SYLLABUS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION

CONSTITUTION FOR THE NEW SOCIALIST REPUBLIC IN NORTH AMERICA

AND SUPPLEMENTAL RELATED MATERIALS

(DOWNLOAD AS PDF)

Part One—Two Sessions.

Main Reading: Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, “Introductory Explanation: On the Nature, Purpose and Role of This Constitution” and “Preamble.” 

Supplemental Readings:

Pivotal Point (or main theme): Constitutions and laws, base and superstructure, and the radical rupture in advancing to communism.

Part Two—One Session.

Main Readings: Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America: 

  • Article I, Section 1, “The Legislature”  (pp. 9-13 in print edition and pdf);
  • Article I, Section 2, “The Executive,” up to but not including 2A (pp. 13-18);
  • Article II, Section 1, “Government in Regions, Localities and Other Areas…in North America,” and Section 2, “Basic institutions” (pp. 48-51); 
  • Articles V and VI “Adoption of This Constitution,” and “Amendments to This Constitution” (pp. 89-91).

Supplemental Readings:

  • Constitutions, Law, and Rights, the selection “Some Further Thinking on: The Socialist State as New Kind of State.”
  • The New Communism, Part II, in the section on the Constitution for the NSR, up through (and including) the paragraph (on p. 170) that begins “So, all of this,” and ends “to the contradictions that I have been examining….”
  • Science and Revolution…An Interview with Ardea Skybreak, the section, “The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic–A Visionary and Concrete Application of the New Synthesis” (pp. 101-103, print edition).

Pivotal Point (or main theme): The socialist state as a radically new kind of state, the Constitution for the NSR as an expression of the new communism.

Part Three—Two Sessions.

Main Readings: Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

  • Article I, Section 2, (The Executive) Parts A, “The Economy” and B, “The Environment”  (pp. 18-22)
  • Section 2, E, International Relations (pp. 29-31)
  • Article IV, The Economy and Economic Development (pp. 78-89)

Supplemental Readings:

Pivotal Point (or main theme): The socialist economy as the foundation of the socialist system in relation to the following from The New Communism (in Part I, the section “The Basic Contradictions and Dynamics of Capitalism,” p. 77): “Ultimately, the mode of production sets the foundation and the limits of change….To put it another way: You have to have an economic system that doesn’t prevent you from making those changes, and instead not only allows but provides a favorable foundation for those changes.”

Part Four—One Session.

Main Reading: Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America: Article I, Section 2, C, Defense and Security (pp. 22-28).

Supplemental Reading:

Pivotal Point (or main theme): Why there is a need for armed forces, separate from the general population, during the socialist stage (or at least for a long time into the socialist transition), how this must be radically different from bourgeois armed forces and how it relates to the role of the masses of people in being the decisive force, within the socialist country, in exercising the dictatorship of the proletariat and carrying forward this revolutionary transition.

Part Five—One Session.

Main Readings: Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America:

  • Article I, Section 2 D, Justice and the Rights of the People (pp. 28-29)
  • Article III, Rights of the People and the Struggle to Uproot All Exploitation and Oppression (pp. 63-78)
  • Article I, Section 3, The Judiciary and Legal Adjudication (pp. 43-47)

Supplemental Readings:

Pivotal Point (or main theme): What is the unity, and what is the opposition, between the rights of the people (and related principles) set forth in this Constitution and the need for and role of the dictatorship of the proletariat? (A series of related questions: What are the ways—note: “ways,” plural—that the dictatorship of the proletariat is similar to the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie?  In what ways is the dictatorship of the proletariat radically and fundamentally different? Which of these—the similarities or the differences—constitutes the principal aspect, and why?)

Part Six—One Session.

Main Readings: Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America: Article I, Sections F through J—”Education,” “Science and Scientific Endeavor,” “Health and Medicine,” “The Media,” “Art and Culture” (pp. 31-43).

Supplemental Readings:

Pivotal Point (or main theme):  How is the principle of solid core, with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core, applied in the various sections of the Constitution in the Main Readings this time? How and why is the approach in this Constitution fundamentally different than how these spheres are approached in capitalist society?

(Note: As part of the discussion, there was a contrasting of what is said in this Constitution on science with what is said in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution on this subject (particularly the paragraph in Section 8 that begins “To promote the Progress of Science and useful arts…,” which is frequently quoted by Bill Nye, the science guy). This is a very stark and revealing contrast!)

Part Seven—One Session.

Main Reading: Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America: Article II, Section 3, “Minority and Formerly Oppressed Nationalities” (pp. 51-63).

Supplemental Readings:

Pivotal Point (or main theme): Why does this Constitution take the approach it does to the questions addressed in these sections, and how does this relate to, and constitute an expression of,  the strategic orientation of advancing toward the goal of a communist world?

Part Eight—One Session: Review and Overview.

[Ten Sessions Overall.]

 

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