Graphing the Zeroth Constitution, Articles B and C

in voluntaryism •  2 months ago

You can find the Zeroth Constitution here, inscribed into the blockchain. It is an attempt a voluntaryist, libertarian constitution, a pre-first draft, v0

As I said in the prelude explanation the bulk of the document is an "extensive definition of supporting terms". These terms form a network as one definition depends on another, with some "terminal" definitions as leaf nodes in the network.

Simple example

I decided to try and visualize this network for a few articles. The first I looked at was the first Article and sub-article, Article B, which has only one sub article.

Zeroth Constitution - Articles and Definitions - Article B.png

We can clearly see the relationships between definitions. In particular the definition of a "Legal Person" is broken up into three characteristics, one of which depends on yet another definition.

Another example is the relationship of the term "Right Now", which is used both in the Article declaration and the definition of "Defensive Aggression". It's now a little easier to see that the only exception in the NAP and how I formulate it.

Complex example

Many of the other sub articles get very complex, especially to do with membership and contracts because there are so many specifics. Here's a far more complicated example, Article C, in 3 sub articles.

Zeroth Constitution - Articles and Definitions - Article C.png

(To view this properly you're going to need to open it. Most browsers will allow you to right click and open image in a new tab or window.)

Wow, where to begin 😅This really shows the interconnectedness of the definitions, and how complicated that even a simple attempt at a constitution can go.

There are two main blocks in this, the Property block on the right, and the Contract and Membership block on the left. There are interconnections between these two but they are most highly connected within the blocks.

Property block

Zeroth Constitution - Articles and Definitions - Article C - Property.png

The most connected node here is of course the Property definition. It is very heavily used by other definitions, which isn't surprising as it is the main concern of the Article, the constitutional basis for property's existence and right of ownership. Note that this could be considered to constitute property rights, but also note that it is the constitution which bestows them, we do not claim they are in some way "natural".

All the standard ideas of property are expressed here. It can be owned, but only by Members, who (explained below) are those who have accepted the constitution. Property is only defined for people in the Zeroth society, or put another way, only those who have accepted the constitution can have it protect their property rights. Defined are what a property is, how it can be claimed to be owned and by whom.

Zeroth Constitution - Articles and Definitions - Article C - Theft.png

Also defined is Theft and making right of a theft, in other words, Restitution.

Formal claims of ownership are those in which the property was transferred by The Previous Owner. This is done by way of a Contract. Let's look at the definitions are contracts and membership.

Zeroth Constitution - Articles and Definitions - Article C - Contract and Membership.png

The Constitution itself is defined here as a contract which is "extra-constitutional". That, we can see, means that it is a contract which allows non members and members to be signatories on (by "allowed" we obviously mean that it is recognized by the constitution). That makes sense because signing the constitution is the means to agree to it, and before signing all people are of course not members yet.

Also only Legal Persons can sign contracts. That is a subset of Human Beings as we saw earlier, those mainly who are compos mentis.


If you found this interesting people let me know what you think! 😋

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This is an interesting and very intricate system. There's probably room for some improvements. One thing I get a little hung up on is the term "defensive aggression". My gut reaction is that this is an inconsistency that would best be corrected, but on second thought wording it correctly is a challenge and you may have ended up with a particularly neatly working concept. I admit that it's more advanced than I first thought.

Thank you for all your work on this. :) I can't wait to get back into this form of what I would consider highly productive activism again, but for now I have a few other things to tend to. This one is a keeper though. What you are doing here is very good and I'm proud to have had a part in it initially before we got into the Nth Society.


Thank you, your input was invaluable! 🙌

I'd love to hear more about your thoughts on the term "defensive aggression", if you have time please expand.


My first reaction is that there is no such thing as "defensive aggression". That they are opposites. But then again, if the former term provides context for the latter I might see what it means in practice and I don't really have a better term at this point. I would probably have preferred no extra combination term be used in the first place however. That instead of creating new words, the existing ones were better ordered by definition to communicate the same thing as clear or clearer without added risk of confusions later down the line.


Interesting thoughts.

The reason I chose to go with a definition where "aggression" is qualified by "defensive" is because defending yourself or your property from aggression appears to be straight up aggression out of context. So the definition is biased (in a good way I hope) towards a legal process perspective where proof and argumentation are required to establish facts from claims.

I think if you're going this route all subcomponents and terms should be delved into as well. "Legal Person may NOT initiate Aggression against another Human Being, unless the other is Right Now Aggressing against them .." --> initiate is undefined and is a subjective act that falls within a spectrum, ie. I will kick your ass if you look at my wife the wrong way: in that I'm initiating the physical confrontation by some standards but by others you have initiated the entire exchange by looking at her the wrong way.

Your definition of "Right Now" is 'within a matter of several minutes'. That's not an automatic response. If you punch me and I sit there for a minute pondering, then realize I'm pissed off and go back to my car nearby and take out my gun and blow you away, several minutes have passed. But I had a chance to sit there and ponder and my blowing you away isn't an automatic reaction. On the flip side, if you punched me hard enough to lay me out and I come to lets say half hour later and hit you back, more than several minutes have passed.

Also a PDF version would be easier to read than the image.


Good points. But isn't that what the legal framework is for? If you look at any constitution you don't see ever term defined explicitly. Perhaps because I have take the approach to define the most important terms explicitly it implies that all should, but as your examples point out that's not practical.

About your example though. The definition of aggression does not support an interpretation of looking at someone the wrong way. I think in all cases of aggression it does basically come down to who shot first so to speak, so that matters a lot.

I agree that the definition of "right now" could be improved, I on purpose went for the first thing to hand to give the impression of what I wanted to arrive at. How would you improve that definition?

The problem with a PDF version is that I'd need to host it somewhere. doens't support drag and drop for PDFs. If you right click on the images you'll find they're actually really large so can read them better that way.

Thanks for your comments so far! 😁