The Constitution of the Union of Philadelphia
We the People of the Union of Philadelphia, 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 Union of Philadelphia.
Section 1. All Executive, Legislative, & Judicial power shall be vested in each Citizen. For purposes of enabling the Citizens of the Union of Philadelphia to achieve their goals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, there shall be designated one primary and six derivative levels of governing authority. These are as follows:
- The primary level of governing authority shall be the individual Citizen.
- The first derivative level of governing authority shall be the family in its generations. The family may consist of blood relatives or of unrelated Citizens with a common interest, e.g. a small business or other type of association.
- The second derivative level of governing authority shall be the tribe, which may consist of multiple families or similar groups with a higher level common interest, e.g. a mid-sized business or other type of association.
- The third derivative level of governing authority shall be the clan, which shall consist of several tribes with a higher level common interest. Tribes need not be co-located, but may serve as members of a network, e.g. a large-sized business or other type of association.
- The fourth derivative level of governing authority shall be the county, which shall consist of all Citizens located within a designated physical area, generally but not necessarily equivalent to counties in existence at the time this document is implemented.
- The fifth derivative level of governing authority shall be the state, which shall consist of all counties which have agreed to be part of it.
- The sixth derivative level of governing authority shall be the Union of Philadelphia as a whole, which shall consist of all Citizens in all their groups within the counties and states.
- Should other nations adopt the principles set forth in this document yet retain their own cultural and/or national identities, they, with the Union of Philadelphia, shall constitute a seventh derivative level of governing authority.
There shall also be designated three primary guilds consisting of Citizens who have demonstrated very high levels of competency in the executive, legislative, and judicial functions and have been acclaimed to membership in these guilds by their fellow Citizens. These guilds and their areas of responsibility shall be as follows:
- The Executors Guild. Acclaimed Executors shall work in pairs, one designated as Justice, one as Mercy. Together they shall be responsible for assisting any and all Citizens who have requested their services to execute the will of the Citizen or group of Citizens within the limits of the Golden Rule, stated as “You do to others as you expect them to do to you”.
- Justice shall be responsible for enabling the execution of the will of the Citizen or group of Citizens. Justice shall also be responsible for coordinating the defense of the group as and when needed, both within and without the militia. This includes participation in the Sacrament of Execution should one or more Citizens refuse to allow resolution of a dispute with any other Citizen or group of Citizens.
- Mercy shall be responsible for enabling the respectful interaction of all Citizens within the group. Mercy shall work with Justice to ensure that the will of the group shall be executed in a manner respectful of the rights and duties of all other Citizens. This includes participation in the Sacrament of Execution with Justice.
- The Counselors Guild. Acclaimed Counselors shall be responsible for assisting any and all Citizens who have requested their services by providing comfort and advice, assisting group members in learning new skills, encouraging respectful resolution of differing opinions, and helping group members develop mutually agreeable goals and plans for achieving them.
- The Arbiters Guild. Acclaimed Arbiters shall be responsible for assisting any and all Citizens who have requested their services in resolving any dispute, potential or actual. They shall also be responsible for keeping records of all meetings, all arbitration hearings, all negotiations and the agreed upon contracts resulting from them, and all financial transactions made between any Citizen and any other Citizen or group of Citizens. They shall also be responsible for participating in the Sacrament of Execution should their efforts to assist Citizens to resolve disputes fail.
Executors, Counselors, and Arbiters acclaimed by any group of Citizens shall serve at the pleasure of all Citizens or groups accepted as members of the contracting group for a contracted period not longer than one year. At the end of the contracted period, the group shall determine whether to extend, renegotiate, or terminate the contract. There shall be no limit on the number of times a group may extend the contract.
Section 2. Each Person who shall have attained the age of 18 and who shall have demonstrated competency in the following areas shall be granted full Citizenship, and shall be authorized to conduct all activities he or she shall find necessary for sustaining life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness within the limits of the Golden Rule, stated as “You do to others as you expect them to do to you.”
Section 3. Areas of required competence:
- Must be able to read, write, and speak clearly, and to be able to state an effective argument for a given course of action.
- Must be knowledgeable about the history of the world as currently understood, as well as of the former United States and the Union of Philadelphia.
- Must be knowledgeable about personal and corporate finance, as well as economics, and must have one or more salable skills so as to be able to support him or herself without recourse to charity.
- Must be skilled in armed and unarmed self-defense so as to be able to serve as a member of the militia when called upon to do so. Citizens 70 years of age or older may be excused from this requirement as long as they remain competent in all other requirements.
- Must understand the dispute resolution process laid forth in this document and must show willingness to be reconciled to life in any dispute by treating all others with respect.
Upon acclamation to Citizenship, the candidate must swear or affirm that he or she will preserve, protect, and defend this Constitution. He or she shall then receive a Certificate of Citizenship from the Arbiters’ Guild of his or her county, and his or her name will be entered into the rolls of Citizenship in that county.
This Certificate shall contain all endorsements of special competency in addition to Citizenship competencies, constantly updated health, financial, and other personal information, and shall be required for the execution of any commercial or financial transaction.
Citizenship is not transferable under any circumstances, and the Citizen must retain his or her Certificate in his or her possession at all times. Each Citizen is expected to protect his or her Certificate from theft or damage by others with the same fervor with which he or she would preserve, protect, and defend this Constitution.
Loss of the Certificate shall require recertification of all requirements for Citizenship. Replacement of a damaged Certificate may be requested at the Arbiters’ Guild office in the county of record by the Citizen to whom said Certificate is registered, and shall be received on surrender of the original Certificate, which will then be destroyed in the presence of the Citizen and two witnesses.
Anyone found in possession of a Certificate of Citizenship which is not his or hers, or whose name is not found on the rolls of Citizenship shall be taken to arbitration immediately for possession of counterfeit or stolen property.
In any case, competency in all requirements for Citizenship must be demonstrated every ten years in order to renew the Citizenship Certificate.
Section 4. Persons unable by reason of physical, mental, or emotional incapacitation to show competency in all areas required for Citizenship will be considered Wards of Charity, and may not participate in commerce under their own recognizance. The definitions and categories of Wards of Charity shall be determined by the Arbiters’ Guild as a whole, as shall the definition and designation of guardianship for any Ward of Charity.
Anyone designated a Ward of Charity shall have his or her needs provided for by a guardian appointed by the Arbiters’ Guild in his or her county of residence. Any revenue he or she may generate as a result of creating or providing salable goods or services shall be managed on his behalf by his guardians until such time as he or she is capable of demonstrating competency in all areas required for Citizenship. All guardianship arrangements shall be overseen by the Arbiters’ Guild to prevent misfeasance, malfeasance or other causes for dispute between guardian and ward.
Section 5. Citizens may lose the rights and privileges of Citizenship if at any time they treat any other person, Citizen or Ward of Charity, with lack of respect such that they are taken to arbitration and refuse to be reconciled with the plaintiffs. The dispute resolution process shall be as follows:
- Any Citizen or Ward of Charity who has a dispute with any other Citizen is encouraged to seek resolution with any or all other disputants in direct consultation.
- If any party to the dispute refuses to acknowledge the existence of a dispute, or to work out a resolution mutually acceptable to all parties, any party may call upon a Counselor at the next level of derivative governing authority.
- All parties to the dispute are encouraged to work with the Counselor to find a resolution mutually acceptable to all parties.
- If any party to the dispute continues to refuse reconciliation, the Counselor may request the services of an Arbiter at his or her level of derivative governing authority.
- All parties to the dispute are required to state for the record their positions with regard to the dispute. The Arbiter will remind them of the ultimate penalty for continuing to refuse to work out a mutually acceptable resolution to the dispute.
- Refusal to be reconciled at arbitration shall result in a choice of sentence, at the Arbiter of Record’s discretion, as follows: temporary loss of citizenship and training for re-qualification for citizenship, permanent exile, or death by the sword in the Sacrament of Execution.
- Any parties to the dispute who continue to refuse reconciliation but who accept temporary loss of citizenship shall become Wards of Charity under a guardian appointed by the Arbiters Guild until they have successfully demonstrated competency for Citizenship, and a willingness to act respectfully toward all other Citizens and Wards of Charity.
- Any parties to the dispute who refuse reconciliation and choose permanent exile shall have their Citizenship revoked and their Certificate destroyed. They shall then be conveyed to the nearest border check point by the bailiffs, at which point their wealth, if any remains after all just debts have been paid, shall be given to them in gold or other specie for their use in exile. They will be listed on the rolls as “Exile-No Right of Return.” Any attempt to return shall result in being turned back, or death by Citizens in self-defense.
- Any parties to the dispute who refuse reconciliation and evidence extreme anger and/or violence, particularly if they threaten by word or deed other disputants or the arbiter, shall be sentenced to the Sacrament of Execution, to be performed by a pair of Executors at the same level of derivative governing authority as the Arbiter of Record. Sentence shall be executed within 72 hours.
- All other parties to the dispute are encouraged to do whatever they can to persuade the person under sentence that he or she need not die if he or she is willing to work with them to resolve the original dispute. In addition, a certified physician, a certified psychologist, and a certified spiritual adviser shall also appeal to the person under sentence to choose life rather than death.
- Should all efforts to encourage the person under sentence to be reconciled fail, all parties to the dispute, as well as the Arbiter of Record, shall participate in the Sacrament of Execution, along with the selected Executor pair. The Executors shall first confront the Arbiter of Record with the sword. If the Arbiter shows willingness to be reconciled, the Executors will next confront the plaintiffs. If they show willingness to be reconciled, the Executor pair will next confront the person under sentence. Mercy shall do everything she can to persuade the defendant that he or she still need not die, if only he or she will choose reconciliation to life.
- If the defendant attacks the Executors, particularly Mercy, or the Arbiter or any other parties to the dispute, Justice shall be authorized to defend himself and all others under threat by executing the defendant.
Section 6. The principles of this Article may not be amended.
Section 1. All financial transactions involving two Citizens may be recorded as Contracts by mutual agreement of the parties to the Contract. All such transactions involving more than two Citizens shall be recorded as Contracts.
All payment for goods and services shall be in gold or other specie, or in notes redeemable in gold or other specie, at rates agreed to by all parties to any given transaction. The value of an ounce of gold shall be set by the market, and the value of all other specie shall be set by the market in relation to the value of gold. The Arbiter’s Guild shall be responsible for maintaining standard weights and the records of all contracts in the counties or states in which they are settled.
Coinage shall be handled under the direction of the Arbiters’ Guild, with input from any Citizen or group of Citizens desiring such, to include submission of designs, requests for specific weights for coins, or redemption of notes for equivalent gold or other specie.
Any and all notes printed to substitute for gold or other specie shall state plainly that they are fully redeemable for the stated quantity of gold or other specie, and shall be redeemable on presentation to the issuing organization. On pain of arbitration, such organization must maintain reserves of gold or other specie sufficient to redeem all outstanding notes. For purposes of this section the term “note” may be defined as physical or electronic. Every effort shall be made by the issuing organization to prevent counterfeiting of its notes, and the issuing organization shall be authorized to take anyone it finds guilty of counterfeiting to arbitration at the next higher level of derivative governing authority.
Any coin of any weight or specie may be submitted to the Arbiters’ Guild by any Citizen or group of Citizens for verification of weight and purity at any time. Any one found to have caused debasement of the currency shall be taken to arbitration for resolution of the dispute with those he or she has defrauded.
Failure by any party to a contract to execute his or her responsibilities as specified shall be subject to arbitration. Any person or group found to have defrauded any other Citizen or group of Citizens shall, on acceptance of reconciliation, work out an agreement to compensate the Citizens who are party to the dispute out of the defendant or defendants’ personal wealth and/or through repayment during a term as Ward of Charity. Only when the injured parties have been fully recompensed and the defendant(s) have completed recertification for Citizenship shall the defendant(s) again be issued a Certificate of Citizenship. Should a defendant or defendants refuse reconciliation, at the Arbiter’s discretion, said defendant(s) may be sentenced to permanent Exile, or to the Sword. In either case, the wealth of said defendant(s) shall be disbursed to the plaintiffs by the Arbiters’ Guild to settle all just debts or claims. Any remaining wealth shall be returned to the defendant(s) on Exile as gold or other specie, or to the closest relative who is a Citizen on Death by Execution.
Compensation for work done by Executors, Counselors, or Arbiters in the execution of their responsibilities shall be set during the negotiation of their contracts with the Citizen or group of Citizens who have requested their service. Executors, Counselors, and Arbiters are to consider themselves as much under the Golden Rule as any other Citizen, and as liable to being taken to arbitration should they treat any other Citizen or Ward of Charity with disrespect.
Section 2. The Union of Philadelphia shall, as a whole, have no authority to raise revenue through any means that imply coercion, nor shall any lower levels of derivative governing authority. However any group of Citizens may request dues or subscriptions of Citizens or groups of Citizens desiring to become members of the group, and these shall be specified in membership contracts agreed to by all parties. Groups of Citizens may also raise revenue through sale of goods and services to Citizens and other groups of Citizens both within and outside the groups making the sales.
Section 3: All land not claimed as a free hold by a Citizen or group of Citizens shall be held in trust by the Arbiters’ Guild of the county or counties of which it is a part. Any Citizen or group of Citizens may purchase any part or all of it on negotiation of a contract agreeable to all parties. Ownership of any real property shall be determined using all extant records recorded from the time of original settlement under the previous regimes of the United States of America and/or (if applicable) any other national claimant. Property previously managed by any Department of the United States such as Interior through the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, or any other department shall be held in trust by the Arbiters’ Guild of the county or counties of which it is a part.
Section 4: All Native American tribal lands previously designated as reservations shall now be considered counties for purposes of this Constitution, with the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as any other county, including the right to affiliate with a state of choice within the Union of Philadelphia, or the right to change state affiliation, or to disaffiliate from the Union of Philadelphia.
Section 5: The principles of this article may not be amended.
Section 1. Full faith and credit shall be given at all levels of derivative governing authority to the public Acts, Records, and Judicial Proceedings of all other levels of derivative governing authority.
Section 2. New counties may be admitted into this Union by ratification of this Constitution by three-fourths of the residents of said county after a period of six months during which all residents shall be required to demonstrate the competencies required for Citizenship and receive Certificates of Citizenship or become Wards of Charity with guardians selected by the Arbiters’ Guild. Counties may then determine if they wish to become part of an existing state contiguous with at least one border, or become part of a new state with one or more other counties being admitted at the same or similar time. If neither option is available on admission, the county may remain unaffiliated from any state until such time as one or both options become available. Affiliation agreements between counties and states will be subject to review once every five years, and may be renegotiated, extended, or terminated, in which case the county may, if contiguous with another state along at least one border, choose to negotiate affiliation with the second state.
Section 3. Should a county or counties determine that it no longer wishes to be affiliated with the Union of Philadelphia, by a vote of three-quarters of its residents, all Citizens who wish to continue as Citizens of the Union of Philadelphia must leave the county or counties within three months, after which the county or counties shall be staked as foreign territory, containing Exiles with No Right of Return, until and unless three fourths of the residents of that county or counties shall petition the Arbiters’ Guild of the state or states within which they exist to again become part of the Union.
Section 4. Any section of this Article may be amended only by the Arbiters’ Guild upon determination by the Guild as a whole on behalf of the Citizens of Philadelphia that amendment is required to better enable the Citizens of the Union of Philadelphia to achieve their goals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Section 1. All interactions with foreign territories on the American Continent shall take place at fortified check points on major transit routes. All other transit corridors shall be cut at the border. Residents of the foreign territory risk death by Citizens acting in self defense if they leave their territory by any but established check points. As Exiles, they will be unable to engage in commerce beyond the free trade zones at the check points. If they wish to travel to any other foreign territory and must pass through counties which are part of the Union to reach their destination, they must do so under escort by units of the militia.
All interactions with foreign territories not contiguous with the Union of Philadelphia shall take place at designated sea and airports, within fortified check points. Attempts to enter the territory held by the member counties and states of the Union of Philadelphia anywhere other than these check points will be met by force by units of the militia acting in defense of self and others.
Section 2. Any resident of any foreign territory who wishes to become a Citizen may so request at a port of entry. Such resident of foreign territory must spend a minimum of six months as a Ward of Charity while following the Path to Citizenship. Once the candidate has successfully demonstrated full competency in all required areas of knowledge and skill, the candidate shall be enrolled as a Citizen with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities thereof.
Section 3. Any Citizen or group of Citizens seeking trade beyond the defined borders of the Union of Philadelphia shall do so at their own risk. In addition, they shall have no expectation of rescue by the militia of the Union of Philadelphia, should the residents of any foreign territory take offense and subject them to local laws and punishments.
Section 4. Upon ratification of an agreement designating a seventh level derivative governing authority by nations agreeing to the principles of this Constitution, particularly Articles I and II, but wishing to maintain their own national identities, languages, and cultures within the limits of the Golden Rule, all Citizens of the member nations, upon presentation of their Certificates of Citizenship, shall be accorded all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of the Citizen of the Union of Philadelphia.
Section 5. Any section of this Article may be amended only by the Arbiters’ Guild upon determination by the Guild as a whole that amendment is required to better enable the Citizens of the Union of Philadelphia to achieve their goals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
This Constitution shall be considered the supreme law of the Union of Philadelphia. All Citizens shall consider themselves bound by their oaths or affirmations to preserve, protect, and defend it, on pain of arbitration as detailed above.
The Ratification of this Constitution by three quarters of the residents of three quarters of the counties of each of three quarters of the states participating in this convention shall be sufficient for Establishment of this Constitution between the counties and states so ratifying the same.
Following ratification of this Constitution, all residents over the age of 17 ½ in any county having so ratified this Constitution shall have six calendar months to complete the Path to Citizenship and prove competency in all areas listed in Section 3 of Article I. Those who choose not to follow the Path to Citizenship or accept status as Ward of Charity must leave the territory held by the ratifying counties within the same six calendar months or be taken to arbitration. Residents who continue to refuse reconciliation will be sentenced to Exile with No Right of Return and escorted to a check point on the defined border of the Union of Philadelphia with foreign territory.
Done in Convention by the unanimous consent of the counties of the several states represented and present this _____ day of _________ in the Year Two Thousand and _______ of the old order, and of the Independence of the United States of America the Two Hundred and _________, and Year One of our Compact with Reality as each of us shall accept It and our places in It In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names…