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Legitimacy of Constitution

edited January 26 in Polity & Governance
Why have constitutions become a 'legitimate' form of collective self-expression(despite numerous instances of failures - African and Islamic countries). What could be the factors that contributed to this ideology ? (I can think of colononisation, UN's contribution, globalisation....any others?)
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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Comments

  • All constitutions are the sanctification of the collectively bargained demands of the majority along with concessions for the minority. It's just a document that legitimises a ruling class by definition. It's just a human face of the might of the state. Legitimacy is always by this dictated definition and its general acceptance.
    Dead and departed player. RIP.
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  • All constitutions are the sanctification of the collectively bargained demands of the majority along with concessions for the minority. It's just a document that legitimises a ruling class by definition. It's just a human face of the might of the state. Legitimacy is always by this dictated definition and its general acceptance.

    Couldn't get the why?
    I was asking why this trend in adhering to constitutionalism as the source for legitimacy has been the dominant ideology of the era. There have been a lot of instances which prove that 'liberal' constitutionalism is very limited in its applicability as a normative model. Still it seems to have survived. What opinions do political scientists and legal scholars have in this regard. Will this trend continue? What are the ongoing debates among them?
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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  • Also how far do you agree that we, the common people, did actually have a role in the voicing of our own priorities and concerns while the text was being drafted? To me it seems the representation was too lopsided with the drafters having the major say in articulating the concerns rather than the general public. Do you agree with this assumption? If not, then why.
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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  • akkib89 said:

    All constitutions are the sanctification of the collectively bargained demands of the majority along with concessions for the minority. It's just a document that legitimises a ruling class by definition. It's just a human face of the might of the state. Legitimacy is always by this dictated definition and its general acceptance.

    Couldn't get the why?
    I was asking why this trend in adhering to constitutionalism as the source for legitimacy has been the dominant ideology of the era. There have been a lot of instances which prove that 'liberal' constitutionalism is very limited in its applicability as a normative model. Still it seems to have survived. What opinions do political scientists and legal scholars have in this regard. Will this trend continue? What are the ongoing debates among them?
    Constitutionalism is the latest evolution in the field of political science and our answer what is the best form of government.

    The choices so far have been

    1) Kingship
    2) Dictatorship
    3) Military Rule
    4) Democracy

    In a democracy, the rule is said to be by the people, for the people, of the people.

    But someone must rule Power will reside somewhere. Should it be a person or body of persons? And should we be ruled by men or by laws?

    Constitutional-ism says that we must be ruled by impersonal rule ( of law ) and not men.

    Hence, by far this is said to be the most superior system.

    Gyan courtesy @neyawn sir
    Writing CSE Mains 2016
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  • VivekJ2 said:

    akkib89 said:

    All constitutions are the sanctification of the collectively bargained demands of the majority along with concessions for the minority. It's just a document that legitimises a ruling class by definition. It's just a human face of the might of the state. Legitimacy is always by this dictated definition and its general acceptance.

    Couldn't get the why?
    I was asking why this trend in adhering to constitutionalism as the source for legitimacy has been the dominant ideology of the era. There have been a lot of instances which prove that 'liberal' constitutionalism is very limited in its applicability as a normative model. Still it seems to have survived. What opinions do political scientists and legal scholars have in this regard. Will this trend continue? What are the ongoing debates among them?
    Constitutionalism is the latest evolution in the field of political science and our answer what is the best form of government.

    The choices so far have been

    1) Kingship
    2) Dictatorship
    3) Military Rule
    4) Democracy

    In a democracy, the rule is said to be by the people, for the people, of the people.

    But someone must rule Power will reside somewhere. Should it be a person or body of persons? And should we be ruled by men or by laws?

    Constitutional-ism says that we must be ruled by impersonal rule ( of law ) and not men.

    Hence, by far this is said to be the most superior system.

    Gyan courtesy @neyawn sir
    Hmmmm...fine. Thanks for the inputs. I understand you. Authoritarianism/ Absolutism set aside - does democracy always have to depend on constitutionalism for its survival?
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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  • edited January 26
    Also constitutional-ism does fail/ has failed in the past/ is on the verge of failing - a number of instances exist all around the globe. IMO it doesn't suit a lot of political and cultural contexts. @VivekJ2

    And apart from the highly subjective justification of its superiority via-a-vis other forms of political setups, do you know of any other justifications for this dominant trend?
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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  • @Raw_Emotions Makes perfect sense. Thank you for putting it so succinctly. Feasibilty hi nahi thi...
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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  • akkib89 said:

    Also constitutional-ism does fail/ has failed in the past/ is on the verge of failing - a number of instances exist all around the globe. IMO it doesn't suit a lot of political and cultural contexts. @VivekJ2

    And apart from the highly subjective justification of its superiority via-a-vis other forms of political setups, do you know of any other justifications for this dominant trend?

    Yes. Its simple.

    Democracy is the worst form of government. Except all other forms that have been tested from time to time.
    Writing CSE Mains 2016
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  • :mrgreen:
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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  • VivekJ2 said:

    akkib89 said:

    All constitutions are the sanctification of the collectively bargained demands of the majority along with concessions for the minority. It's just a document that legitimises a ruling class by definition. It's just a human face of the might of the state. Legitimacy is always by this dictated definition and its general acceptance.

    Couldn't get the why?
    I was asking why this trend in adhering to constitutionalism as the source for legitimacy has been the dominant ideology of the era. There have been a lot of instances which prove that 'liberal' constitutionalism is very limited in its applicability as a normative model. Still it seems to have survived. What opinions do political scientists and legal scholars have in this regard. Will this trend continue? What are the ongoing debates among them?

    Constitutionalism is the latest evolution in the field of political science and our answer what is the best form of government.


    The choices so far have been

    1) Kingship
    2) Dictatorship
    3) Military Rule
    4) Democracy

    In a democracy, the rule is said to be by the people, for the people, of the people.

    But someone must rule Power will reside somewhere. Should it be a person or body of persons? And should we be ruled by men or by laws?

    Constitutional-ism says that we must be ruled by impersonal rule ( of law ) and not men.

    Hence, by far this is said to be the most superior system.

    Gyan courtesy @neyawn sir
    According to aristotle, democracy is the rule of poors and polity is the best form of government.

    Aristotles best is platos second best, as it is said. A constitutional government is not the best form of government but it is the best practicable form of government!
    An Ounce of Action Is Worth a Ton of Theory
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  • :mrgreen:
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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  • @Raw_Emotions Perfect sense yet again. Thanks again. Analytical aspect to aapne mast samjhaya. :*
    But what I wanted to know was whenever there has been a wave of constitutionalism/ democracy (post world war, 1945-55, 1970s) do you think that this was the prime reason as to why this particular set up was adopted. I know your reply aptly fits the Indian context. But in my opinion a lot of exogeneous factors were there as well when we take into account other countries in our perspectives as well. While forming a new overhauled governed IMO there has been very less public discourse regarding the options, rather external pressures have chiefly played a crucial role as to why the political representatives were compelled to make this particular choice. The justifications are alright, but are you really sure that the trend has gained momentum due to this line of thought alone. Could you verify this.
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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  • Also its not right to say that constitution has failed the people in various countries. Suppose you and I have signed a contract. And you are not honouring it in a future date. Does fault lie with the contract itself ?

    Whoa! That's an implicit fault in the concept itself. Getting me. Refutes the whole purpose as no one can accurately predict whether the political institutions will work in tandem with the constituion and as to what choices can impart it stability in the future. IMO the Indian democracy is too short an experiment for any conclusive evidences to asrise. Besides we have an organic setup, but will this lead to instability and confusion in the future (again the fault is implicit in the 'organic' design), we never know. Besides, a lot of constitutions (except, of course, the UK and US) have failed to stand the test of time (Soviet constitution, for eg). I that case, imo, the blame lies onthe drafters as much as it lies on the concept of constitutionalism itself...Do you agree?
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
    ·
  • akkib89 said:

    All constitutions are the sanctification of the collectively bargained demands of the majority along with concessions for the minority. It's just a document that legitimises a ruling class by definition. It's just a human face of the might of the state. Legitimacy is always by this dictated definition and its general acceptance.

    Couldn't get the why?
    I was asking why this trend in adhering to constitutionalism as the source for legitimacy has been the dominant ideology of the era. There have been a lot of instances which prove that 'liberal' constitutionalism is very limited in its applicability as a normative model. Still it seems to have survived. What opinions do political scientists and legal scholars have in this regard. Will this trend continue? What are the ongoing debates among them?
    Democracy is a terrible system of governance. But it's far better than the other alternatives available at present. Frankly, I love the idea of being governed by an omniscient artificial intelligence with its entire code rendered intelligibly in the public domain.

    Constitutionalism in a democracy is basically required to overarch all laws that exist or may come into force at a later date. The construction is a succinct document which can be manageably amended to suit changing needs. This gives governments and courts the power to make changes to the law and to safeguard certain laws against judicial action in a coherent manner. This avoids the uncertainty of obscure and forgotten legislation or one-off judicial pronouncements to wreak havoc on the legal system. It brings all acts of the state under scrutiny of the competent authority of the state. This is its main legal utility, IMHO.
    Dead and departed player. RIP.
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  • <
    akkib89 said:

    Also its not right to say that constitution has failed the people in various countries. Suppose you and I have signed a contract. And you are not honouring it in a future date. Does fault lie with the contract itself ?

    Whoa! That's an implicit fault in the concept itself. Getting me. Refutes the whole purpose as no one can accurately predict whether the political institutions will work in tandem with the constituion and as to what choices can impart it stability in the future. IMO the Indian democracy is too short an experiment for any conclusive evidences to asrise. Besides we have an organic setup, but will this lead to instability and confusion in the future (again the fault is implicit in the 'organic' design), we never know. Besides, a lot of constitutions (except, of course, the UK and US) have failed to stand the test of time (Soviet constitution, for eg). I that case, imo, the blame lies onthe drafters as much as it lies on the concept of constitutionalism itself...Do you agree?
    The Soviet constitution didn't fail. The Soviet form of government failed which caused its subsequent disintegration.

    Now there is no one definitive argument here. If you ask communists, they would say state and constitution is a bourgois concept. If you ask the liberals, they would contest the organic concept of the state and would stress upon the individualistic nature of man viewing the state as a social contract.

    However, as you have correctly pointed out, it is too early to examine which form of government is indeed the end of history. As I said before, a constitution encapsulates the ethos and aspirations of the citizens of the state. It brings in a sense of nationalism amongst its citizens. But sometimes, this gives rise to an extreme form of nationalism which then later mutates to fascism. It is then the nation fails.

    constitution lays down a set of rules for a government. It is the guiding light. However, it's success depends purely on its interpretation.
    An Ounce of Action Is Worth a Ton of Theory
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  • @dragon_born agree.... :)
    Wo failure of governance wali theory applies to all forms of goverment - authoriatrian or democratic - so I don't consider it a very valid justification.

    "It brings in a sense of nationalism amongst its citizens. But sometimes, this gives rise to an extreme form of nationalism which then later mutates to fascism."

    Are you very sure on this?

    But anyway, thanks a lot for your inputs bhai. :)
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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  • @DepartedMisanthrope Yup. Makes sense. Completely agree. Thanks a lot.
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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  • akkib89 said:

    @dragon_born agree.... :)
    Wo failure of governance wali theory applies to all forms of goverment - authoriatrian or democratic - so I don't consider it a very valid justification.

    "It brings in a sense of nationalism amongst its citizens. But sometimes, this gives rise to an extreme form of nationalism which then later mutates to fascism."

    Are you very sure on this?

    But anyway, thanks a lot for your inputs bhai. :)

    Absolutely! Look at all fascist states. Fascism is a hodge podge of all political theories. They would make an issue out of anything. Extreme nationalism can sometimes bring in a powerful leader, someone who stokes burning issues plaguing the middle class. Fascism is a middle class revolution. It is a revolution against a revolution. Look at hitlers rise. He brought in the concept of Aryan dominance which then started a revolution!

    If there is a constitution, that means there is a state. If there is a state, there are people with collective values and aspirations. Sometimes this may lead to ethnocentrism...which can end in fascism. The beauty of democracy is that it should include all.
    An Ounce of Action Is Worth a Ton of Theory
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  • edited January 26
    @dragon_born CONSTITUTIONALISM leading to FASCISM..Hehe. A little far fetched connection, i guess. :#
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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  • akkib89 said:

    @dragon_born CONSTITUTIONALISM leading to FASCISM..Hehe. A little far fetched connection, i guess. :#

    Please read about what erdogan has done/is doing to the Turkish constitution...
    An Ounce of Action Is Worth a Ton of Theory
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