Trustees-All - Constitutionalists UK
Mind Your Language
a Compendium & Glossary
of Constitutionalist Thinking relating to the ideas, terms and usage contained in the Charter, Manifesto & Related Documents


The dangers to our Earth system are now so great that systemic reform of our decision-making processes is every bit as urgent as any and all of the vital palliatives we devise to perpetuate the structures through which contemporary society is governed. That systemic reform will be hastened if we are prepared to wrestle with the deeper meanings of, not only the many words we already use perhaps too lightly, but of new words and of the new ideas they convey.

Adapting to new ideas and to the new language that carries them is at best a slow and difficult process. Power-holders and those working within an existing system have a distinct advantage because most of the ideas they use have been introduced into public discourse by earlier convention; the related language will have functioned over decades. Taking on conventional wisdom, adding fresh verbal lease and life to entrenched ideas is difficult enough, but introducing into an established environment radically new ideas with their new language in any quantity is a very different matter.

Previous generations have succeeded in this endeavour and so should we. Changing public discourse in any significant way - as will be required if a new Constitution for our land is to be established and grow - takes time, endless reflexion, and a lot of repetition by a lot of people. Getting the Charter and the many challenging new ideas it contains on to a single page articulating the basis of our movement has itself proved a challenge. For this we make no apology. We hope, however, that this Compendium-Glossary will assist your understanding of what we intend and, further, that it will encourage you to start supporting the movement by making suggestions as to how existing entries might be clarified and new ideas added.

If you have any feedback please go to Contact.


All of us are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,
Tied in a single garment of destiny.
What affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

Martin Luther King


Note to all users of this Compendium-Glossary:
The term Constitutionalist with a capital “C”, whether used as adjective or substantive, should be read as referring to the Independent Constitutionalists as generated by the Trustees-All Movement and its supporters. Entries in BOLD-ITALIC refer to entities, as opposed to concepts, already in existence.



ALTRUISM - The principle and practice of concern for the welfare of others. Altruism is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions and secular worldviews, although the concept of "others" toward whom concern should be directed can vary across cultures and religions. Altruism or selflessness is the opposite of selfishness.

AMATEUR - A lover of intrinsic value, in contrast to the professional who becomes subject to institutional drag and drive. The genuine professional would seek never to lose amateur integrity.

ANTHROPOLOGY - The science of the nature of humankind, which must have among its purposes the making of our world safe for human difference and, in respect of all life-forms, for the shared preservation of their interdependence and the fostering of their good for the universal common good. Behind this definition lie the concepts of “prior communion” and “natural inclusion” now central to various disciplines currently exploring the deep-nature of planetary life and to the Constitutionalist concept of a PEOPLE’S Political-Economy of TRUSTEESHIP in the HARMONY of NATURE (see).

ASSET OF COMMON VALUE (ACV) - Land or property of importance to a local community which is subject to additional protection from “development” under, in England, the Localism Act of 2011. Voluntary and community organisations can nominate an asset to be included on their local authority's register of assets of community value. The owner of an asset of community value must inform the local authority if they wish to sell the asset. If a group wants to buy the asset, they can trigger a moratorium for six months, to give them a chance to raise the money to purchase the asset. The owner does not have to sell to a community group. ACV listing only improves the chances of community groups being able to purchase by providing more time to raise funds. It does not require the owner to sell at a discount. Pubs (over 600 registered by 2015), parks, football stadiums, sports and leisure facilities are all typical of listed assets. For Constitutionalists, these ACV initiatives are but tiny sparks which hopefully with time will ignite into the fire of a full-blooded Trustees-All Movement. Together with the various cooperative and not-for-profit initiatives currently being experimented with, they represent a first-step, albeit miniscule compared with what is ultimately required, away from the neoliberal obsession with private, depersonalized, distanced ownership of monetary share-value for its own sake, towards a more participative, democratic and responsible trustee-management of collective assets (see THE COMMONS, COMMUNITY LAND TRUST & REAL WEALTH).

ATLAS - Together with the Pack of Cards (which conveys the notion of completeness while singling out the function of each of its constituents) and the Human Body (whose coherence we accept long before we are able to understand the wonder and interdependence of its parts), the Atlas (unlike SatNav) provides us with a clear overall and empowering picture of a geographical entity precisely because it offers us the means whereby to study the detail of each region and its relation to other regions and to the entity as a whole. Pack, Body and Atlas are all powerful metaphors of the challenge facing Constitutionalists who, in establishing the Charter, Constitution and Confederation, are required at all times to hold in mind a critical image of the whole while pursuing creative action in respect of its parts (see CHARTER, CONSTITUTION & CONFEDERATION).

AUTHENTICITY - Manifest in intrinsic worth and contingent merit NOT in attribution or provenance.


BELIEF - A willingness to act in the spirit of what convinces one, not the holding of rigid doctrine. For Constitutionalists, the traditional justification of belief in terms of “authority of origin” must now give way to “authenticity” and depth of conviction . “Attribution” must now, therefore, yield to “intrinsic worth”.

BOTH-AND - Indicative of the vital importance of maintaining creative tension between an image or description of a “whole“ and the proper location and treatment of its constituent parts, for example, the appropriate use of Palliative, Curative and Preventive action in addressing any problem.

BOUNDARIES - For Constitutionalists, boundaries have significant uses but should never be permanent. They can be employed in nurturing limited tasks or opportunities but should never hobble the emergence of a full life for individuals or systems. Boundaries must thus be seen as permeable shelters for specific short-term objectives in an ongoing process of maturation.

BUSINESS TRUST - Whether all organisations should be changed wholesale into Business Trusts remains an open question. Constitutionalists are, however, seeking to effect a general move from ownership to trusteeship through a staged transfer of control of corporations over a certain size (initially, for example, 5000 staff) to trustees mandated to speak for the communities involved in and affected by such corporations. Furthermore, widespread adoption of “network governance” approaches will be sought so that trustees and managers alike are both supported and held to account. The staged transfer of control from owners to trustees need not involve costly buy-outs since the former could be allowed to retain certain, if not exclusive, rights to dividends (see NETWORK GOVERNANCE). The option of confiscation, however, should not be ruled out.

CAFÉ-SOCIETY - An historic and recognised description of a society at ease with and eager to promote dialogue about current and future issues. It involves regular face-to-face open-minded exchange among ordinary people designed to filter out a distillate of consensus and opinion, the starting point and genuine expression of direct and participative democracy. For Constitutionalists, it will be especially important to the Trustees-All Movement to propagate a democratically-derived and universally valid understanding of a People’s Political-Economy of Trusteeship in Harmony with Nature (see DIALOGUE). Go to:

CHARTER - Holds together a systemic image of the entire Constitutionalist project. It is designed to contain that image within a single page and to be digested slowly with its entirety always in mind. The Charter is both a guide to a written constitution and a suggested protocol for its achievement. It cannot be prescriptive simply because a democratically elected Constitutional Parliament is sovereign and cannot, and should not, be bound by the Charter that led to its establishment. Thereafter, the people will monitor the Constitutional Parliament’s progress in framing a new constitutional settlement based on the Charter’s proposal for twelve new foundational blocks, as follows:

Social purpose must be added to private purpose and belief • Trust and trusteeship must replace ownership, shareholding and institutions as persons • Gift capital, free from debt and equity, must replace commoditised private money issued as debt • Land as capital for present and future generations must replace privately-owned land whose resources are extracted for income • Public-realm long-term thinking must replace competition and short-term marketisation • Co-operation and “power-with” self-organisation must replace dominant “power-over” hierarchy • Human scale must replace unlimited scale and exponential growth • A new discourse of “systemic inclusion” must replace the language of divisive power and subjugating hierarchy • The notion that we are “part of nature” must replace the Enlightenment hubris of distance from, and superiority to, nature • A Citizens’ Income and convergence towards equality must replace the Pension heist and growing inequality • The sharing economy with co-production and co-consumption must replace the current exponential-growth economy • Quality work and a proper work-life balance must replace the unending spread of slave-wage labour

CITIZENS - All political power within the Constitutional Confederation stems from and lies with its citizen-members (all persons, that is, having reached the age of majority) who, as aware, empathic and reflective individuals, enjoy equal sovereign entitlement and responsibility in the democratic organisation and governance of their collective life and affairs.

COLLABORATION - Literally a “working together”. For Constitutionalists, it is the learning and praxis of sensitive, empathic dialogue moved by “shared vision” in reaching collective fit-for-purpose decisions about complex tasks whose aim shall be to foster inclusive justice and planetary well-being for current and future generations (see INCLUSIVE JUSTICE).

COMMON GOOD - Maximizing the number of lives ever to be lived over time at a level of per-capita wealth sufficient for a good life. This makes the answer to the time-honoured ethical question as to what constitutes a good life a non-absolute and the product of an on-going moral praxis, to be determined at any given time by reference to economic and ecological circumstance. In this sense, the Common Good is not that which is right, but rather the deliberative search that makes possible the identification and definition of that which is right. It would, at any rate, appear to provide a more convincing approximation to a sense of ultimate purpose than today’s impossible goal of “ever more things for ever more people forever.” The Common Good enables people, as philosopher-economist Armartya Sen has famously put it, “to live the kind of lives they value … and have reason to value.”

(1) A crucially important concept for Constitutionalists at a time when multinationals and other wealth-fuelled entities continue their unbridled spoliation and capture of natural and cultural resources. The Commons are the shared wealth without which people and future generations of people cannot survive and thrive and from which their basic needs are met. Such shared wealth is comprised of common goods and resources, whether inherited or created, to which all citizens should have equal constitutional access. These goods and resources are said to be held in common and can include everything from natural resources to the content of cultural domains e.g. literature, music, arts, design, film, video, television, radio, information, software and heritage sites, to public goods such as public space, public education, health and the infrastructure (e.g. electricity or water delivery systems) that allow society to function, and to life commons (e.g. the human genome). “Commons” is, thus, the name given to all those things that the people decide shall be protected from appropriation by private individuals or entities, the traditional notion of ownership being replaced by that of the link between the common good or resource in question and its management through the framing by collective determination of rules governing its use. Thus to declare water a “commons” or “common resource” (as the Local Authority in Naples has recently done) is to put in place a participative democratic process which permits the collective framing of the rules governing water usage (See also COMMONS TRUST).

(2) At a time when neoliberalism has established competition as an unassailable dogma and universal practice, when triumphant footloose finance has destabilized society, when the waters of public information have been muddied and poisoned by lies and disinformation and economies plunged into debt and recession, some ambitious souls in our midst have set themselves the task of establishing an alternative motor-force and way of living. The Commons is the name now normally given to this new and alternative motor-force. The latter posits as its political foundation (indeed, the very ground wherein political activity becomes possible) the notion of cum-munus (meaning co-obligation or shared duty), the equal entitlement and duty, that is, of all citizens to participate. It is the thinking behind the various Occupy movements’ demand for “real” participative democracy and their questioning of current subverted forms of “representation” which have frequently resulted in a small number deciding for the many.

COMMONS TRUST - A legal entity responsible for protecting a shared asset that is inherited from past generations, or is presently being created, on behalf of current and future generations. Because the shared asset is common property - held in trust and not owned by anyone or anything - it is insulated from any claims by private individuals or trusts, by business and by government (see THE COMMONS).

COMMUNITY LAND TRUST (CLT) - A not-for-profit corporation that develops and stewards affordable housing, community gardens, civic buildings, commercial spaces and other community assets on behalf of a community. CLTs balance the needs of individuals to access land and maintain security of tenure with a community’s need to maintain affordability, economic diversity and local access to essential services. For Constitutionalists, CLTs are very much the embodiment of the universalist principles of Trusteeship proposed for the UK Constitution (see ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE).

CONFEDERATION - The coming together of sovereign entities (whether states, nations or other forms of sovereign community) as equal partners in a horizontal (non-federative and non-hierarchical) interactive relationship of organisation and influence for the optimum and shared solution of common problems and tasks. Such interaction of local sovereignty and shared accountability shall be governed by a written and living CONSITUTION (see) in accordance with the principle of SUBSIDIARITY (see).

CONSTITUTION - A formally accepted description of the make-up of a community and of its collective aims and outcomes, providing guidance for the achievement of the latter. A Constitution, which must be both written and living, will be found to have multiple functions and relevancies within the wider context of CONFEDERATION (see).

CONSTITUTIONAL PARLIAMENT - Elected, it is suggested every seven years, as a Supreme Court to examine, for conformity with the Constitution, legislation presented by the House of Commons or Lower House and, as trustee of said Constitution, to enact development of its living form as society evolves.

CRITICAL THINKING (CT) - A collaborative, modular, evidence based, research project to produce referenced information to promote wider understanding of the way we are governed and to develop alternative economic and political structures which might serve us and future generations better. CT has explored symptoms and elements of the current abusive economic system: banking and monetary system, the sub-prime crisis, wars of the 21st century, climate change, education, energy, and international trade to develop the foundations for a New Economy. Using systems thinking CT has developed a unified theory of Political-Economy and has mapped out principles to achieve transition from a competitive world of scarcity to a collaborative world of abundance. It aims to understand the historical context of issues from different perspectives and their current and future impacts on social cohesion, inequality, individual liberty and civilisation as we know it. Critical Thinking is currently working on hierarchy and cellular structures to establish a Political-Economy for a freer, fairer world.


DEBT - A sum outstanding representing a transparent agreement to borrow money or property with an agreed schedule for repayment or return. Debt, contrary to popular belief, predates money by millennia and from the birth of civilisation, facilitated by the generation of surplus food, has underpinned social relationships. Today’s global economy is a debt-based system that migrates wealth from the poorest to the richest and drives environmental destruction through interest on money. Abolition of the latter will re-establish debt as a social construct rather than a means of wealth extraction and control.

DEGROWTH, Sustainable - The downscaling of production and consumption that increases human wellbeing and enhances ecological conditions and equity on the planet. It calls for a future where societies live within their ecological means, with open, localized economies and resources more equally distributed through new forms of democratic institution. Such societies will no longer have to “grow or die.” Material accumulation would no longer hold a prime position in the population’s cultural imaginary. The primacy of efficiency would be substituted by a focus on sufficiency, and innovation would no longer focus on technology for technology’s sake but would concentrate on new social and technical arrangements that will enable us to live convivially and frugally. Degrowth not only challenges the centrality of GDP as an overarching policy objective but proposes a framework for transformation to a lower and sustainable level of production and consumption, a shrinking of the economic system to leave more space for human cooperation and ecosystems (see STEADY-STATE ECONOMY).

DEMOCRACY, Representative - Essentially, the exercise of democratic power through representation as opposed to direct participation or Referendum. Under most examples of this system, citizens “pool” their democratic entitlement by delegating, for the duration of a parliamentary term, voting and decision-making power to elected representatives who then act on their behalf according to a mandate. Such mandate is usually conferred by citizen support for candidates’ pre-election policy manifestos. In the more recent subverted versions of this form of democracy, where politics has become a spectator sport and entertainment, representatives have been mandated for what they are (personal traits and charisma, etc.) rather than for what they stand for. Clause 4 of the proposed Constitutionalist Charter specifically stipulates that: “All institutions will have charters with governance by representation and participation”.

DEMOCRACY, REFERENDUM or direct - A system whereby all major political and economic decisions, and not just constitutional issues, are put to direct popular vote. Switzerland, with a total population of approximately nine million, is the most obvious example of a polity where this system obtains. In that country submission to the Federal Parliament of a petition signed by at least 100,000 citizens qualifies any issue for direct decision by popular vote. Referendum Democracy has, however, frequently been criticised by supporters of greater delegated power via representation as being “innately conservative” due to the more piece-meal and blunter exercise of democratic expression it occasions.

DEMOCRACY, Participative - The Political-Economy, as foreseen in the Charter and subsequently enshrined in a written and living Constitution, must fully recognise, value and protect the dignity and identity of all citizens and the contribution of each to the creation and management of the common good. Participative democracy can take many forms from its purest expression in decision by referendum to citizen juries, deliberative polls and consensus conferences. Clause 4 of the proposed Constitutionalist Charter specifically stipulates that “All institutions will have charters with governance by representation and participation”.

DEVOLUTION - In essence and for the United Kingdom, devolution is a way of enabling Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to have forms of self-government within the United Kingdom. The UK Parliament has conferred various sorts of legislative powers on the elected Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales and Northern Ireland Assembly to do this. In the Constitutionalist scheme of things, however, devolution would no longer be necessary since the four constituent sovereign nations of the United Kingdom would be equal partners in a Constitutional Confederation.

DIALOGUE - The purpose of dialogue is not to defeat a differing view but rather to understand better another's perspective. It allows for the solution of problems that may otherwise seem intractable. By locating underlying assumptions and values and by identifying points of overlap, building blocks for agreement can be assembled (see CAFÉ-SOCIETY). Some aids to successful dialogue - the act of collaborative thinking - would be:
• Awareness that dialogue’s ultimate goal is resolution and reconciliation • Holding conviction tentatively • Valuing boundaries while keeping them permeable • Rejecting dogma while retaining the poetry and wisdom that so often inspires it • Cultivating high tolerance for ambiguity • Welcoming newcomers at their point of entry • Being mindful that fragility is a mark of value while its opposite is pretentious • Knowing that reality lies in the second look once first-glance prejudice has begun to dissipate • Acknowledging the inclusive and prior unity of all things by monitoring the egotism and tribalism within oneself • Understanding that Servant Leadership is central to all educational skill • Seeking progress towards a goal without minding who gets the credit.

DOGMA - Rigidity of view in contrast to the incompleteness of wisdom applied afresh. Even so, all dogma needs to be carefully screened for seeds of intrinsic value and wisdom.

DUTY - The imperative that influences an individual’s action regardless of whether they want it to or not. I may have an inclination or wish to act toward another in a certain way. Duty should determine whether I do act in that way or not and that action may or may not coincide with my inclination. In essence a moral person knows or can deduce what is good and bad and acts accordingly even when it is to their personal disadvantage or involves a good action directed toward someone they do not like or even towards someone who will not apply the same moral principle reciprocally. The civilised human is the person in whom personal desire equates with a keen sense of what others legitimately expect of her or him. Such individuals are commonly described as empathic or empathetic. At the public level, and certainly for Constitutionalists, the reduction of morality to legality is corrosive of society and leads to a form of quasi-libertarianism bereft of true morality. When the “State” is defined as the “Economy” and the small print of Contract Law allowed to displace the “indefinables” enshrined in Common Law - inter alia trust, reciprocity, reliability and common-sense reasoning - much will be lost: not least democracy itself (whose letter can be read in written consensus - a constitution - but whose spirit derives from the attributes of civilised human behaviour just described) and with it the protective umbrella of law that aspires to moral validity and is equally available, and applicable, to all.

EARTH JURISPRUDENCE - A philosophy of law that sees the Earth as the proximate teacher of a Great Jurisprudence in which the universe, not humanity, is the primary lawgiver. Where our technological culture and skills tend often to persuade us that humans are the masters of all things, Earth Jurisprudence invites humanity to engage as rational and loving participants in something much greater than itself.

ECONOMIC RENT - to follow

ECONOMICS - The term Economics comes from the Ancient Greek meaning House Custom or Law and by extension The Rules for Good Household Management. Political-Economy was the earlier name for the subject, but economists in the late 19th century suggested Economics as a shorter term for Economic Science to establish itself as a separate discipline outside of Political Science and other Social Sciences. Very significant economic change is sought by Constitutionalists. There must be a major shift, albeit in stages, from the Market Economy as currently conceived and practised to an Earth Economy where:
Consumption would give way to Preservation • Obsolescence to Optimum Use • Property & Ownership to Maximised Responsible Access • Infinite Growth to Sustainable-Steady-State • Competition to Collaboration & Cooperation • Labour for Income to Optimum Mechanisation • Scarcity to Abundance & Equal Opportunity • Efficiency to Managed Sufficiency

EDUCATION - Literally “a leading out”. It is viewed by more recent thinkers as a process of exploration whereby individuals and groups are led out of themselves in order to discover and develop potential, vocation and paths to fulfilment.

EDUCATION FOR DEMOCRACY or CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION - For Constitutionalists, Education for Democracy means education in human nature and in every major aspect of the planet that humans share with all other life forms. It must include a thorough understanding of democracy and representation, of their purpose and proper functioning (beyond just voting in general elections once every five or seven years) as well as the acquisition of democratic skills (awareness, curiosity, honest questioning, an ability to think for oneself and to listen to others) whereby each future citizen can prepare for playing her/his part in creating the common good and in bearing a share of humankind’s special responsibility for planetary trusteeship and regeneration. In today’s world, Education for Democracy will inevitably involve much unlearning for many among us.

EMPATHY - Deeper than sympathy, it is the ability to see through the eyes of another. A key human virtue for Constitutionalists, since, together with awareness and a capacity for reflection, empathy is a defining attribute of our common humanity and, if developed sufficiently, could lead to a paradigm change in human thinking and behaviour by radically transforming the unbridled individualism and self-centred greed that currently besets human society.

ENCLOSURE - The legal process in England of enclosing a number of small landholdings to create one larger farm. Once enclosed or “inclosed”, the land, whose use was now restricted to the owner, ceased to be common land for communal use. In England and Wales the term is also used for the process that ended the ancient system of arable farming in open fields. Under enclosure, land is fenced-off (enclosed) and deeded or entitled to one or more owners. The process of enclosure began to be a widespread feature of the English agricultural landscape during the 16th century. By the 19th century, unenclosed commons had become largely restricted to rough pasture in mountainous areas and to relatively small parts of the lowlands. For Constitutionalists, “land grab” - the cutting off of space from common service or access - has by now become a widespread almost universal practice. It is based on the profoundly faulty assumption of a God-given or natural right to hold property beyond a continuing accountable contribution to the common good (see THE COMMONS & LAND).

EVOLUTIONARY TRANSFORMATION - The deep, underlying and imperceptible process of evolutionary change that we need to acknowledge and be constantly mindful of in exercising our trusteeship of planet Earth.

EXISTENTIAL THREAT - An expression frequently used, somewhat loosely, by the media to describe anything from Iran’s threat to Israel to the impact of Greece’s exit on the Euro. In contrast, for Constitutionalists, it holds a more literal and universal meaning. It is the imminent, pervasive and exponentially increasing danger which threatens planetary life today - the possibility of serious damage to human wellbeing on a global scale, of the destruction or crippling of modern civilisation and ultimately of the extinction of our species. It is not so much extraterrestrial sources of speciel extinction - asteroids or hostile intelligence form another planet - that Constitutionalists are immediately concerned about, as man-made sources of extinction - destruction of human and animal habitat, uncontrolled proliferation of nanotech, biological and nuclear weapons - all of which are theoretically avoidable given the wise deployment of human agency.

FAITH - A profound sense of the enduring wisdom and relevance of something that cannot readily be proven.

FEDERATION - Specifically what Constitutionalists seek to avoid (see CONFEDERATION). Federation fails to recognise the natural interdependence of all members of, and groups within, our species and our shared responsibility for planetary replenishment.

FORCE FIELD - The part of any space where identifiable interdependent forces exert an effect. Force-field analysis continues to yield influential developments in the field of social science. It provides a framework for looking at the factors (forces) that influence a situation, originally social situations. It looks at forces that are either driving movement toward a goal (helping forces) or blocking such movement (hindering forces). For Constitutionalists, the Political-Economy must be viewed in the context of planet Earth and beyond - the force field of all created things, living and non-living, in constant synchronistic and oscillating interdependence.

FRAGILITY - For Constitutionalists, a mark of value. That which is not fragile is pretentious. Studies of Earth Tectonics show that fractures, flaws, and weaknesses are as much a part of the vitality of living systems as strength and perfection. They are what allow systems to evolve, regenerate, and avoid cataclysmic revolutions. By the same token, we are all familiar with the fragility that marks human life at its beginning, its end, and at places in between. We need to take this knowledge seriously and to honour it. It is a call to humility, since it challenges any success-driven, perfectionist world-view much as the theory of plate tectonics challenges the field of geology.

FRUGALITY - The quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the consumption of non-renewable resources and of avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance. In behavioural science, frugality has been defined as the tendency to acquire goods and services in a restrained manner, and as the resourceful use of already-owned economic goods and services to achieve a longer-term goal. Frugality is specifically relevant to the exercise of restraint and circumspection in relation to the freedom to be, to say and to have. It is vital to the case for Steady-State Economics in a world whose population is growing.

GLOBAL TABLES, Society-wide - An initiative, based on an existing London Global Open Table model, that seeks to generate public interest in, and discourse about, global issues and to promote a world-centric (as opposed to the prevailing nation-centric) approach to human and planetary affairs (see SIMPOL). This initiative in public dialogue is part of a country-wide Café-Society Movement (see CAFÉ-SOCIETY) that Constitutionalists are promoting through local face to face meeting-points: e.g. DemoCafé-Camden, Hexham Debates, Putney Debates, Socrates Dialogues, Occupy Initiatives, Town Meetings.

GOD - The human metaphor for a vocative, evocative, and provocative force, expressive of the human need to give meaning, coherence and purpose to all things and to existence (see also ALLAH & JEHOVA).

GOVERNANCE - A theoretical concept referring to the actions and processes by which stable practices and organisations and seemingly free activities arise and persist. More specifically, the processes of interaction and decision-making among the actors involved in a collective problem that lead to the creation, reinforcement, or reproduction of social norms and institutions, and thereafter to the continuous monitoring of the proper implementation and functioning of such arrangements. It includes mechanisms for holding those responsible for implementation to account and for balancing their powers, their primary duty being to enhance the prosperity and viability of the entity governed. For Constitutionalists “good” governance must now involve a recasting over time of civilisation in harmony with nature while utilising the benefits of technology and knowledge not available to previous civilisations (see TRUSTEESHIP).

GRACE - Uninhibited acceptance of persons and situations even when discomforted by them. It leaves others at ease and feeling accepted, most poignantly within otherwise difficult circumstances.

HIERARCHY, Fixed - A feudalistic top-down power structure for decision-making based on fixed status. Fixed hierarchy emerged long ago from the domination of nature that, through the application of technology, led to the creation of surplus, leading over time to specialisation and complexity. The subsequent evolving of power asymmetry across has in turn led to increasing concentration of power and wealth into the hands of the few, leaving the majority to compete for a dwindling share of the diminishing wealth of the planet. For Constitutionalists, the latter must now give way to mandated functional structures based on the temporary allocation of responsibilities that allow for the horizontal exercise of skills to achieve efficiencies beneficial to all. The participative basis of the Trustees-All Movement is precisely a moving away from permanent hierarchical structures with their culture of tenure, status-defence, authoritative opinion and present knowledge towards a democratic praxis of shared learning and exploration (see OVERSIGHT & SELF-ORGANISATION)

HOPE - Is not a feeling, it is a decision, a choice we make based on what we call faith or moral conscience, or on whatever most deeply motivates us to move on with meaning and purpose.

HUMAN AGENCY - Humanity is a species that has evolved consciousness, awareness and a capacity for reflection and for empathic envisioning and thereby, compared to “instinctive” creatures, some measure of “freedom” and with it a capacity for choice. In this respect, humans are “moral” creatures capable of both good and evil and, in this sense also, very new girls and boys on the evolutionary block. This is what is meant by “agency”. Most people would maintain that humans are now capable of influencing the evolutionary trajectory of their species; others have gone so far as to suggest that humans can now exercise purposive control of that trajectory. Whatever the case, for Constitutionalists, humans are responsible in some measure for the consequences of what they do - as they make their bed, so shall they lie upon it, as the saying goes - and this lays upon them a duty of planetary trusteeship: to recognise our species’ interdependence with all other living creatures and to strive to protect and replenish the ecology upon which all life depends.

HUMAN VIRTUE - Humility, generosity, patience and restraint, whereby humans are able to develop a sensitive awareness of each other and, in the context of an evolving planetary ecology, of their relationship with all other species.

IMPARTIAL, or NON-PARTISAN - Said of the Independent Constitutionalists UK and of their candidates who are independent of any of the current official political parties or of any single political or economic doctrine.

INCOME, Basic - Also known as Citizens’ Income or National Dividend. Behind this notion are the moral belief in the right of everyone to share in the gift of life and the economic belief that some sort of right based upon citizenship – rather than upon one’s relationship to the production process or one’s family status – is called for as part of the just solution to social problems in advanced societies. Basic Income, conceived as a universal and unconditional, if modest, continuous stream of income granted throughout life to all members of a political community, is just the simplest and most striking element in an expanding set of social policy proposals inspired by this belief and currently debated, if not already implemented. (BIEN – Basic Income European Network & Citizens’ Income Trust in UK).

INCLUSIVE JUSTICE - It is important to hold both these words together in order to differentiate global or ubiquitous manifestations of justice from particular applications such as ‘disability justice’ or the cry for recompense after a criminal act. The history of rebellion is rife with excess and burnout. By contrast, new generations have a distinctive commitment to be both reflective and activist, to temper principles with pragmatism, to be in service of others especially when in charge, and to learn from history while bringing very new realities into being. Constitutionalists consider that inclusive justice will provide both necessary and sufficient grounds for achieving critical mass in promoting emergent collaboration for, and widespread participation in, a cross-discipline, inter-generational conversation about the inner work and outward expression of sustainable, resilient social change, as we seek the intergenerational flourishing of people and planet.

INCLUSIVITY - Awareness of planetary interdependence, which recognises that ‘self-identity’ dynamically includes, and is included in, the receptive presence of space as infinite, intangible omnipresence. ‘The environment is everywhere that includes me as a dynamic locality somewhere’. We are not ‘on the map’ as displaced observers, we are ‘in the map’ as included participants.

INDEPENDENT CONSTITUTIONALISTS UK - Frequently referred to as the Constitutionalists, we are a registered ‘Party’, providing the official link to a citizen Movement, called Trustees-All (see), to a Constitutional Parliament, to a living and written Constitution and to Confederate Governance for the United Kingdom. Said governance shall be set in a pattern of devolution, subsidiarity, mutual accountability and allocated responsibility and shall serve the peoples of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - with scope in time for Eire to join. Our project implies a fundamental shift from ‘power-over’ to ‘power-with’.

INSCENDANCE - In contrast to “ascendance”, inscendance connotes an invitation to move into the immensity of the natural world in all its beauty and terror, to feel and embrace the livingness of matter itself, to awaken and to KNOW that we are at home on the Earth, that we are the universe reflecting on itself. Because our natural genetic inheritance is a deep bonding with all living species and non-living components of the universe, we can restore our 'emotional connection’ with the processes of life embedded in the emergence of the Cosmos itself. Knowing we are born of the creativity of stars, galaxies, and the great flaring-forth, guides us toward evolutionary transformation. It should also strengthen us in facing the enormous challenge of exploring and bringing about the collective mindshift and systemic change that will be required if existential threat to our species and its habitat is to be avoided (see EXISTENTIAL THREAT).

INTEGRAL CONSCIOUSNESS - Connotes an awareness of the relevance of aspects of creativity and life beyond our grasp. It will have a major part to play in helping us to temper our human hubris and maintain a humble sense of proportion in all things.

INTEGRAL ECOLOGY - The attitude that acknowledges evolutionary origin, contemporary interrelationships and humanity’s legacy for ensuing life. It is our growing awareness of the integral and interdependent nature of all aspects of ecology that will help develop a necessary wider perspective on the nature of human society and on what it is to be human. We can already see the dawning of this new awareness as progressively we abandon our static constructs of holarchies and holons and move into the more fluid and less predictable world of NATURAL INCLUSION and PRIOR UNITY (see).

Interest is money paid by a borrower to a lender for a credit or similar liability. Important examples in today’s world are bond yields, interest paid for bank loans, and returns on savings. When money is borrowed, interest is typically calculated as a percentage of the principal, the amount owed to the lender. The percentage of the principal that is paid over a certain period of time (typically a year) is called the interest rate. With the commoditisation of money and the introduction of the market into its management, interest rates have become market prices that are determined by supply and demand. They are generally positive because loanable funds are scarce. Conventional money theory distinguishes interest from profit, the former being paid to a lender, the latter to an owner.

The lending of "food money" was commonplace in Middle Eastern civilizations as far back as 5000 BC. They regarded interest as legitimate since acquired seeds and animals could "reproduce themselves". The Jewish religion, on the other hand, took a rather different view (based on the custom of the dowry deposit wherein the silver being used in exchange for livestock or grain could not multiply of its own) and condemned interest as usurious. The Catholic Church in time followed suit. In 325, the First Council of Nicaea forbade the clergy from engaging in usury (defined as lending on interest above 1 percent per month), and subsequent Ecumenical Councils in the ninth century extended this regulation to the laity. In the medieval economy, loans were normally a consequence of necessity (bad harvests, fire in a workplace) and, under those conditions, it was considered morally reproachable to charge interest. It was also considered morally dubious, since no goods were produced through the lending of money, and thus need not be compensated, unlike other activities with direct physical output such as blacksmithing or farming. For the same reason, interest has often been looked down upon in Islamic civilization, with almost all scholars agreeing that the Qur'an explicitly forbids charging interest.

Today’s global economy is a debt-based system that migrates wealth from the poorest to the richest and drives inequality and environmental destruction through interest on money. For Constitutionalists, two things are important: (1) abolition of interest in the form of usurious additionals, and (2) the re-establishment of a substantial portion of the banking system as a social utility whereby debt becomes a social construct serving the real economy rather than a means of wealth extraction and control. So first, a clear distinction needs to be established between agreed administrative charges (which may include legitimate transaction and risk-assessment costs and default-insurance premiums), on the one hand, and, on the other, usurious additions (for example, opportunity costs due to time-value loss - see MONEY) that banks have no business to be charging. Secondly, for the most part, banks do not “own” the money they loan. Loaned money (i.e. the bank debt which appears as a credit entry on the borrower’s account) is created by banks “ex nihilo” - “out of thin air” in almost unlimited quantities. Nor, since deregulation and subsequent mass privatisation when they were turned into for-profit businesses, have banks been bound to maintain any reasonable proportion between the monies they hold on deposit and those they loan as debt/credit.

With the gradual commoditisation of money, their prime, if not only, concern has been to maximize returns to shareholders. The crisis of 2008 demonstrated the total failure of the new-style privatised banks to discharge two of any bank’s major functions: risk-assessment and safeguarding depositors’ funds. Since the crisis their failure to discharge the third major banking function - that of providing much-needed credit to individuals and economic operators - has been due not, as they frequently allege, to risk aversion or to marginally increased reserve requirements, but simply to the fact that with the interest rate at 0.5% lending is no longer profitable! Constitutionalists believe therefore it is time for major change (see DEBT, MONEY Sovereign & USURY).

INTUITION - The only way of developing a feeling about a system too complex for rational grasp or immediate explanation. It is essential for holding both-and in their creative tension.


KAIROS - In Greek, Chronos represents the “quantitive” kind of time with which we are all familiar as in: "What time is it?" or "Will we have enough time?" Kairos, by contrast, connotes the other “qualitative” kind of time less often mentioned: the right, opportune or perfect moment for something to be said or done. What is said or done must be as “right” as we can get it, but, of equal importance, it must be said and done at the “right” time. Constitutionalists, as their title implies, believe that Kairos has come for a constitutional settlement for the United Kingdom. The coming of Kairos is more often than not illustrated by more frequent reference to certain related key concepts and words, as in this case: People’s Political-Economy, devolution, subsidiarity, systemic change and so forth.

KINGDOM OF GOD - Together with the Tawhid for Muslims and Shalom for Jews, the Kingdom of God for Christians is expressive of an aspiration to universal justice and peace, and to a coherent society for humanity such as is sought by Constitutionalists in proposing the establishment of a People’s Political-Economy of Trusteeship in Harmony with Nature.

LABELS - For Constitutionalists, labels must be avoided altogether or used only with great caution, albeit acknowledging their interim value. They are handy, quick answers to basic questions like: what is this all about? or, what does so-and-so do? But, more often than not, they prove to be blunt communication tools, implying definitive judgments which then function as barriers to knowledge causing us to agree or dismiss out of hand rather than observing and considering further (see PARADOX).

LAND - We are born onto the land with the implicit right to access its bounty (resources, flora, fauna and other natural phenomena). Denial of access to such bounty through conquest, enclosure and a legal system that protects "owners" rights, means that in the UK less than 4% of that bounty is available to “non-owners”, that is, to the public which comprises the vast majority of us. Land is God- or nature-given and as such “inalienable”: it can belong to no individual, corporation or state. We are custodians of the land with an implicit and shared right to enjoy its bounty but not at the expense of future generations. We are all trustees of the land on which we live, not its owners (see COMMONS). This is the essential thinking behind the LVT (Land Value Tax - a charge levied on “ users” in respect of the community-created value of land) which Constitutionalists believe should now replace tax on income from work.

LITERACY, Ecological -
Ecoliteracy demands that we consider ecological systems, together with an awareness of how society operates within natural imperatives, as an educational staple. By failing to include ecological perspectives in education, students are taught that ecology is unimportant. The concept of ‘ecological or systemic literacy’ as defined in the 1990s has created a new emphasis on the need for education to impart an understanding of the interdependences between natural processes and human ways of living. Thus the educational horizon and curriculum need to be extended to include a new value - that of “the earth’s wellbeing”. Sustainability - or preferably, to use the more up-top-date term, replenishment - connotes a requirement, both qualitative and quantitative, conditioning our human capacity to survive over time. Its qualitative characteristics (which are hard, though not impossible to define and measure, and will present a very real challenge to human consensus-building) may be summed up as “human flourishing” and “planetary well-being”. Quantitatively, however, the state of the earth’s ecosystem, in terms of its natural capital and ecological carrying capacity, can now be measured with foot-printing tools.

Constitutionalists are by no means alone in their insistence on the biological and ecological imperative for human society to exist within the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. Ecological literacy provides the basis for integrated thinking about sustainability and replenishment, thereby fostering a frame of mind, ethic, and type of practice that will support the prioritisation of ecological imperatives. An understanding of the “principles of organization” that ecosystems have evolved to sustain the web of life - is the first step on the road to sustainable replenishment. The second step is the move towards ecodesign: we need to apply our ecological knowledge to the fundamental redesign of our technologies and social institutions, so as to bridge the current misfit between human design and the sustainable replenishment of nature’s ecosystems. Eco-literacy involves digging deep into the roots of our cultural assumptions and unlearning or, at the very least, reworking the flawed conceptual apparatus of ecological neglect. Our society has created industries, processes, programs and institutions that are destroying the ecosystem’s ability to support life. This unsustainable and reckless action is the direct result as much of a lack of ecological understanding as of a needless loss of faith in human agency. Ecological literacy aims to replace fragmentary thinking with new cognitive and social capacities necessary for the design of sustainable ways of living (see REPLENISHMENT).

MANIFESTO - The public declaration of Constitutionalist values, and proposed policies and actions, written specifically for voters, educators and media. It prepares, step by step, the better understanding of the necessarily tightly-worded and evolving Charter. Manifesto and Charter must be taken together in describing the democratic process for the establishment of a Constitutional Parliament.

MEDIA, Role of - Although the Charter makes no reference to the role of the media under a Constitutionalist settlement, it is clear that the Constitution itself will need to provide a definition of that role and of the means of its superintendence. Compulsory membership of an Independent Press Standard Organisation, under its own Trustee Charter, might be one approach, to be combined with legislation setting limits on media ownership. In any event, for Constitutionalists, the media will need to function, among other things, as purveyors of trusted information for citizens in the public square and not be free, as currently, to shape that square and the character of the information supplied with little or no redress and accountability. Abusive recourse to the principle of “Freedom of the Press and Media” must be seen for what it has now become: the arbitrary exercise of power by the media. A balance must be struck which avoids the extremes of a censoring state on the one hand and a democratically irresponsible, supine, vested-interest serving media on the other.

METANOIA - For Constitutionalists, a fundamental mindset change which recognises humankind’s ‘earthiness’ and total interdependence with all things created, thereby escaping the human conceits of individualism. It necessarily implies repudiation of both the prevailing culture of socially acceptable cheating and of the unjust ‘power-over’ arrangements, enfolded within unaccountable structures, which currently serve the vested interests of a privileged minority.

METAPHOR - Leads the mind into the possible range of use and away from opinion based on the first level of prejudgment. Constitutionalists seek in their evolving documents to be alert both to the explicatory power of metaphor as well as to the limits of its symbolic function.

MONEY - In the current economic system, money is founded on an erroneous understanding of its origins, purpose and value. Fiat money as in common use today (i.e. any money declared by a government to be legal tender) has no intrinsic value, but because it attracts interest, it is deemed to have a "time value" (i.e. that, due to its potential earning capacity, money available at the present time is worth more than the same amount in the future). The combination of interest and fractional reserve lending (whereby a bank accepts deposits and holds reserves that are a fraction of the amount of its deposit liabilities) has resulted in 97% of the UK money supply being created “ex nihilo” (out of thin air) as bank debt. Money should be a token, a representation of economic (as opposed to “time”) value, and above all NOT an artificial means of creating wealth and worth where no such wealth and worth exist to be measured. In our time, not only has an unregulated and private banking sector been handed control of the public utility that is money, but it has been progressively allowed by a series of compliant and democratically unaccountable governments to steal money’s representative function and, along with that function, access to most of the wealth that others, i.e. everyone else, has worked to create. For Constitutionalists, palliative reform of the system will not suffice; there must a systemic restructuring wherein money comes to be viewed as a means of transaction, not as a commodity. It must become Sovereign, be controlled and made to function, that is, in the public interest; it is far too important to be left to the discretion of democratically unaccountable institutions like banks. We need a neutral money system that doesn't allow those with more money than they need, or who create it from nothing (banks), to exploit those who need it (see DEBT & INTEREST).

MONEY, Sovereign - Is legal tender issued by a state authority, in Europe by a state’s independent central bank, or the ECB. The counterpart to sovereign money is commercial bank money, i.e. demand deposits on current bank account. Bank money or debt is created whenever a bank grants a loan, or overdraft, or buys stocks and bonds or real estate, and pays for this by crediting the customers’ or sellers’ accounts. These credits need to be backed by sovereign central-bank money, but only to a residual 2.5 per cent. The fractional reserve system is not ‘sovereign’. What then would a sovereign money system look like? It would be based upon all of the three components of a state’s monetary prerogative: 1. Determining a country’s standard currency unit; 2. Issuing the money denominated in that unit in quantities determined by an independent money creation committee; 3. Realising for the public purse the profit that accrues from creating new money.

MUTUALITY - Interchanged, reciprocal ability to respect others and interact with them even when differences remain – a fundamental attribute of interdependence. We are reminded of ‘Namaste’: an Eastern salutation or universal bow exchanged in mutual respect, even before knowledge or prejudice plays on the mind.

NATURAL INCLUSION - The term describes the underlying reason for developing a comprehensive new evolutionary philosophy, which covers both the receiving and the giving aspects of Nature, including human nature. This new philosophy requires some re-thinking of what we mean by terms like ‘space’, ‘energy’, ‘time’ and ‘matter’. Current predominant thinking, based on abstract human perceptions of space and physical boundaries, attempts to define natural phenomena, including ourselves, too rigidly, as independent objects that are completely separate from each other and their spatial surroundings. Hence both the receiving and the giving aspects of Nature are overlooked and we stumble far short of faithfully representing how life truly is and how we truly are.

NETWORK GOVERNANCE - In essence, the Subsidiarity, Devolution and Confederation, which combine all actors in an ongoing relationship of mutual respect and accountability. Network governance must thus underwrite any confidence we may have in the shared possibilities and expectations of our species to provide responsible trusteeship of people and planet.

The term “open source” derives its meaning from usage in the software industry in connection with computer programs whose source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from the original design. By analogy, open-source economics involves the provision of platforms for open collaboration in the production of a widening range of goods and services of all kinds beyond software as such. Typically, open-source economics includes work or investment undertaken without express expectation of return. Products or services are generated through collaboration between users and developers there being not necessarily any direct individual ownership of the enterprise itself. In the context of open source hardware design, for example, digital designs are shared for free and then anyone with access to digital manufacturing technologies (e.g. RepRap 3-D printers) can replicate the product for the cost of materials. The original sharer gains feedback and, potentially, improvements on the original design from the peer-production community. There is now significant evidence that such sharing creates enormous value. As of recently there were no known commercial organisations outside of software that employed open-source economics as a structural base. Today, however, there are an increasing number of organisations that provide services and products (or at least instructions for the building thereof) that use an open-source economic model.

The structure of “open source” is based on user participation. The “networked environment” thus created makes possible a new modality of organizing production: radically decentralised, collaborative, and non-proprietary; based on sharing resources and outputs among widely distributed, loosely connected individuals who cooperate with each other without relying on either market signals or managerial commands. Constitutionalists are keenly aware of the enormous potential of open-source activity to combine with other emerging economic modes - Peer-to-Peer and Sharing, for example - in loosening the destructive grip of neoliberal consumerism. They are equally aware of the potential dangers, absent the much-needed restraint, wisdom and shared vision of a Trusteeship culture for people and planet, of moving towards a world where the “internet of things” at “zero marginal costs” occupies a significant place.

OVERSIGHT - An undergirding and NOT a ruling-over. Appropriate oversight is essential to the proper discharge of responsibility in functional hierarchy. Its purpose is not to exercise control but to “empower and enable” within a pattern of mutual respect and accountability (see HIERARCHY, Fixed).

PALLIATIVE - The care given to mitigate the symptoms of suffering at the approach of death, or the interim repair of a dying system. Constitutionalists see palliatives as a necessary and valuable means of interim reform. The main focus of their attention, however, must be curative action which seeks not only to treat symptoms but at the same time to eliminate their cause, to correct, that is, the root faults within our complex system. Most important of all will be preventive action upstream which seeks to pre-empt dysfunction through fit-for-purpose system design. The political implications of this for restructuring our financial and banking systems should be evident.

PARADOX - A statement contrary to common usage which, at first, appears to be self-contradictory because it often contains two statements that are both true but, in general, seem not to be true at the same time. Paradoxes are not just witty or amusing statements; they can have serious implications because they often sum up the main ideas of a work or theory. For Constitutionalists, paradoxes are important - they should encourage us to pause, consider and then carve out meaning, rather than have it fed to us on a silver platter (see LABELS).

PARTICIPATION - The integral nature of planet Earth (i.e. the interdependence of its every component with all others) needs to recognised and honoured by humankind. For Constitutionalists, this is the essential justification for all citizens having both the right and responsibility to cast their vote and to exercise their best talents. Their participation as trustees is key to INTEGRAL ECOLOGY, NATURAL INCLUSION, SUBSIDIARITY and CONFEDERATION (see DEMOCRACY, Participative).

PHANTOM PARTY - A non-institutionalised but officially registered organisation giving formal expression to the interdependence of individual citizens acting voluntarily in support of the People’s Political-Economy of Trusteeship in Harmony with Nature.

PEOPLE'S Political-Economy of TRUSTEESHIP in HARMONY with NATURE - Where we, the people, as voters, activists, trustees and members of the general public, shall have sovereign and democratic determination in the management of our collective affairs through control of a truly representative political system in the shape of an elected Constitutional Parliament, Lower House and Government who shall in their turn be responsible for the management of all aspects of economy (inter alia money, business and finance) and therein be fully accountable to us. Economist Will Hutton, for example, in his recent How Good We Can Be, expresses his belief that “Brits have got it within them to be a 'smart society' capable of converting neoliberalism into stakeholder cooperative capitalism”. For Constitutionalists, trusteeship not only applies to the management of the “commons” and public domain within our frontiers, but, crucially in a globalised world, to the management and stewardship by humankind of all planetary resources. The 2015 Paris conference on the climate-change crisis should serve as a reminder to us of how urgent this broadening of our horizons from nation-centricity to planetary vision has become. Jeremy Rifkin leads many appeals to humanity to quit our backward-looking predatory and competitive mindset and to begin to see ourselves for what we are now able to be - empathic, collaborating Homo sapiens. This new emphasis should prove a source of encouragement to us in facing this challenge.

POSSESSION - Man-made laws of ownership lie at the root of unearned income and the insidious, exponentially increasing rich/poor divide that such ownership perpetuates. Possession that goes beyond or falls short of a continuing contribution to common good is unacceptable in a community of ‘Trustees-All’. Pope Francis in the encyclical Laudato Si asserts: “God rejects every claim to absolute ownership”.

PREJUDICE - We all have it and must consciously acknowledge it, for the reality of a situation becomes clearer at second glance once experience has dispelled first-glance prejudices.

PRESENT GOOD - Means understanding today’s responsibilities and needs in the context of INTEGRAL CONSCIOUSNESS (see).

PRINCIPLED-PRAGMATISM - All too frequently, noble purposes and good ideas are rejected on grounds of infeasibility or of their being “idealistic”, and this is particularly true of a people’s Political-Economy. Yet humans are by nature idealists since, beyond habituated instinctive action, all human endeavour is motivated and moved by ideas, ideals or visions of some sort. “Constitutionalist” humans are no exception, which is why at the very core of their project lies the notion of 'principled-pragmatism': the art of combining what is desirable with what is possible, of balancing our reaching for right purpose with identifying and tackling the constraints of our finite condition.

PRIOR UNITY - For Constitutionalists, the prior unity that is reflected in every dimension of the world and human existence is the essential ground of their entire project. In this usage “prior” does NOT mean “previous”, nor does it refer to some past “golden age” of unity on Earth. It is, rather, the a priori unity of existence - the primal, irreducible state of being in which the world and all things continually arise and pass away. This original or prior state of being is, by its very nature, one and indivisible, regardless of the apparently separate happenings that arise within it. For over one hundred years, physicists have been demonstrating in ever more sophisticated ways, that so-called “matter” is a unified continuum of energy, not merely an assembly of separate particles. At the same time, biologists have shown that the genetic structure of the human being is almost identical throughout the entire human species, and that apparent differences between the world’s races are very superficial. A clear awareness of the truth of prior unity enables intelligent collective action - action that starts from the principle that prior unity is already so, rather than action that simply “works towards”, or struggles to establish, unity. In other words the “real” or “realistic” politics of our time must come from understanding and acting in accordance with how things really are.

RADICAL - That which is radical is rooted in the wisdom that reaches out to all parts and seeks INCLUSIVE JUSTICE (see also INTEGRAL ECOLOGY).

REAL DEMOCRACY - A system of shared governance in which dignity and distinct identity are given to all creatures.

REAL WEALTH - “There is No Wealth but Life” said John Ruskin. For Constitutionalists, wealth lies not so much in any intrinsic worth or good of the thing possessed as in the ability of the possessor to derive worth or good from it.

REFERENDUM - A general vote by an electorate on a single political question that has been referred to them for direct decision. In practice in most modern democracies - with the notable exception of Switzerland - referenda are reserved for community consultation on major issues only. For Constitutionalists, by definition, all changes to the written Constitution itself would need to be referred directly back to the electorate following preparation and proposals by a Constitutional Parliament (see DEMOCRACY, Referendum or direct). This is the thinking behind the notion of a living written Constitution.

REGENERATION, Political-Economy of - As a more just and fairer ethical and participatory economy is sought, Constitutionalists are concerned to explore and institute into common usage concepts and language that are more commensurate with the enormous task, and essentially new challenge, that now faces humanity. The by-now slightly stale “Sustainable development” and “Stewardship”, for example, will need to be replaced by the more relevant, more ambitious, and, above all, more inspiring vocabulary of “Human flourishing”, “Intergenerational Equity” and “Replenishment and Regeneration”.

RELIGION - Literally “a binding together”. Although unable to prove the existence or otherwise of one God or indeed of many, we have a keen awareness that “within” ourselves there exist intimations of transcendence, of something bigger beyond the everyday world around us that through our senses we strive progressively to know. The very fact that such intimations exist at all differentiates our species from animal and vegetable existence, and makes us responsible in a unique way, the new girl/boy on the evolutionary block, as it were. We appear to have evolved as believers, as creatures who need to give meaning and direction to their lives in order to be able to survive. Whether we like it or not, whoever we are, in some shape or form, belief factors into our everyday functioning. Some of us create and indulge such belief alone, while others, perhaps thus far the majority of us, choose to become members of a shared system of belief, often, a religious belief. Indeed until quite recently institutionalised religion was virtually the only expression of revealed or created meaning which people would come together to celebrate in ritual. Today this is far from being the case. Religion, while remaining a binding social force in many respects, often hardens into divisive dogmas to become a major source of social division and exclusion. For Constitutionalists, therefore, universal inclusiveness must become the overriding concern of humanity: we need, beyond divisive personal and partisan creeds, to reach out, to recognise and celebrate our common humanity and our trusteeship of the planet we share not only among ourselves as equals but with all other living creatures.

RENT - to follow

REPLENISHMENT - Presupposes an economic system that nests the social, economic and political within the ecological (see DEGROWTH, Sustainable). Constitutionalists prefer Replenishment to Sustainability (the term more commonly used thus far to express this idea). The term Replenishment provides a more accurate and active characterisation of what is being sought.

SELF-ORGANISATION - Order and governance are necessary to any collective creative activity if it is to be productive. But by exercising power-with each other, rather than over each other, we are able to honour, and derive value from, the dignity and identity of each participating individual. In the Constitutionalist scheme of things, therefore, permanent status together with the fixed hierarchies in which such status is invariably anchored must be replaced by more flexible, horizontal and essentially egalitarian relations; any remaining hierarchical arrangements are thus purely functional and reserved exclusively to govern complex team work. Functional hierarchical status, however, should not hold beyond the specific task for which it was established (see HIERARCHY, Fixed)

SERVANT-LEADER - One who uses her or his skills not for personal gain, position, power or pride but as insights and sensitivities to encourage, facilitate, or even make possible, acts or tasks of intrinsic worth to a “shared” project or initiative.

SIMPOL - The Simultaneous Policy (Simpol) is a range of measures to solve global problems, such as climate change, poverty, and corporate tax avoidance. It is to be implemented by all or sufficient nations simultaneously. In that way, the vicious circle that no government wants to be first to act can be broken. Simpol’s supporters use their votes in new way giving strong preference at national elections to candidates who have pledged to implement Simpol, to the probable exclusion of those who haven’t. In that way, politicians who fail to pledge risk losing their seats to those who do. With many seats and even elections in many countries being won and lost by small margins, relatively few citizens can drive politicians to support the campaign.

SPIRITUAL INTELLIGENCE - Spiritual Intelligence is our access to and use of meaning, vision and value in the way we think and take decisions. As such, it is the intelligence that makes us whole and enhances integrity. It is about integrating, understanding and adapting constantly to new perspectives. The following are some suggested attributes of high Spiritual Intelligence:
• Flexibility – the world is a place of multiple realities that need to be accommodated • Self-Awareness – look within yourselves and don’t be afraid of what you discover • Cherish Vision and be guided by values • Turn Adversity to Advantage – learn from death, failure and the things you fear • Adopt a Holistic Approach – see the bigger picture • Remain Open to Diversity – enjoy difference, like flexibility • Be Your Own Person – find true faith in your own convictions • Cultivate Childlike Simplicity by asking “Why?” • Reframe – step back and discover the perspective of the broader context • Practice Servant-Leadership; and • Create Conditions for Change.

STEADY-STATE ECONOMY - Perpetual economic growth is neither possible nor desirable. Growth, especially in wealthy nations, is already causing more problems than it solves. Recession is neither sustainable nor healthy. The positive, sustainable alternative is a steady state economy (CASSE - Centre for Advancing Steady-State Economics).

STEWARDSHIP - Humankind has emerged with reflective consciousness and agency. The classic definition of “stewardship” derives from pre-modern agrarian economies, where the steward was the person in charge of the land in the absence of the landlord. His (for it was always a He) job was faithfully to manage the crops and harvest for the landlord’s profit. In the post-modern age, stewardship has come to mean the profitable management of money. For Constitutionalists, however, stewardship must now mean ensuring replenishment of the Earth’s resources as part of a movement for “Ecojustice”. The latter requires that those resources be handed on as a legacy for future generations and that our Planet be treated as an autonomous organism, whose continuing survival depends on the health of its interconnected systems. In Constitutionalist parlance, Trusteeship replaces stewardship since it carries nothing of the latter’s warped history of ownership and hierarchy (see TRUSTEESHIP).

STRATEGY FORUM - The Constitutionalist organ that meets monthly in order to plan, promote and monitor progress towards establishing for the Islands of Britain a Constitutional Parliament and a living written Constitution. One of its chief functions is to foster the generation and propagation of the citizen movement called Trustees-All.

STRUCTURELESSNESS - Contrary to what many would like to believe, there is no such thing as a “structureless” group. Any group of people that comes together for any length of time for any purpose will inevitably structure itself in some fashion. The structure may be flexible; it may vary over time; it may evenly or unevenly distribute tasks, power and resources over the members of the group. This means that to strive for a structureless group is as useful and as deceptive as to aim at an “objective” news story, “value-free” social science or a “free” market. The idea becomes a smokescreen for the strong or the lucky to establish unquestioned hegemony over others - it does not prevent the formation of informal hegemonistic structures, only of formal ones. Laissez-faire philosophy did not prevent the economically powerful from establishing control over wages, prices and the distribution of goods; it only prevented government from doing so. The implications of this for Constitutionalists will not be difficult to see (see HIERARCHY, Fixed & SELF-ORGANISATION).

SUBSIDIARITY - The Subsidiarity principle holds that social and other problems should be dealt with at the most immediate or local (and thereby most appropriate) level consistent with their solution. A central authority should therefore have a subsidiary or supporting function, performing only those tasks that cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level. Historically, centralisation has worked largely through top-down hierarchies which, based on power asymmetry across society, have progressively concentrated wealth and control into the hands of the few leaving the majority to compete for a shrinking share of diminishing planetary resources. We need, Constitutionalists firmly believe, to leave behind this no longer-fit-for-purpose, top-down, power-abusing, largely corrupt, organisational form whereby the few dominate the many, and move towards more egalitarian, more democratic, bottom-up modes of organizing and running our collective existence (see SELF-ORANISATION and SERVANT-LEADER).

SURPLUS - Elite power stems from the fixed hierarchies that emerged when agriculture and machinery created surplus. The ability to create surplus marked a great turning point in the evolution of our species when a fundamental structural error was institutionalised. It is control of that surplus that currently grants the corporate elite power over us all. Only by dissolving fixed hierarchies or “power-over” can we hope to create peace and prosperity in our world.

SYSTEMIC - For Constitutionalists, an overall planetary Political-Economy, that is to say of global housekeeping, which allows due place for governance of exchange of services and goods beyond simple barter (see PRINCIPALED PRAGMATISM).

TENTATIVE CONVICTION - The art of working with strong convictions, while keeping their boundaries permeable to new insights and valid challenges.

TOLERANCE FOR AMBIGUITY, high - A readiness not always to jump to conclusions, but rather to think “outside the box”.

TRIBALISM - The terms “tribal” and “tribalism” refer to ego in its collective form. Human societies have thus far not operated on the assumption that all human beings are basically the same, but rather on a presumption of “difference”, the notion, that is, of “us” and “them". Identifying with one’s local group - be it family, clan, village or town - or, by extension, with one part of the wider community - be it religion, political-party, nation-state and so forth - conditions deeply how humans think and act, and carries with it an instinctive and largely unconscious assumption that those who are not part of “our” group are “foreign” or “alien”. It is this process of identification and the accompanying sense of belonging that we call “tribalism”. It involves both the process of bonding that must occur among individuals in any human grouping if the latter is to survive, as also and for the same reason, a concomitant “reflex of separation” from entities or beings outside the group. It is said, for example, in the ancient Upanishads of India that “wherever there is an other, fear arises”. This fear of the other, when extended collectively, has proved the age-old root of human conflict and war. For Constitutionalists, humanity stands currently at a critical point in its history, with “tribalism” pushed to terrible and potentially terminal lengths. Earth systems are breaking down and the social, economic and political order, under severe stress in many parts of the world, incapable of dealing with today’s urgent cross-border realities. A new vision, therefore, which reflects not difference but our species’ common humanity in the evolved ecology it shares with all other living and created entities is urgently required (see PRIOR UNITY).

Trustees-All - The name of the Movement which seeks to generate public recognition of, and participation in, a new understanding of a universalist People’s Political-Economy of Trusteeship firmly set in its ecological and evolutionary context. The Movement, by evolving a cellular and confederate model of genuine democracy, seeks “power-with” as opposed to “power-over”.

TRUSTEESHIP - For Constitutionalists, trusteeship is the assuming of responsibility for the gift and replenishment of life in its innumerable forms and expressions, where: Earth is a trust territory within the cosmos and its trustees worthy of being relied upon, confident in the truth of things and demonstrating integrity. A trustee is therefore a person or group of persons to whom management of a resource (in this case, Earth) is committed in trust for the benefit of its integral life and its enduring replenishment. In this sense, trusteeship functions as an antidote to possessiveness (see PEOPLE'S Political-Economy of TRUSTEESHIP & POSSESSION).

UMBRELLA - A framework for relating all parts. Its importance is illustrated when we come to observe the many global trends building up to a picture that few could otherwise see or even imagine. New analyses of global trends (for example, ‘zero marginal cost’ and ‘internet of all things’) and their interrelationships together with technology’s accelerating eclipse of capitalism, are fundamental to understanding the rapidity and prospects of change today.

UNIVERSAL - This points to the fundamental principle behind Constitutionalist pragmatism. It is the natural wisdom observed for instance in biology and physics, which must influence every local expression.

USURY - Usually defined as the fact or practice of lending money at interest and, in more recent use, as the practice of charging excessive or illegal rates for money on loan. Constitutionalists, however, believe that it is vital to broaden this definition. For them the real difficulty with usury is that it exalts money values over human and environmental values. It creates money at no cost and lends at rates of interest whose effect is not to foster and maintain humanity or the ecosystem but rather to: (a) accumulate reserves of unearned income; (b) extract wealth from the productive sector in a manner that is parasitic, and (c) extract wealth from the asset-less, i.e. from those who lack wealth. For all these reasons, usury makes an unwarranted claim on the future (see INTEREST).

VALUE, Public, Original or Inherent - The value of services that originate in nature and require no human intervention, as opposed to economic RENT which is a composite value created through human intervention.

WORLD VIEWS - There are dozens of projections of the world and each draws out limited particularities of its total content. Trusteeship humanity will need to be constantly mindful of the integrated whole within which individual parts and particularities must be accommodated.