The Long View: The Coming World Civilization

William Ernest Hocking

William Ernest Hocking

The most interesting idea to come out of this book by William Ernest Hocking is the 'unlosables', those aspects of a culture that persist even when the society that created them falls into decay. It the unlosables that we speak of when we refer to the Greek or Roman heritage of the West. In many ways, Western Civilization has very little in common with Classical Greece or Rome. The Roman ideal of justice, for example, would be seen as unspeakably brutal by nearly everyone in the United States or Western Europe. Yet, there is a certain something that we do share, that has outlived its creators by millennia.

Hocking wanted to sift out what is unlosable in our civilization. John wasn't entirely sure he got there, but it is much harder to evaluate our own selves in such a way.

There are a couple of really striking paragraphs here:

First, from Hocking:

“We have taken it for granted that the state can deal with crime, as its most potent function in maintaining public order. We have believed that it can educate our young. We have assumed that while leaving economic enterprise largely to its own energies, the state can cover the failures of the system, protecting individuals from destitution, caring for the aged and the ill. We gave taken it as axiomatic that it can make just laws, and provide through a responsible legal profession for the due service to the people.
“We are discovering today, startled and incredulous, that the state by itself can do none of these things.”

And next, from John Reilly:

One does not often come across new ethical principles for the first time, but this book states one that was new to me: only the good man can be punished. Bad men can, presumably, be deterred, and their behavior can be modified in other ways, but the disposition of the individual concerned makes a difference. Rights assume the presence of good will in the citizen. That good will can come only from a pre-political condition, which the state cannot control. That is what religion is for.

These two ideas have stuck with me for a very long time. Perhaps not unlosable, but pretty good. I shan't speculate what might fit that requirement; the only way I know to identify them is after the fact. If you could identify these ideas in advance, that Golden Age scifi conceit of truly scientific social science might become a reality.

Richard Dawkins' memes have not proven to be particularly useful as scientific concepts, but Hocking's unlosables seem to share a family resemblance to memes. In an analogous way to how genes outlast the species in which they evolved, unlosables can persist when a culture has been entirely eliminated from the Earth.  More's the pity that Dawkins never read anything by a real philosopher, it might have helped him shore up his most distinctive idea.


The Coming World Civilization
By William Ernest Hocking
Harper & Brothers, 1956
210 Pages

 

 

This book is about just one feature of the hypothetical coming world civilization: the nature of the religion that civilization will need to undergird it. The gist of the answer is that Christianity is best suited for that role, but a Christianity stripped of mythology, and reconceptualized in existential terms. The book's argument has many similarities to esoteric Tradition, but is devoid of reference to the modern esoteric writers.

William Ernest Hocking (1873-1966) chaired the philosophy department at Harvard University around 1940; Alfred North Whitehead was a colleague. This book is influenced by the Harvard pragmatists friendly to theism, William James and Josiah Royce, whose careers at Harvard ended about the time Hocking's began in 1914. However, Hocking wrote “The Coming World Civilization” when Toynbee was in flower. That was the last time, before the 1990s, when people were inclined to speculate about universal states, the role of religion in world order, and the conflicts among civilizations. Already in 1956, Hocking was trying to view the modern era as a whole, and to imagine what would come after it.

Hocking does not trouble to argue for the inevitability of a world civilization. He simply notes that, though civilizations rise and fall, they never fall below the starting point of the last rise. Civilizations create “unlosables,” technologies and ideas and ethical principles, which become part of the ever-increasing common heritage of the race. Mechanically, the world was already unified by the middle of the 20th century. The problem Hocking addresses here is that a world civilization, like any other civilization, needs something more than a common technology, or even a common politics:

“[T]he secular state by itself is not enough...just as economics can no longer consider itself a closed science, so politics can no longer consider itself a closed art – the state depends for its vitality upon a motivation which it cannot by itself command.”

Hocking's description of the limits of the competence of the state is fascinating for several reasons, not the least of which is that he takes propositions as self-evident that neoconservatives were just beginning to articulate thirty years later:

“We have taken it for granted that the state can deal with crime, as its most potent function in maintaining public order. We have believed that it can educate our young. We have assumed that while leaving economic enterprise largely to its own energies, the state can cover the failures of the system, protecting individuals from destitution, caring for the aged and the ill. We gave taken it as axiomatic that it can make just laws, and provide through a responsible legal profession for the due service to the people.

“We are discovering today, startled and incredulous, that the state by itself can do none of these things.”

One does not often come across new ethical principles for the first time, but this book states one that was new to me: only the good man can be punished. Bad men can, presumably, be deterred, and their behavior can be modified in other ways, but the disposition of the individual concerned makes a difference. Rights assume the presence of good will in the citizen. That good will can come only from a pre-political condition, which the state cannot control. That is what religion is for.

Many Traditionalists, however defined, foresee that the modern age will not last forever. Often they see it as a total loss, and they cannot wait for it to be over. Hocking, too, looks for the end of modernity at no very distant date. (The nearly 50 years since the writing of this book are still no great distance in history.) His endeavor, though, is to discern the “unlosables” that modernity has achieved, and to separate them from the characteristic faults of the era.

Modern individualism, in Hocking's estimation, is one such advance. Unfortunately, it is tinged by the malady of meaninglessness. Because of Kant and Descartes, it has a subjective base, which serves to separate the individual from any greater whole from which meaning might descend.

The problem of modern individuality is solipsism. It cannot be remedied by a retreat to pre-modern religion, not if we are to preserve the depth of modern subjectivity. (The loss of which would mean what? A world without autobiographical novels?) Rather, we must pass straight through modernity, to the other side. The key to that is the recognition that each subject has a common experience: the Thou-art relationship.

The “thou” here is not just other people, but also the experience of a world. A world is far more than a mere collection of experiences. It is coherent in the way that our experience of other people is personal. In fact, the world is personal, if not quite a person. As for the “selves” in this world, we must recognize that we know other selves in much the way we known our own thinking self: the self is a concept, never a matter of direct perception.

The experience of the Thou is the foundation of science, which is identical to the intuition of the existence of God:

“All this is wrapped up in the spontaneous impulsive summoning of one's will to think, the simplest and most general response to the presence in experience of the universal Other-mind.

“The strength and persistence of that response is seen in the corporate and historic edifice we call 'science,' a building surely not made with hands.”

The religion of the coming civilization will mend the link between the modern soul and the Absolute. At any rate, it better. Modern subjectivity and science are among the unlosables. They will become universals. The problem is that, in the West, these advances were predicated on specific motivations and a characteristic morale; the advances meant specific things, and Western civilization developed the reflexes to deal with them. These predicates are not found in other civilizations. If subjectivity and science are not incorporated into a spirituality, the result will be incalculable. That is why Christianity is most likely to play the central role in integrating the world's great faiths in the coming era: the problems of modernity are Christian problems, with which Christianity is learning to deal.

Consider, for instance, the most extreme view of 19th-century science, that the world is nothing but dead matter. Hocking calls that “the Night Vision.” He also argues that it is a great moral achievement. Western science is based on the virtues of humility and austerity: humility before the facts, and the rejection of extravagance in the making of hypotheses. Francis Bacon said: “We cannot command nature except by obeying her.” Science is the willful suppression of self-will. Only thus could the will of God be known, as manifest in the created world.

Hocking also points out that only the purposeless physical world revealed by science could morally become the object of human purpose. Opening the world to human exploitation is another real advance.

The science of Christendom naturally pushed toward autonomy, toward a system of the physical world in which God does not interfere. The tension between this science and the religion that created it haunts modern man, but it is a fruitful tension. Religion rests on a broad empiricism, which understands that the world transcends scientific questions, but which does not challenge science within its own sphere. Much of the modern malaise comes from false science, which tries to put forward metaphysical propositions about meaning and truth for which science offers no warrant.

In Western history, as the arts and sciences were freed from religion, they curbed and instructed Christianity. By removing the historical and cultural excrescences that had made Christianity specifically Western, free thought is making Christianity universal. Christianity is not going to lose its particularity, or the marks of its history. However, if it is to play a universal role, it must be purged and purified and simplified enough to represent universals to the whole world.

Christianity, Hocking assures us, is a religion of induction. This is how Jesus could say that love of God and love of neighbor are the whole of the Law and the Prophets. There are, of course, particulars of Christian ethics, which are often paralleled in other traditions: kindness to enemies; the need for rebirth; the injunctions, not just to do certain things, but also to feel in a certain way. However, this can all be summed up in the Great Induction: “He that loseth his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

Christianity is not a sacrifice, then, but the will to create through suffering. Its moral code is inseparable from a worldview in which the most real is the all-loving.

Hocking allows for a supernatural only in the sense that not all real questions are scientific questions. Thus, the will, particularly the will to futurity, is supernatural: what the world should be like in the future is not a question science can answer. Similarly, the sense of sin is direct participation in the divine nature. This creedless experience of God is always immediate: at this deep level, there are no disciples at second hand.

Assume that the Christian movement succeeds in purifying itself to its simple essence. It would thereby cease to be specifically Western, and so more fitted for a universal role. But what would the religious system of the coming world civilization look like?

The key is that a universal system can affirm some things without necessarily rejecting everything else. Hocking assures us there is an intuitive recognition of mystic by mystic across the boundaries of the great religions. Thus, the great religions are already united at their summits. This is far from saying that every religion is essentially the same, or that one is no better than another. Indifferentism, relativism, and syncretism betray the search for truth.

The historic faiths will survive in the world civilization, but will not seek to displace each other. Rather, they will share a “reverence for reverence.” The struggle against idolatry will continue, but within each religious tradition, not between them. In much the same way, nations in the coming civilization will retain their value and historical mission. A spiritually and culturally homogenous world would be a nightmare.

* * *

Readers will have gathered that, to some extent, this book is a period piece. At least in the field of religion, I have encountered few other works that appealed so strongly to the authority of experience, while insisting so hard that experience must behave itself. Quite aside from Hocking's unconsidered dismissal of the supernatural as conventionally understood, there is something odd about his tendency to equate “mysticism” with the existentialist's intuition of Being. Agony and ecstasy, much less flaming chariots and the dread of Hell, seem to play no part in the spirituality of the world civilization. Hocking is aware of this himself. He expresses the hope that the East might add healthy fanaticism to the West's maturity. The problem is that all this rather misses what religion means to people at all levels of sophistication.

Hocking's account of Christianity as a system of inductions is fascinating, but it's not Christianity. People bother with Jesus because of the Atonement; Christian ethics is simply a radiation from that core. The ethics is not, frankly, all that interesting. In the early 21st century, a stripped-down form of Christianity does in fact bid fair to become a universal religion, but it has less to do with existentialism than with Pentecostalism.

Nonetheless, this book is full of wisdom. It gives a satisfactory, if not wholly unchallengeable, answer to the problem of solipsism. That “quiet music in the back of the mind” (I think of it as a prosaic hum) that William James described as the everyday sense of the presence of God may not be the Beatific Vision, but it is not a bad place to begin theological inquiry. There is nothing wrong with a phenomenological approach to the spiritual life. That is what John Paul II has been up to all these years.

And what about the central questions of the book? Does a world civilization require a world religion? Can this religion be unified at the top, in the sphere of religious genius, while the spiritual life of ordinary mankind continues in its colorful variety? No, not if the religion is God's doing. God doesn't start at the top. You can look it up.  

Copyright © 2004 by John J. Reilly

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The Coming World Civilization
By William Ernest Hocking

The Long View: Nonzero

I'm not any sort of a biologist, but describing the rise of multicellular life as "altruistic" seems a bit off to me. Maybe it is just because I have been reading so much of Greg Cochran's acerbic wit recently, but I think you get a lot more out of evolution and genetics if you take the time to understand the mechanisms by which they work before you write a book on it. Obviously, it didn't hurt Wright's career to speak loosely in this fashion.

It is in fact correct to say that:

Properties, then, tend to be imitated or circumvented by competing organisms over the long run, even though the particular species, lineages and cultures that developed them may die out. Die-offs sprinkle the fossil record, but none yet has sent life back to the primordial soup. Civilizations may rise and fall, but technologies like metallurgy and literacy persist even through dark ages.

I just think you get more out of the idea once you that in some cases the genes that cause certain adaptations can outlive the species in which they originate, sometimes ending up in truly strange places, and also that convergent evolution can come up with the same solution more than once if the payoff is big enough.

Since in a sense genes are information, it probably is interesting and useful to compare this mechanism to the ways technologies and cultural behaviors sometimes outlive the cultures the created them. It is probably also easy to go too far here.

I had clearly read this before, but it is interesting to be reminded that the mid-twentieth century turn against teleology and final causes was initially primarily directed against Marxists. 


 Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny
by Robert Wright
Pantheon, 2000
435 Pages, US $27.50
ISBN: 0-679-44252-9

The Return of Teleology

 

If this book is a harbinger of things to come, Teilhard de Chardin and Arnold Toynbee are back. So, perhaps, are many other features of the universalizing historical optimism of the middle 20th century. Once again, people will think of cultural history as the culmination of biological history. Societies will be ranked as lower and higher, and the latter will be preferred to the former. Morality will be grounded in ontology. World government will be seen to be inevitable. Maybe SUVs will start to sprout 1950s-style tailfins. Even historical determinism allows for some surprises.

Robert Wright is the author of "The Moral Animal" and "Three Scientists and Their Gods." He has been trying for some years to tie together popular genetics, moral theory and public policy, usually to provocative effect. In "Nonzero," Wright provides a witty critique of the "relativism," for lack of a better term, that came to dominate so much of the last century's anthropology and even evolutionary theory. He does this in the context of explaining the implications of a simple mechanism that makes progress (no skeptical quotation marks needed) both largely linear and fairly inevitable. The critique is pretty persuasive. The universal model of history needs work.

By his own account, Wright is in effect trying to rephrase Teilhard's philosophy in mechanistic terms, thus saving it from the mystical vitalism that has made it such a fat target for metaphysical materialists these past forty years. Wright's chosen mechanism is the principle of non-zero-sum interaction, a notion that comes from game theory.

Interactions are said to be non-zero-sum when both parties benefit. Zero-sum interactions, in contrast, are those in which one party wins everything and the other party simply loses. The same interaction can have both zero-sum and non-zero-sum elements. In a negotiated sale from which both parties benefit, for instance, it is still possible for one party to get a better-than-necessary price at the other party's expense. In any case, an effect of non-zero-sum interactions is that the parties tend to prosper and interact again, while zero-sum parties tend to destroy or drive each other away. Thus, says Wright, the key to history is that the area of non-zero-sumness tends to increase over time.

This is just as simple-minded as it sounds, but it is hard to believe there is not something to it. It is obvious enough how this kind of logic applies to the growth of trading networks and political entities. It applies even to war. Two different tribes that are seeking to occupy the same territory might have a zero-sum relationship to each other, but the exigencies of conflict tend to increase the level of non-zero-sumness within each group as it organizes to defeat its rival.

The same principle applies to biological evolution, according to Wright. He says he has no idea how life started. However, once it got off the ground, it benefited organisms with the same DNA to act "altruistically" toward each other, thus forming the basis for the assembly of multicellular organisms and, later, of mutual support among kin groups. The point Wright wishes to emphasize is that biology is a matter of information transfer and feedback, in a sense that is more than trivially analogous to, say, a financial system or the interaction that goes on over time among scientists and inventors.

The means by which non-zero-sumness advances is the discovery, by internally altruistic units, of new "properties" that advance their interests. In biology, these properties include abilities that range from endothermy to flight to the various sorts and levels of intelligence. In cultural evolution, they are "memes," skills and ideas from basket weaving to literacy to the Nicene Creed. These properties are only in part adaptations to a nonliving environment. The environment for organisms consists for the most part of other organisms, just as society is other people. Properties, then, tend to be imitated or circumvented by competing organisms over the long run, even though the particular species, lineages and cultures that developed them may die out. Die-offs sprinkle the fossil record, but none yet has sent life back to the primordial soup. Civilizations may rise and fall, but technologies like metallurgy and literacy persist even through dark ages.

"Nonzero" repeats the critique that Wright has recently made of Stephen Jay Gould's persistent efforts to cast biological history as a pure "random walk," a process with no particular direction that certainly was not likely to produce tool-and-language using entities like ourselves. It may be a rhetorical flourish on Wright's part to say that he, too, would be a creationist if Gould's ideas really represented the best that evolutionary science could do. Still, by marshaling both the factual problems that Gould's interpretations have encountered in recent years, alongside a catalogue of familiar objections that Gould has studiously declined to address, Wright does make the popular-science relativism that Gould has been promoting look very flimsy indeed.

Wright, for his part, does think that evolution was very likely to produce creatures like ourselves. He further thinks that cultural evolution was bound to be a story in which, after a slow start, technology would grow ever more powerful and the size of social organizations would tend to increase. Additionally, patterns of non-zero-sum cooperation would tend to win out against zero-sum oppression within societies and against zero-sum predation between societies. The latest evolutionary property that Wright sees emerging in the world is the incarnation of Teilhard's "noosphere," the global community of mind, in the form of the Internet. We are now, he says, in "the storm before the calm." Patterns of cultural and economic exchange have become planet-wide, while governments are still national or regional. It is one of the laws of history, he tells us, that systems of governance tend to expand to cover economic systems. Thus, though we may be in for some "instabilities of transition," a unified world is not very far in the future, and non-zero-sumness will be all in all.

It is, perhaps, some argument against the hypothesis of history as a perfectly progressive process that universal optimism seems to have grown coarser since the last time Teilhard and Toynbee were in flower. Whatever their other failings, they at least expected some historical sense in their readers, and their theories were informed by an ancient philosophical tradition. Wright, in contrast, has no other resource but to rattle Richard Dawkin's dinky little memes around in an algorithmic tin can. This restriction of the argument to reductionist premises is deliberate. Wright is trying to show that, even assuming a world wholly devoid of spirit or the supernatural, history would still have direction and even meaning. He wraps up his mechanistic model of history with the acknowledgment that the real world is clearly not as threadbare as the behaviorists would have it, and indulges in some theological speculation about what a world that is only potentially good might tell us about God.

Even within the limits that Wright has set himself, there are problems with his model of history as an information processing system. The chief of these is that the book has no sense of non-linearity (or, in older terms, of the dialectic). There are in fact some eras when human beings become more numerous, freer and richer. We are living in such an era now. However, history does not show a smoothly rising graph of any of these things (population included). In fact, setbacks, reversals and long periods of stasis seem to be inherent in history, both human and biological. This is one area in which Wright might have been more patient with the heresiarch Gould, whose idea of punctuated equilibrium really does tell us quite a lot about how the world works.

Though one could add many other reservations about "Nonzero," and even wish that Wright had written the book from a broader perspective, reasonable people may nonetheless conclude that the book's basic thesis is more correct than otherwise. In any case, there is some reason to suppose that this may be a thesis whose time has come.

Wright notes the liberal politics of the 1920s made cultural anthropology skittish about the idea of progressive cultural evolution, and that the revolt that began at midcentury against teleology in all its forms had an anti-Marxist inspiration. (Gould's ideas seem to have been inspired by a fear of religion, but that's another story.) Today, after the recoil into state control that characterized the 20th century, the process of global economic and cultural integration is once again reaching deep into the domestic life of the world's societies. Even people who say they oppose "globalization" usually mean that they want the process to be controlled by universal regulators of one kind or another. Though the sides in world politics are becoming more distinct, they still lack coherent theories. The chance that the politics of globalization will incorporate ideas like Wright's is distinctly nonzero.  

This review appeared in the Spring 2002 issue of the Comparative Civilizations Review, after first appearing on this website. Copyright © 2000 by John J. Reilly

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The Long View: Constitution of the Ecumenical Empire

John was very interested in the form the future might take. He wrote a book that was his attempt to limn the future by means of a program he wrote in BASIC and the ideas of Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee. Like myself, John felt that the idea of cycles in history does not preclude free will or moral agency. We might hope, tentatively and with great humility, to influence things for the better. Following William Ernest Hocking, John posited the idea of "unlosables", technologies and ideas and ethical principles, which become part of the ever-increasing common heritage of the race. This entry is intended to illustrate some of those ideas in political philosophy.

As a lawyer, John was well-positioned to draft a constitution. He knew that the failure of most modern constitutions was due to their complexity. The most successful modern constitutions, the American, and the Swiss [which is based on the American] are relatively brief. This is his attempt at a constitution for the Ecumenical Empire, his term for the universal state into which the world is likely to collapse sometime in this century.


This document was originally posted to an Alternative History newsgroup. It may not be a proper "what-if," but it is likely to interest alternative history buffs.

Every so often, I come across a model "world constitution" by groups or individuals who are interested in the question. These proposals are all non-starters. They are too legalistic, too complicated, and most of all too long. The draft constitution here is supposed to be more realistic. I imagine it coming into effect late in the next century, when the traditional international system has collapsed because of war and progressive economic integration. Like the Roman Empire, it is essentially a police measure. Feel free to propose amendments.

JR -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Constitution of the Ecumenical Empire

Preamble
This Constitution describes the structure of the Ecumenical Empire. 
The Ecumenical Empire is the final stage of human political evolution.
This Constitution is unchangeable.
The Empire's operations and functions must be further defined by legislation.

The Empire
The Ecumenical Empire possesses every power which a human government may possess.
The jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Empire is universal in space.
The Ecumenical Empire may permit Subsidiary States to exist.

The Emperor

The Emperor may hear all final appeals in judicial matters from whatever source.
The Emperor is the Commander in Chief of the Ecumenical Army.
The Emperor is the Director of the Ecumenical Civil Service.
The Emperor serves for life, subject to deposition or abdication.
The Emperor may veto acts of the Senate.
The Emperor may nominate his successor from among the Senators, subject to the approval of the Senate.
The Emperor is an Imperial Citizen for life.

The Senate
The Senate may have up to one thousand Senators.
The Senate may enact laws of universal or local application.
The Senate may tax Imperial Citizens directly.
The Senate may tax trade between Subsidiary States.
The Senate may issue and revoke charters for the existence of Subsidiary States.
The Senate elects the Emperor.
The Senate may depose the Emperor by a vote of three-quarters of the Senators.
The Senate may expel a Senator by a vote of three-quarters of the Senators.
Every Subsidiary State provides one Senator, selected by any means and for whatever term the Subsidiary State chooses.
All Senators not provided by a Subsidiary State are appointed by the Emperor for life, subject to expulsion or retirement.
Senators are Imperial Citizens at least for their term in office.

The Ecumenical Army
The Ecumenical Army includes all the armed forces of the Ecumenical Empire.
Only the Ecumenical Army may possess weapons of mass destruction.
Weapons of mass destruction may not be used against civilian populations without thirty days' warning.
Subsidiary States have no authority to tax members of the Ecumenical Army directly.
All members of the Ecumenical Army enjoy extraterritoriality from Subsidiary States.
All members of the Ecumenical Army serving for at least ten years are Imperial Citizens for life.

The Ecumenical Civil Service
The Ecumenical Civil Service collects the taxes of the Ecumenical Empire and administers imperial law.
The courts of the Ecumenical Empire are a branch of the Ecumenical Civil Service.
Regions not under the jurisdiction of a Subsidiary State are ruled directly by the Ecumenical Civil Service.
Subsidiary States have no authority to tax members of the Ecumenical Civil Service directly.
All members of the Ecumenical Civil Service enjoy extraterritoriality from Subsidiary States.
All members of the Ecumenical Civil Service serving for at least ten years are Imperial Citizens for life.

Subsidiary States
No Subsidiary State may exist without the charter of the Senate.
Charters for Subsidiary States are issued for perpetuity and are subject to revocation.
Subsidiary States may choose their own form of government.
Subsidiary States may exercise primary jurisdiction over their citizens and residents.
Subsidiary States may not maintain armed forces beyond those necessary for internal police.
Laws of Subsidiary States that are incompatible with imperial law are voidable by the Ecumenical Civil Service.
Particular acts by Subsidiary States may be prohibited by the Emperor.
The governments of Subsidiary States are subject to suspension by the Emperor.

Imperial Subjects
All human beings are Imperial Subjects.
Imperial Subjects may not be enslaved. Imperial Subjects may not be coerced by law to perform acts of worship.
Imperial Subjects may be imprisoned or executed only after a trial.
Acquittals in criminal trials are not appealable.
Imperial Subjects not citizens of a Subsidiary State are subject to the immediate jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Civil Service.

Imperial Citizens
Any Imperial Subject may be created by the Emperor to be an Imperial Citizen for life or for a term of years.
The spouse and children of all Imperial Citizens for life are also Imperial Citizens for life.
Imperial Citizens have the option to be citizens of Subsidiary States.
Imperial Citizens have the option to make themselves liable to the taxes and judicial process of a Subsidiary State.
Imperial Citizens are subject to the immediate jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Civil Service.
Imperial Citizens are subject to direct taxes of the Ecumenical Empire.
Imperial Citizens may not be deprived of goods, money or land without a trial.
Imperial Citizens may say or publish anything that does not appear likely to cause immediate public disorder.

Prior Law
Any provision of international or domestic law contrary to this Constitution is nullified.
Fully sovereign states existing at the time of the proclamation of this Constitution may apply within one year for a charter from the Senate to become Subsidiary States.
Fully sovereign states that fail to apply within that time are abolished.

Proclamation
We the leaders of the Cabinet of the Final Alliance proclaim this Constitution on our own authority. We designate our chairman to be the first Emperor. The Emperor designates us to be the first Senators. [Signatures] [Date (circa 2080)]

Copyright © 1996 by John J. Reilly

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