markpasc (markpasc) wrote,
markpasc
markpasc

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Constitutions

As I said, I am a constitutionalist. I teach and write about constitutional law. ... Liberty... will not come from the absence of the state. Liberty... will come from a state of a certain kind. We build a world where freedom can flourish not by removing from society any self-conscious control; we build a world where freedom can flourish by setting it in a place where a particular kind of self-conscious control survives. We build liberty, that is, as our fathers did, by setting society upon a certain constitution.

But by “constitution” I don't mean a legal text. Unlike my countrymen in Eastern Europe, I am not trying to sell a document that our framers wrote in 1787. Rather, as the British understand when they speak of their constitution, I mean an architecture—not just a legal text but a way of life—that structures and constrains social and legal power, to the end of protecting fundamental values—principles and ideals that reach beyond the compromises of ordinary politics.

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