how a socialist constitution looked like - humanist @ roua.org :

how a socialist constitution looked like

Written by Romeo Anghelache no comments

Here are some excerpts (the section about the rights and duties of the citizens) from the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Romania (RSR), issued in 1965:

Art.17

The RSR citizens, without discrimination based on nationality, race, sex or religion, are equal in rights in all the domains of economical, political, juridical, social and cultural life.

The state guarantees the citizens' equality in rights. No restriction of these rights and no discrimination in their application can be tolerated on grounds of nationality, race, sex or religion.

Any manifestation aiming at establishing such restrictions, nationalist-chauvinist propaganda, encouraging race hatred or national hatred, is punished by law.

Art.18

In RSR, the citizens have the right to work. To each citizen it is offered the possibility to perform, according to one's skills, an activity in the economical, administrative, social or cultural domains, payed by quantity and quality. To equal work corresponds equal pay.

The law establishes the work security and protection measures, as well as special protection measures for the work of women and youth.

Art.19

The RSR citizens have the right to rest.

The right to rest is guaranteed to those who work by establishing the maximal duration of workday at 8 hours, of a weekly rest and by paid yearly holidays.

In the hard and very-hard work sectors, the duration of the workday is reduced under 8 hours, without lowering the pay.

Art.20

The RSR citizens have the right to material insurance of age, disease or work disability.

The right to material insurance is implemented, for workers and civil servants, by pensions and disease-related support through the system of state-based social insurance, and for the members of cooperatist or public organisations, through their own forms of insurance. The state provides medical assistance through its sanitary institutions. The paid maternity holiday is guaranteed.

Art.21

The citizens of RSR have the right to learn.

The right to learn is secured through the general obligatory teaching system, by providing gratuitous teaching at all levels, and by the system of state-based financing. The teaching system in RSR is a state-based system.

Art.22

In RSR, it is provided, to the citizens of other nationalities, the free use of their mother tongue, as well as books, newspapers, magazines, theaters, teaching at all levels in their own language. In the administrative-territorial units inhabited by populations of different nationalities, all the institutions use also the corresponding population language, verbally and in writing, and name civil servants from these populations or other persons who know the language and the way of living of that local population.

Art.23

In RSR the woman is equal in rights with the man.

The state protects the marriage and the family and protects the mothers' and children's interests.

Art.24

RSR provides the youth with the necessary framework to develop their intellectual and physical aptitudes.

Art.25

The RSR citizens have the right to elect and get elected in the Grand National Assembly and in the local councils.

The vote is universal, equal, direct and secret. All the citizens over 18 years old have the right to vote.

Those citizens having the voting right who are over 23 years of age can be elected members of the Grand National Assembly and local councils.

[...]

Art.28

It is guaranteed, to the citizens of RSR, the freedom of speech, of the press, of meetings, gatherings and demonstrations.

Art.29

The freedom of speech, press, gatherings, meetings and demonstrations cannot go against the socialist system or the interests of the workers.

Any association of a fascist type or antidemocratic type is forbidden. The participating to such associations and the fascist type or antidemocratic type of propaganda are punished by the law.

Art.30

The freedom of conscience is guaranteed to all of the RSR citizens.

Anybody is free to have or not a religious belief. The freedom of religious cults is guaranteed. The religious cults exist and function freely. The way of organization and functioning is established by law.

The school is separated from the church. No confession, congregation or religious community can open or maintain teaching institutions other than those special schools for training the cult personnel.

Art.31

The inviolability of the person is guaranteed to the RSR citizen.

No person can be retained or arrested if there are no strong proofs or indications that one committed an act specified and punished by the law. The prosecution institutions cannot retain a person for longer than 24 hours. Nobody can be arrested without a mandate from the tribunal or prosecutor. The right to be defended is guaranteed over the whole course of the process.

Art.32

The residence is inviolable. Nobody can enter in somebody residence without inhabitor's agreement, except the cases specifically stated by the law.

Art.33

The secret of correspondence and telephonic communications is guaranteed.

Art.34

The right to petition is guaranteed. The state institutions have the obligation to solve the citizens' petitions regarding personal or public rights and interests.

Art.35

The one whose rights are hurt through an illegal act committed by a state institution can request, to the competent institutions, in the framework of the law, the annulment of the act and damage recovery.

Art.36

The right of personal property is protected by the law.

The income and economies from work, the home and surroundings, as well as the goods for personal comfort and use, constitute the object of the right to personal property.

Art.37

The right to inheritance is protected by the law.

Art.38

RSR gives the right to asylum to foreigners under pursuit for activities supporting the workers' interests, for participating at the fight for national liberation or for protection of peace.

[...]

I ommitted a few section which are specific to the military domain or political/ideological technicalities, which are irrelevant to humanism.

Reading this document again, after 31 years, makes me a tad sad: the RSR citizens themselves did not take seriously this document, it seemed too good for them to be true; that's how it remained.

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