The Preamble to the American Constitution

The Second Greatest Moral Statement In All Of History

The American Constitution is a complex legal document meant to describe how a Democratic government can operate. It was revolutionary at the time it was written and works very well considering how original it was. Again though, it is a legal document. On the other hand, the Preamble to the Constitution is a short, brilliant moral statement.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We make this law to create a nation, for the benefit of ourselves and our children that will have justice and peace, and that will defend its citizens.

I didn't phrase it any better there. I just restated it to promote some thought about what it says. It's an amazing statement. If I wanted to interpret it into the terms of biology and morality I use, it would be something like: Our group, using the laws in this document as a strategy, will create a nation of people with the social order necessary to make a peaceful and just civilization (an ecology) where we and our children can survive and prosper.

And that is what the New Ecology is all about, creating a new ecology, commonly called a civilization, which is the life support system of humans. It is as necessary as food and water to our survival. It is something we create for the benefit of ourselves and our children. This has actually been done before, but it was always based on military force. The American experiment was based on common agreement. Much of the document was about how that government would be formed. Most of the rest was about its powers. It was, in so many ways, a Revolutionary idea.

It has to be noted somewhere that the Justice part is critical or the agreement will fail because of to much conflict. Social Justice is a foundation of civilization and this new ecology.

Now, we can see that the experiment was very flawed. The winner take all Presidential form of Democracy naturally leads to bipartisan gridlock. That problem has been known for some time and why after WWII, the US gave Germany, Italy and Japan a Parliamentary form of Democracy. Notice though that the moral statement of the intent of the law, the Preamble, is not flawed. It's a pretty good universal moral statement of what humanity is trying to achieve and why. I really haven't seen other statements comparable to it. There are a number of documents similar to the "Bill of Rights" such as the "Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen" and the United Nation's "Universal Declaration of Human Rights". In those cases, they were creations of political pains and they tend to be more about the relationship between individuals and their government, though there is some discussion of family. For all their great value, they can be quibbled with. The moral statement of the Preamble to the Constitution would apply to all of them and can't well be argued with. All of them, all laws and forms of law, including Napoleonic Law that is used so widely in the world, can be judged and validated by that moral statement. That is the power of morality and why it needs to be clearly articulated even if it is difficult.

Another interesting point is that this again illustrates that we are not a slave to our genes and our instincts, aside perhaps to our deepest instinct which is to survive. We make laws that would have been no use to the tribal peoples we came from. It seems that many parts of our "moral systems" are being replaced by legal systems, but our moral instincts can never be.