that renamed it to European Union and is more relevant today. When I studied in Europe, I learnt about those two (it was before 2007 and the Treaty of Lisbon), but they and European Parliament elections always demanded less interest than and took second seat to local and national matters.

They don't have a Constitution because it was rejected.

That said, there is such a thing as an "European identity" and it came a lot both during the possibility of Turkish accession and during Brexit. France was against the Turkish accession because "Turkey is not in Europe," whereas during Brexit, the French press was talking about how the UK wanted to "leave Europe." Not leave the EU -- leave Europe.
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Re: Honor awakened a sleeping GIANT
Post by munroburton   » Mon Jun 27, 2022 4:22 am

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tlb wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:Evidence shows that they did not treat such a Constitution in that high a esteem as you attribute to them. Most member systems only paid lip service to it, doing the minimum necessary with their representatives in the Assembly. The effective government of the League also tried to gut it by passing inconstitutional provisions like the direct taxation and saying that the right to secede had lapsed and was ineffective.

I agree that only shows the tendencies of a few. However, if such a Constitution was important to the population at large, they would have risen in anger against those attempts by the government both on Earth and on the closer member systems, and they didn't. What this tells me is that the average Solarian on the street did not care enough about the Solarian Constitution. And as I've said, for the vast majority of the world today, including that of the Western world where Constitutions and the rule of law are a thing, they have little qualms in rewriting those Constitutions from time to time.

Also remember we're told that a Solarian Citizen considers himself first and foremost a citizen of their system, before the League.

I think there is a very important point here, that is not being emphasized enough. The constitution of the Solarian League is NOT like the US Constitution. Instead it is more like the agreement that formed the European Union, which is why "a Solarian Citizen considers himself first and foremost a citizen of their system, before the League". That is true of all citizens of the Core Worlds. So the post war changes forced on the Japanese should have been much more jarring than the changes made to the Solarian League will be to the citizens of the member worlds.


Indeed, it's a near-certainty that every single member has their own C/constitutional arrangements which predates their League membership by a considerable amount, regardless of how they came to be members. That applies to founders which existed for centuries before they created the League and to much younger systems which were colonised only a few centuries ago then found themselves digested by OFS and the League's ossified ways thrust upon them.

If League member worlds are heaving with constitutional fundamentalists, they're more likely to care about their local constitutions. Their cry would have been:
"WHO THE HELL DO THESE SOLLIES THINK THEY ARE MEDDLING WITH OUR CONSTITUTION!"
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Re: Honor awakened a sleeping GIANT
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Jun 27, 2022 9:34 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:d) It shall dissolve the Protectorates, and OFS -- the system of the League taking control of, and exploiting, territories around it's borders without the consent of their people.


Quick note: though this was one of the requirements in the terms of surrender, this is not a constitutional requirement. The protectorates were, by definition, not members of the League. Any constitutional provision for offering protectorate status to a system is largely irrelevant and may even continue in the newly rewritten Constitution; what mattered was dismantling the system of oppression and exploitation, and freeing those system that were oppressed and exploited from those reins.
I don't think that's correct. Yes, this is from the fourth of the surrender demands, and the constitutional convention is the third of those demands. However the 4th demand is:
Uncompromising Honor wrote:“Fourth, that constitution will guarantee the right of any present member of the Solarian League to leave the League. It will dissolve the Protectorates. It will return ownership of all property of any sort whatsoever it or any private Solarian entity may control in any star system of the Protectorates to the government and citizens of that star system. It will disband the Office of Frontier Security. And it will create a process and an established procedure by which any present or future member system of the Solarian League may legally secede upon the vote of three quarters or more of its population. And it would be wise of that constitution to take cognizance of the fact that the Alliance will stand sponsor to those secession votes and support their outcomes.”

The "it' in this demand appears to always be "that constitution", and hence the demand appears to be that the constitution dissolve the Protectorates and disband the OFS.

I assume that would have to be in the form of a constitutional prohibition on such interventions and take-overs, or on bureaucratically administering systems that aren't full members.
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Re: Honor awakened a sleeping GIANT
Post by tlb   » Mon Jun 27, 2022 9:38 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:They don't have a Constitution because it was rejected.

The difference here is only about a single unifying piece of paper, because the article makes clear that the existing treaties were amending to include the essential points from the "constitution" that would have replaced them. But a constitution does not have to be a "single unifying piece of paper"; witness Great Britain where they talk of constitution issues over remarks by Prince Charles, despite their "constitution" consisting of centuries of precedent dating back to the Magna Carta Libertatum, at least.
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Re: Honor awakened a sleeping GIANT
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:58 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
Uncompromising Honor wrote:“Fourth, that constitution will guarantee the right of any present member of the Solarian League to leave the League. It will dissolve the Protectorates. It will return ownership of all property of any sort whatsoever it or any private Solarian entity may control in any star system of the Protectorates to the government and citizens of that star system. It will disband the Office of Frontier Security. And it will create a process and an established procedure by which any present or future member system of the Solarian League may legally secede upon the vote of three quarters or more of its population. And it would be wise of that constitution to take cognizance of the fact that the Alliance will stand sponsor to those secession votes and support their outcomes.”

The "it' in this demand appears to always be "that constitution", and hence the demand appears to be that the constitution dissolve the Protectorates and disband the OFS.

I assume that would have to be in the form of a constitutional prohibition on such interventions and take-overs, or on bureaucratically administering systems that aren't full members.


So it does, but I don't think that makes sense. It sounds like imprecise speech, even if Honor was reading from a prepared set of demands. The very next sentence says "it will return ownership of all property of any sort whatsoever it [...] may control" and that doesn't seem to be a constitutional matter in the first place. How would the Constitution own or control property? This seems to refer to an earlier "the League" or "the Government" instead.

I also don't think that a constitutional provision like you mentioned makes much sense. It shouldn't be in the Constitution, but instead should be policy and regular laws. One of the things I admire about the US constitution is that it's brief and doesn't try to regulate all sorts of different things (though sometimes it's too brief and imprecise, but that's a different story). That's probably a result of the history of Common Law and interpreting with jurisprudence, instead of the Roman Law where "if it isn't described in the Law, it's illegal."
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Re: Honor awakened a sleeping GIANT
Post by Brigade XO   » Mon Jun 27, 2022 6:45 pm

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At the moment the TOP Mandarins are all heading to court. What becomes of their junior secretaries and department heads and all the other bureaucrats would up in the air depending on who wants the Justice Department to go after the scum that have been enriching themselves though the power of their positions.....and we are not even sure that there are laws against that (even if not enforced) in the original SL.
Making people accountable is always a good thing but somehow that gets twisted a lot. How many people will say---but that was how it has been done for X hundreds of years---and think they can walk away. Lawyers get rich even if they lose....there are fees for service, successful or not.
Are a lot of people going to be seriously annoyed that the GA delivered the demands they did with Harrington.....sure. A lot of them politicians of various stripes and those who have been making a lot of money and power under the old system that effectively let almost anybody ignore the "laws" but perhaps not the "rules" that the bureaucracies made up to make many departments their personal playgrounds and piggy banks.
The worst actual stress is going to be those systems which are going to be released form OFS's direct control and those who's governments only continue to hold power because of FF and OFS's ability (for cash and favors) to support the local government. Those who are relatively lucky will discover that the local President for Life or the System Manager for XYZ Transtellar decide to decamp and run with what they haven't already stolen but can get their hands on, leaving the locals to "sort out" what will be the new local government. Messy doesn't cover it.
Trade relations between the SL 2.0 and anybody else will depend on a lot of things but primarily on coming to an agreement that does not hinge on the SLN being used as a club. Oddly enough - well, not really- SL 2.0 might be "encouraged" to use something that looks a lot more like the kind of general trade agreement that Manticore uses with it's trading partners. We have been told- or at least lead to believe- that Manticore tends to be both fair and have reciprocal agreements which are not coerced into being signed. You know, standard terms, language, variance as possible for local laws and customs. Rule of Law stuff.
Sure, the people who cut sweetheart deals with the prior SL bearuacracies are going to be pissed but the shift to enforcement of regulations that are going to have to come out of someplace other than some aperatchek's wallet will be appreciated by most people.
How many people both inside and outside the old League are going to jail.....no idea...but some of them may find that jail might be preferable to whomever they have been screwing over for decades if not centuries will bring to the table (or some dark alley). Or they could just run to somewhere that does not yet have an extradition treaty with the SL....big smile.
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Re: Honor awakened a sleeping GIANT
Post by cthia   » Thu Jun 30, 2022 9:10 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:However, I did not consider that my sentiments would be analyzed out of context. When I say that Manticore has no right to meddle in the SL's Constitution, I stand by it.


If you want to mean moral right, it's your right to have that opinion. It's difficult to debate subjective opinions, instead of hard facts. The fact was that there were requirements imposed in the books and that has happened in real life too, so they can occur.

Agreed that it is not unprecedented, but is it a good idea when your enemy is so much more bigger than you are? That is a fact that IS unprecedented.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:The other problem with discussing morality, is that it's neither consistent in time nor in space. Different populations will have different moral principles and those will also drift over time. For example, slavery was morally acceptable throughout most of human history and was legal in some jurisdictions as late as 135 years ago [1], but today most people on Earth would say it is not acceptable.

I certainly agree here. A case in point is one of my pet peeves. Up until 1993 it was essentially legal to rape your wife. That was despicable. As a matter of fact, one can still get away with it now even though it is presently illegal in all 50 states. The particulars of each state can vary too much on the details. But I digress while atop a personal hobby horse.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:[1] I'm not judging and don't want to get into discussion of whether forced labour of prison inmates, or what may be happening to certain populations in certain countries today is effectively slavery. I'm saying that there are no legal slavery any more.

No legal slavery?! The IRS didn't get the memo! LOL

ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:For instance, war does not give a victor the "right" to do as he pleases. War gives a victor the opportunity to take liberties, yes, but it does not give them a human right to do so.

War does not give a victor an unalienable right to steal a government's priceless heirlooms, yet they oftentimes do. We hear all of the time of how these priceless heirlooms have finally been returned to their rightful resting place after decades.

War does not give a victor the right to rape the women of the conquered, or perform any number of other common atrocities just because they can. Although it has been happening for centuries, civilized governments now ban together to set things right. And these governments call out such acts for what they are. War crimes.


I completely agree. In fact, those are actually war crimes. But defining what is a war crime is a legal determination and that could change over time too. Some practices that we may consider completely legal today, not to say morally acceptable, may not be in 100, 200, or 2000 years from now.

Like the aforementioned gray areas in spousal rape.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:Likewise, IMHO, war does not give a victor the "right" to meddle with another government's Constitution. The fact that it is done anyway does not make it "right" on any moral or human level.

No government will like its precious Constitution being "essentially" written by any foreign power; on that we seem to agree. But definitely not by a conquerer at gunpoint.


That one I disagree with. You appear to have a very US-centric view of how precious a constitution is. Most countries have had several constitutions in their histories, most of which in the last 300 years. Rewriting the Constitution to suit changing times is not uncommon. To give an example of a modern, industrialised country that did so without the force of arms due to losing a war: France. The Fifth Republic and its Constitution were created not because of a change in government type, like what had happened in the First through Fourth Republics, but through vote. That's not to say there weren't internal and external social pressures, but it wasn't a force of arms.

Yes, I am applying a US centric view. This is Old Terra, and I may be incorrect in this assumption but I assume that the core of the US Constitution of today and its ideals were retained.

Constitutions are rewritten, yes. They change over time, yes, in the form of amendments, etc. But these changes are made at the behest of its own government. Not at gunpoint.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:A victor has historically always gotten away with it by having enough weight in the britches to back it up. But if the smaller "nail" in those other britches becomes the hammer then he will likely nail your balls to the wall. So I personally don't recommend toying with an enemy's manhood if he will undoubtedly grow much bigger than you are and want to swallow you whole.


No dispute there.

But there's a difference between something being legally right, morally right, or a good idea. You have the legal right to donate all your money and savings to charity (minus legal obligations you may have incurred, like debts and alimony); some might say this is even morally right and laudable. That wouldn't necessarily make it a good idea.

Agreed. But, Manticore forcing the SL to change its Constitution is done out of no "moral right" (intended loosely) and it leads to it not being a good idea if its (c)onstitution lags behind. In fact, because of the foibles of man, if the two are exclusive, it is far worse.

Methinks that is why God, in his infinite wisdom, gives kids a much smaller body with much smaller muscles until their brain catches up to their (c)onstitution. Thus, giving parents a chance - obligation and moral responsibility - to mold that (c)onstitution. The parents failed to raise this big kid properly, and the big gorilla grew up to become a bully.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:Constitutions are sacred and this is old Terra, the cradle of civilization. Is there anyone who does not imagine the initial discussion going on in Chambers being something like this ...
[cut]
It is their (c)onstitution that needs to be changed. I agree that that is a difficult task to accomplish. But summoning an enemy's demons by inciting the worst ingredients of his (c)onstitution by MEDDLING with his precious, longest lived Constitution doesn't sound like a very good plan to me. YMMV.


Evidence shows that they did not treat such a Constitution in that high a esteem as you attribute to them. Most member systems only paid lip service to it, doing the minimum necessary with their representatives in the Assembly. The effective government of the League also tried to gut it by passing inconstitutional provisions like the direct taxation and saying that the right to secede had lapsed and was ineffective.

The "they" in your quote refers to member systems. We certainly know how much lip service they were paid in return, don't we? Of course member systems cared more about their own Constitution, as it were, guided by their own (c)onstitution, both morally and legally. Beowulf would have cared about their (c)onstitution, which inevitably shaped their lives.

But! When they helped found the SL, Beowulf and all members officially accepted the SL's Constitution, along with the responsibility of, and for, its (c)onstitution. It is a package deal. That is not to say that member systems officially agreed with any changes Sol made to its Constitution as you have pointed out. But remaining a member when shit is rolling downhill is literally accepting, perhaps even welcoming, the stink of the fallout.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:I agree that only shows the tendencies of a few. However, if such a Constitution was important to the population at large, they would have risen in anger against those attempts by the government both on Earth and on the closer member systems, and they didn't.

Too late. When you join a mob, or when your association becomes the mob, your only way out is death. Refer to the entire Beowulf debacle. What recourse did member systems have? Obviously none, before Beowulf started courting a Navy with manly muscles.


ThinksMarkedly wrote:What this tells me is that the average Solarian on the street did not care enough about the Solarian Constitution.
If that is true then they were/are idiots. The SL Constitution can affect them much more than their own. And it can become very fatal to their health. Foregone conclusion.

Now, I may be wrong about how much Sol itself, or the citizens of Old Chicago cared about the Constitution. Considering the hubris of the average citizen on Old Chicago's streets, I'd say aplenty. The government would have wanted to keep its finger on the pulse of the average citizen on and about Old Chicago, which is the seat of government. At the end of the day, what else really mattered. As per Beowulf and other "powerful" member systems, not a damn thing.


ThinksMarkedly wrote:And as I've said, for the vast majority of the world today, including that of the Western world where Constitutions and the rule of law are a thing, they have little qualms in rewriting those Constitutions from time to time.

I agree if we limit that sentiment to rewriting it on their own terms, to suit their own agenda and needs. But not forced at gunpoint by their most hated and neobarbaric enemy!

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Also remember we're told that a Solarian Citizen considers himself first and foremost a citizen of their system, before the League.

I agree. And that distinction asserted itself near the end when Beowulf realized for decades that the gorilla had become unruly. But he who wields the Navy is the one who wields the power and the one who has the final say.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:It is just not acceptable, and it won't be if something can be done about it down the road. War has always had the unspoken onus of civilized governments to handle victory, well, responsibly.


Again, agreed. Quod vide the Harrington Plan.


ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:Constitutions are personal. Living with the knowledge that their precious Constitution was forced to be rewritten at gunpoint might be a constant source of aggrievement. One doesn't want another's aggrievements to become personal. That is what created many malignant war machines. That is how the MAlign was created.


No, they're not.

They're important, no doubt. But they're not even required for a proper rule of law, at least not as a single, standing document. See "United Kingdom."

I disagree. Or the RMN wouldn't be meddling in the SL's Constitution or thinking that it will be a fix, or 'gasp' a cure.

And I am certainly not sure the SL's Constitution isn't personal to the old money and native inhabitants about Old Chicago, where galactic law was made and enforced for centuries.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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