In community, freedom must be negotiated.

Every action we feel free to take has some impact on our neighbors.

If we want to govern ourselves democratically, we have to be in ongoing conversation about the spirit of our governing principles. We have to recognize when we infringe upon one another’s freedoms, and we have to decide collectively in what ways and why we should give ourselves permission to abridge one another’s freedoms.

We need rules, but the rules must always be subject to re-assessment and re-negotiation.

Thumping a document can invoke a rule.

But if there is, among those governed by it, significant disagreement about the meaning or merits of a rule long ago consented to, the discussion must be had anew.


Typographic Illustration: Chris von Lersner, 2018

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