Endorsement of a Foundational Caux Round Table Ethical Principle for Moral Government and Moral Society

Recently, I read a new statement on freedom of speech and thought named The Westminster Declaration.

When, years ago, the Caux Round Table considered what kind of governance would be most supportive of moral capitalism, we proposed a set of ethical principles for governments.  The first principle was reliance on discourse, not compulsion, to frame laws, regulations, policies and programs that will be enforced by the police power of the state.  That principle states:

Discourse ethics should guide application of public power.

Public power, however allocated by constitutions, referendums or laws, shall rest its legitimacy in processes of communication and discourse among autonomous moral agents who constitute the community to be served by the government.  Free and open discourse, embracing independent media, shall not be curtailed except to protect legitimate expectations of personal privacy, sustain the confidentiality needed for the proper separation of powers or for the most dire of reasons relating to national security.

The new Westminster Declaration endorses this moral standard and provides reasoned justification for that idealism.

You can read the declaration here.