For the Bavarian Constitution!

Someone wrote a cynical (?) comment under my article about texts on the financial crisis, where I cited sections 151 and 157 of the Bavarian Constitution. I found this comment rather terrible. I really believe that it is hardly possible to better describe the purpose of economy and legitimate free market economy than those two articles do it. And I also believe that our constitution was drawn up by wise people who felt a high ethical responsibility. It will therefore not be easy to improve on our constitution.

Consequently, after reading the aforesaid comment, I took an even closer look at our Bavarian Constitution, during which process I found several other sections that made quite an impression on me. I will therefore relate them as follows:

Article 141 Protection of the natural basis of life and cultural tradition; the right to enjoy the countryside

(1) Care for and protection of the natural environment held in trust for the benefit of future generations is the duty of the individual and the State community. Animals shall be respected and protected as living beings and fellow creatures. The State, Municipalities and legal bodies also have a paramount responsibility, to protect the ground, water and air as the natural basis of life, to relieve or restore damage which may occur and to ensure that they are used as economically as possible, to preserve and constantly enhance the productivity of the ecological balance, to protect the forest with regard to its particular importance for the ecological balance, and to relieve or restore damage which may occur, to care for and preserve indigenous species of animal and plant life, their natural habitats as well as characteristic natural sites and landscape.

(2) The State, Municipalities and legal bodies have a responsibility, to care for and preserve artistic treasures, historical and natural monuments as well as the landscape, to restore damaged artistic and historical treasures as far as possible to their former condition, to prevent the exportation of German artistic treasures abroad.

(3) Everyone is entitled to enjoy natural beauty and relaxation in the open countryside, particularly through access within reasonable distance from towns to forests and mountain meadows, streams and wild fruits. At the same time everyone shall be obliged to care for nature and the landscape. The State and Municipalities have the right and duty to provide open access to mountains, lakes and rivers and other areas of natural beauty, to extend access through the restriction of private ownership, and to provide pathways and nature parks.

Article 152 Supervision of the economic: provision of energy

The ordered production and distribution of economic resources to meet the needs of the population shall be supervised by the state. The state shall be responsible for ensuring the provision of electricity for the Land.

Article 158 Obligations attached to property

Property entails obligations. The manifest abuse of property and ownership rights shall not be countenanced by the law.

Article 160 Property in mineral resources, traffic and utilities; public ownership

(1) A corporate body or co-operative under public direction shall generally control property in economically significant mineral and energy resources, in railways and other routes and means of public transport, in water distribution and in power utilities.

(2) Generally essential means of production, major banks and insurance concerns may be transferred to public ownership in the interest of the population as a whole. The transfer shall be effected under the law and shall be adequately compensated.

(3) Enterprises in public ownership can be managed in a private enterprise form if this is in accordance with the commercial purpose.

Article 161 Distribution and use of land

(1) The distribution and use of land shall be supervised by the State. Misuse shall be terminated.

(2) Increases in the value of land which arise without particular effort or capital investment on the part of the owner shall be utilised for the general public.

The aforementioned citations are in agreement with my set of values. However, I notice massive violations of every one of these articles every day. What use are a constitution and laws if we no longer take them seriously? Just because we have been living in a part of our planet that has been pampered and spoiled by general wealth during the last 50 years, we have no right to forget the really important things in life. We must not throw away our future. I therefore demand that our constitution must again be adhered to, because:

🙂 You cannot be an enemy of the constitution if all you demand is the adherence to same, can you?

By the way, I found a typing mistake in the German version of the Bavarian Constitution. Section 169 is headed as follows:

Artikel 169 Midestlöhne, Tarifverträge

Which, of course, should read: Mindestlöhne and can be translated as follows:

Article 169 Minimum wage; collective wage agreements

(1) Minimum wage levels may be established for every occupational field such as make possible for every employee and his family a minimum standard of living according to the prevailing social conditions.

(2) Collective agreements on working conditions formed between employers and employee associations shall be binding on the members of the employee associations, and may be declared generally binding where they further the general interest.

I am a little on the conservative side. In my opinion, typing mistakes are acceptable in a blog. However, a constitution should be free of typing mistakes, especially if published in the internet. And especially in the internet, typing mistakes should be easily identified, since the spelling checker puts red dots underneath them. That is why I will now send an email to the Bayerische Staatskanzlei and ask them to correct the typing mistake.

Or is the typing mistake symptomatic for the fact that nobody is interested in our constitution anyway? That would be real bad news. Here is the  Link if you want to inform yourself.

🙂 Typing mistake was corrected in end of January!

All texts in cursive types:© Bayerischer Landtag


(Translated by Evelyn Gemkow)

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