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These are the standards, goals and principles behind the draft Articles I'll be posting. Agreement is not required. They're here so the reader can see why I made certain design choices in the drafting. If you have different standards, goals, or principles, please state yours explicitly. That makes it clearer why we may disagree on an article.
For example, if you disagree with the goal of "negative rights" then you would write very different articles. Please be encouraged to share both your alternative articles, AND your disagreement with the specific goal (e.g. "negative rights" or whatever) that underlie the differences.
1. Negative Rights
I'm attempting to write the entire Draft EOS.IO Constitution v0.1 using the language of Negative Rights exclusively.
A "negative right" for party A is one that other people respect by refraining from specific actions, such as not physically assaulting A.
It's my belief (and that of other members of the Governance team) that negative rights do the best job of simultaneously protect the rights of the person who holds the right, and protecting maximum freedom of action for everybody else. It's also far easier to make negative rights reciprocal.
My goal is to write a terse document, articulating high level principles, where details and use cases can be worked out by the community over time outside of the Constitution itself. These could take the form of Smart Contract language, Ricardian Contract language, Enclave Agreements, Arbitrator rulings, etc.
3. English Only
Several folks have expressed concern that having two or more equal copies of the Constitution in two or more languages would create chaos, as the translations would inevitably have tiny differences in nuance and meaning. The only way to avoid that is to have a single reference copy in one language. Given the development history of the project, and my own lack of knowledge of any language other than English, I've selected English as the language for the one true Constitution.
4. Nesting Levels
The community has frequently discussed the inevitable, and highly desirable, creation of small communities with their own internal rules of membership and their own mutually recognized rights. Such a setup is known as an "enclave" -- a subset or portion of a larger space, in which the people and rules are distinct and different from their surroundings.
The overall EOSIO Software based mainnet would be the first level. Inside it there could be an Enclave for (say) Gaming, where a special set of Gaming Dapps live, and where people opt in to the Gaming Enclave. Those who opt in, get to access the special Dapps and will be subject to special Gaming Enclave rules. Nested inside the Gaming Enclave there might be a Game Master sub-Enclave with even more special rules, perhaps a one-person, one-vote rule. Disputes would always be resolved within the smallest Enclave that included all the parties of the dispute, and according to the rules of that Enclave, plus any rules inherited from the enclosing Enclaves.
5. Life, Liberty and Property
The domain of the EOSIO Software is largely property. By this I mean, people don't live in a blockchain, and cannot be arrested or imprisoned by one (although they could be arrested and imprisoned by a government, based on that person's actions on a blockchain). It has been the design goal of the EOSIO project to create an ecosystem that can provide DApps and support for applications that protect human life, liberty and property in ways other systems cannot. The Constitution will be geared toward supporting this mission.
6. Synergy with Social Norms
Lawrence Lessig, in the article "The New Chicago School" (published in The Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 27, No. S2 (June 1998)) notes that four forces influence human behavior within systems: law, social norms, markets, and architecture (i.e., technical infrastructure or code). The Constitution is intended to be crafted in a way that honors and makes room for all four forces to be used in their ideal way.
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blockchain governance expert - active in the EOSIO ecosystem
US: +1 503.516.3886
(all opinions are my own)