The four new constitutional amendments proposed by the BNC are like four orientation posts for a post-materialistic culture and lifestyle oriented toward growth of non-material wealth. These proposals have deliberately been created in a quite concrete fashion so that readers can more clearly imagine what they propose. However, they are in no way exhaustive. In proposing the introduction of a new culture and lifestyle, the BNC envisions a process that countless people can help to realize. The four constitutional amendments simply provide a possible vision, an orientation for the efforts required to achieve such a transformation of societies. The common direction of the creative process is a decisive matter.
1ST NEW CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT: GROWTH OF INNER WEALTH
With this article the community of citizens or the parliament (i.e. the sovereign) resolves to orient future growth toward immaterial goods, toward the inner wealth of all people. This is a landmark decision of society regarding a change in direction. The material element of this growth retains its significance. Nevertheless, the drive toward ever more property and more consumption will be renounced. In addition, a just apportionment of material goods shall be realized among all members of society (see Article 4 below). As for material possessions in the private sector, a new feeling of contentedness will take precedence: “I have enough for satisfaction and happiness in my life, and don’t require either further possessions or more consumption.” In the public sphere, everyone can enjoy the extensive range of high-quality public assets available to all.
2ND NEW CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT: AN EDUCATION SYSTEM THAT ENCOURAGES COMPETENCY, CREATIVITY, CONFLICT RESOLUTION SKILLS AND MINDFULNESS
With this article the sovereign resolves to give our education system a new orientation. Broad knowledge and diverse competences are retained as goals. Greater emphasis will placed on promotion of creativity and educating persons to think critically. Together they comprise an essential part of the inner riches of the person. They contribute to joy in living, to culture, the economic sphere and the sciences. As a new element, considerable weight shall be given to ways toward self-realization, inner peace, conflict resolution, successful relationships and sensuality. Highly developed sensuality opens for us the gate to the riches of nature and more sensitive encounters between human beings. These spiritual riches are free. What’s more, the ability to enjoy the wonderful richness of human cultures requires well-trained perceptive faculties.
3RD NEW CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT: LIVING WITHIN THE EARTH’S ENVIRONMENTAL LIMITS
With this article the community of citizens or the parliament resolves to bring the lifestyle of the entire population progressively into agreement with the environmental capacity of the biosphere by 2050 at the latest. In all sensitive fields (climate change, biodiversity, pollution) the government and parliament must establish threshold values for environmental impact on a scientific basis, using pro-capita values when necessary. In certain spheres the limits of consumption and usage shall be established and be valid for all persons. There must not be any major privileges in terms of possessions. In addition, all technologies will be subjected to a medium-term plannable ecological revolution. This will require an immense deployment of creativity.
The BNC is not aiming at a sort of “shock therapy” concerning consumption, lifestyle technologies and economy. It aims rather at an orderly transformation within the next 20-30 years. This demands resolutely intelligent approaches on all levels: government, parliament, education, economy and science.
4TH NEW CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT: DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE/PEACE AMONG ALL PEOPLE
The sovereign hereby resolves to introduce material distributive justice (distribution of income and wealth). Because justice is interpreted differently according to the particular culture, each country must itself define justice and continue to newly define it at regular intervals.
Peace among the people is only possible when a feeling of justice prevails broadly in society. Even if the definition of justice is elastic: People react very sensitively to injustice, either in the form of demotivation and indifference or in the form of rage and recourse to violence.
The rich democracies of the world could, for example, establish distributive justice in such a way that the gap between lowest and highest income is 1 to 20 (instead of the present figure of 1 to 100 or 1 to 1,000) and in the range of 1 to 25 in terms of wealth. This does not change anything when it comes to the motivation of gifted and creative persons toward higher performance, as such persons are motivated from within to live creatively (in the sense of self-development). The division of large amounts of wealth (e.g. more than 5 million Dollars/Euros/Swiss Francs) leads to a situation in which all adults possess a certain capital and become joint owners. This paves the way to an ownership society of citizens who are also economically responsible. At the same time, these changes will enable the introduction of a “genuine democracy.” Possession of large capital by a few results in an immense concentration of power, both socio-politically and culturally. Such a situation is profoundly undemocratic. A just division of large capital is a division of power and responsibility. The populations of many nations are in a position to realize this.
The capital elite is also an essential driving motor of economic growth. This must be curbed and diverted in the rich nations.
Time will tell whether further such poles for social orientation are required.
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