A New Covenant*
by L. Neil Smith
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED Witnesses to the Lesson of History — that no Form of political Governance may be relied upon to secure the individual Rights of Life, Liberty, or Property — now therefore establish and provide certain fundamental Precepts measuring our Conduct toward one another, and toward others:
FIRST, that we shall henceforward recognize each individual to be the exclusive Proprietor of his or her own Existence and of all products of that Existence, holding no Obligation binding among Individuals excepting those to which they voluntarily and explicitly consent;
Freedom from Coercion
SECOND, that under no Circumstances shall we acknowledge any Liberty to initiate Force against another Person, and shall instead defend the inalienable Right of Individuals to resist Coercion employing whatever Means prove necessary in their Judgement;
Association and Secession
THIRD, that we shall hold inviolable those Relationships among Individuals which are totally voluntary, but conversely, any Relationship not thus mutually agreeable shall be considered empty and invalid;
Individuality of Rights
FOURTH, that we shall regard Rights to be neither collective nor additive in Character — two individuals shall have no more Rights than one, nor shall two million nor two thousand million — nor shall any Group possess Rights in Excess of those belonging to its individual members;
Equality of Liberty
FIFTH, that we shall maintain these Principles without Respect to any person’s Race, Nationality, Gender, sexual Preference, Age, or System of Beliefs, and hold that any Entity or Association, however constituted, acting to contravene them by initiation of Force — or Threat of same — shall have forfeited its Right to exist;
UPON UNANIMOUS CONSENT of the Members or Inhabitants of any Association or Territory, we further stipulate that this Agreement shall supercede all existing governmental Documents or Usages then pertinent, that such Constitutions, Charters, Acts, Laws, Statutes, Regulations, or Ordinances contradictory or destructive to the Ends which it expresses shall be null and void, and that this Covenant, being the Property of its Author and Signatories, shall not be Subject to Interpretation excepting insofar as it shall please them.
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*Excerpted from Chapter XVII of The Gallatin Divergence by L. Neil Smith, Del Rey Books (a division of Random House), New York, 1985, as amended by unanimous consent, October, 1986.
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