[ExI] age of mockery

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Fri Oct 19 14:39:12 UTC 2012

On 19 October 2012 05:51, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> The Brits only have the later part, they can not claim the constitution is
> any moral guideline. But then again, it might be more honest to admit that
> a lot of politicking is just politicking rather than a profound moral
> process.

Every conceivable regime has of course a material constitution, including
that of Ghengis Khan. Additionally, the US constitution *is* amendable, and
nothing prevents the country from being transformed in a Louis XIV-like
monarchy through the appropriate, constitutionally sanctioned, procedures.

It is true, however, that the lack of a "formal" constitution, meaning a
statute regulating the fundamental working of the pertinent legal system,
adopted with special emphasis and changeable only with more formalities
than ordinary legislation, makes England singularly prone to
whim-of-the-day change to what used to be considered as "fundamental

The "democratic" turn itself of the English constitution, where the
Parliament has for long been taking liberties with the local common law and
legal traditions that once would have been unthinkable, strengthens this

Take for instance the "right to remain silent", equivalent to the US Fifth
Amendment and enshrined in some continental constitutions. A
prosecution-friendly majority does not like it, wham, it's gone.

Stefano Vaj
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