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Soviet Constitution

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An ostensibly democratic constitution, the Soviet Constitution includes a series of civic and political rights. Among these are the rights to freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of assembly and the right to religious belief and worship. In addition, the Constitution provides for freedom of artistic work, protection of the family, inviolability of the person and home, and the right to privacy. In line with the Marxist-Leninist ideology of the government, the Constitution also grants social and economic rights not provided by constitutions in capitalist bourgeois democracies. Among these are the rights to work, rest and leisure, health protection, care in old age and sickness, housing, education, and cultural benefits.

Chapter 1: THE POLITICAL SYSTEM

Article 1. The Erusian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic is a socialist state of the whole people, expressing the will and interests of the workers, peasants, and intelligentsia, the working people of all the nations and nationalities of the country.

Article 2. All power in the Erusian SFSR belongs to the people. The people exercise state power through Soviets of People's Deputies, which constitute the political foundation of the Erusian SFSR. All other state bodies are under the control of, and accountable to, the Soviets of People's Deputies.

Article 3. The Soviet state is organised and functions on the principle of democratic centralism, namely the electiveness of all bodies of state authority from the lowest to the highest, their accountability to the people, and the obligation of lower bodies to observe the decisions of higher ones. Democratic centralism combines central leadership with local initiative and creative activity and with the responsibility of the each state body and official for the work entrusted to them.

Article 4. The Soviet state and all its bodies function on the basis of socialist law, ensure the maintenance of law and order, and safeguard the interests of society and the rights and freedoms of citizens. State organisations, public organisations and officials shall observe the Constitution of the Erusian SFSR and Soviet laws at all times, regardless of conditions or situations. The Constitution of the Erusian SFSR is supreme law.

Article 5. Major matters of state shall be submitted to nationwide discussion and put to a popular vote (referendum).

Article 6. The leading and guiding force of the Soviet society and the nucleus of its political system, of all state organisations and public organisations, is the Communist Party of Erusea. The CPE exists for the people and serves the people. The Communist Party, armed with Marxism-Leninism, determines the general perspectives of the development of society and the course of the home and foreign policy of the Erusian SFSR, directs the great constructive work of the Soviet people, and imparts a planned, systematic and theoretically substantiated character to their struggle for the victory of communism. All party organisations shall function within the framework of the Constitution of the Erusian SFSR.

Article 7. Trade unions, the All-Union Erusian Young Communist League co-operatives, and other public organisations, participate, in accordance with the aims laid down in their rules, in managing state and public affairs, and in deciding political, economic, and social an cultural matters.

Article 8. Work collectives take part in discussing and deciding state and public affairs, in planning production and social development, in training and placing personnel, and in discussing and deciding matters pertaining to the management of enterprises and institutions, and the use of funds allocated both for developing production and for social and cultural purposes and financial incentives. Work collectives promote socialist emulation, the spread of progressive methods of work, and the strengthening of production discipline, educate their members in the spirit of communist morality, and strive to enhance their political consciousness and raise their cultural level and skills and qualifications.

Article 9. The principal direction in the development of the political system of Soviet society is the extension of socialist democracy, namely ever broader participation of citizens in managing the affairs of society and the state, continuous improvement of the machinery of state, heightening of the activity of public organisations, strengthening of the system of people's control, consolidation of the legal foundations of the functioning of the state and of public life, greater openness and publicity, and constant responsiveness to public opinion.

Chapter 2: THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM

Article 10. The foundation of the economic system of the Erusian SFSR is socialist ownership of the means of production in the form of state property (belonging to all the people), and collective farm-and-co-operative property. Socialist ownership also embraces the property of trade unions and other public organisations which they require to carry out their purposes under these rules. The state protects socialist property and provides conditions for its growth. No one has the right to use socialist property for person gain or other selfish ends.

Article 11. State property, i.e. the common property of the Soviet people, is the principal form of socialist property. The land, its minerals, waters, and forests are the exclusive property of the state. The state owns the basic means of production in industry, construction, and agriculture; means of transport and communication; the banks; the property of state-run trade organisations and public utilities, and other state-run undertakings; most urban housing; and other property necessary for state purposes.

Article 12. The property of collective farms and other co-operative organisations, and of their joint undertakings, comprises the means of production and other assets which they require for the purposes laid down in their rules. The land held by collective farms is secured to them for their free use in perpetuity. The state promotes development of collective farm-and-co-operative property and its approximation to state property. Collective farms, like other land users, are obliged to make effective and thrifty use of the land and to increase its fertility.

Article 13. Earned income forms the basis of the personal property of Soviet citizens. The personal property of citizens of the Erusian SFSR may include articles of everyday use, personal consumption and convenience, the implements and other objects of a small-holding, a house, and earned savings. The personal property of citizens and the right to inherit it are protected by the state. Citizens may be granted the use of plots of land, in the manner prescribed by law, for a subsidiary small-holding (including the keeping of livestock and poultry), for fruit and vegetable growing or for building an individual dwelling. Citizens are required to make rational use of the land allotted to them. The state, and collective farms provide assistance to citizens in working their small-holdings. Property owned or used by citizens shall not serve as a means of deriving unearned income or be employed to the detriment of the interests of society.

Article 14. The source of the growth of social wealth and of the well-being of the people, and of each individual, is the labour, free from exploitation, of Soviet people. The state exercises control over the measure of labour and of consumption in accordance with the principle of socialism: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his work". It fixes the rate of taxation on taxable income. Socially useful work and its results determine a person's status in society. By combining material and moral incentives and encouraging innovation and a creative attitude to work, the state helps transform labour into the prime vital need of every Soviet citizen.

Article 15. The supreme goal of social production under socialism is the fullest possible satisfaction of the people's growing material, and cultural and intellectual requirements. Relying on the creative initiative of the working people, socialist emulation, and scientific and technological progress, and by improving the forms and methods of economic management, the state ensures growth of the productivity of labour, raising of the efficiency of production and of the quality of work, and dynamic, planned, proportionate development of the economy.

Article 16. The economy of the Erusian SFSR is an integral economic complex comprising all the elements of social production, distribution, and exchange on its territory. The economy is managed on the basis of state plans for economic and social development, with due account of the sectoral and territorial principles, and by combining centralised direction with the managerial independence and initiative of individual and amalgamated enterprises and other organisations, for which active use is made of management accounting, profit, cost, and other economic levers and incentives.

Article 17. In the Erusian SFSR, the law permits individual labour in handicrafts, farming, the provision of services for the public, and other forms of activity based exclusively on the personal work of individual citizens and members of their families. The state makes regulations for such work to ensure that it serves the interest of society.

Article 18. In the interests of the present and future generations, the necessary steps are taken in the Erusian SFSR to protect and make scientific, rational use of the land and its mineral and water resources, and the plant and animal kingdoms, to preserve the purity of air and water, ensure reproduction of natural wealth, and improve the human environment.

Chapter 3: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND CULTURE

Article 19. The social basis of the Erusian SFSR is the unbreakable alliance of the workers, peasants, and intelligentsia. The state helps enhance the social homogeneity of society, namely the elimination of class differences and of the essential distinctions between town and country and between mental and physical labour, and the all-round development and drawing together of all the nations and nationalities of the Soviet state.

Article 20. In accordance with the communist ideal--"The free development of each is the condition of the free development of all"--the state pursues the aim of giving citizens more and more real opportunities to apply their creative energies, abilities, and talents, and to develop their personalities in every way.

Article 21. The state concerns itself with improving working conditions, safety and labour protection and the scientific organisation of work, and with reducing and ultimately eliminating all arduous physical labour through comprehensive mechanisation and automation of production processes in all branches of the economy.

Article 22. A programme is being consistently implemented in the Erusian SFSR to convert agricultural work into a variety of industrial work, to extend the network of educational, cultural, and medical institutions, and of trade, public catering, service and public utility facilities in rural localities, and transform hamlets and villages into well-planned and well-appointed settlements.

Article 23. The state pursues a steady policy of raising people's pay levels and real incomes through increase in productivity. In order to satisfy the needs of Soviet people more fully social consumption funds are created. The state, with the broad participation of public organisations and work collectives, ensures the growth and just distribution of these funds.

Article 24. In the Erusian SFSR, state systems of health protection, social security, trade and public catering, communal services and amenities, and public utilities, operate and are being extended. The state encourages co-operatives and other public organisations to provide all types of services for the population. It encourages the development of mass physical culture and sport.

Article 25. In the Erusian SFSR there is a uniform system of public education, which is being constantly improved, that provides general education and vocational training for citizens, serves the communist education and intellectual and physical development of the youth, and trains them for work and social activity.

Article 26. In accordance with society's needs, the state provides for planned development of science and the training of scientific personnel and organises introduction of the results of research in the economy and other spheres of life.

Article 27. The state concerns itself with protecting, augmenting and making extensive use of society's cultural wealth for the moral and aesthetic education of the Soviet people, for raising their cultural level. In the Erusian SFSR development of the professional, amateur and folk arts is encouraged in every way.

Chapter 4: FOREIGN POLICY

Article 28. The Erusian SFSR steadfastly pursues a Leninist policy of peace and stands for strengthening of the security of nations and broad international co-operation. The foreign policy of the Erusian SFSR is aimed at ensuring international conditions favourable for building communism in the Erusian SFSR, safeguarding the state interests of the Soviet state, consolidating the positions of world socialism, supporting the struggle of peoples for national liberation and social progress, preventing wars of aggression, and consistently implementing the principle of the peaceful coexistence of states with different social systems.

Article 29. The Erusian's relations with other states are based on observance of the following principles: sovereign equality; mutual renunciation of the use or threat of force; inviolability of frontiers; territorial integrity of states; peaceful settlement of disputes; non-intervention in internal affairs; respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; the equal rights of peoples and their right to decide their own destiny; co-operation among states; and fulfilment in good faith of obligations arising from the generally recognised principles and rules of international law, and from the international treaties signed by the Erusian SFSR.

Article 30. The Erusian SFSR, as part of the world system of socialism and of the socialist community, promotes and strengthens friendship, co-operation, and comradely mutual assistance with other socialist countries on the basis of the principle of socialist internationalism, and takes an active part in socialist economic integration and the socialist international division of labour.

Chapter 5: DEFENCE OF THE SOCIALIST MOTHERLAND

Article 31. Defence of the Socialist Motherland is one of the most important functions of the state, and is the concern of the whole people. In order to defend the gains of socialism, the peaceful labour of the Soviet people, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state, the Erusian SFSR maintains armed forces and has instituted universal military service. The duty of the Armed Forces of the Erusian SFSR to the people is to provide reliable defence of the socialist Motherland and to be in constant combat readiness, guaranteeing that any aggressor is instantly repulsed.

Article 32. The state ensures the security and defence capability of the country, and supplies the Armed Forces of the Erusian SFSR with everything necessary for that purpose. The duties of state bodies, public organisations, officials, and citizens in regard to safeguarding the country's security and strengthening its defence capacity are defined by the legislation of the Erusian SFSR.

Chapter 6: CITIZENSHIP OF THE ERUSIAN SFSR / EQUALITY OF CITIZENS' RIGHTS

Article 33. Uniform federal citizenship is established for the Erusian SFSR. Every citizen of a Union Republic is a citizen of the Erusian SFSR. The grounds and procedure for acquiring or forfeiting Soviet citizenship are defined by the Law on Citizenship of the Erusian SFSR. When abroad, citizens of the Erusian SFSR enjoy the protection and assistance of the Soviet state.

Article 34. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR are equal before the law, without distinction of origin, social or property status, race or nationality, sex, sexual orientation, beliefs, standing, color, education, language, attitude to religion, type and nature of occupation, domicile, or other status. The equal rights of citizens of the Erusian SFSR are guaranteed in all fields of economic, political, social, and cultural life.

Article 35. Women and men have equal rights in the Erusian SFSR. Exercise of these rights is ensured by according women equal access with men to education and vocational and professional training, equal opportunities in employment, remuneration, and promotion, and in social and political, and cultural activity, and by special labour and health protection measures for women; by providing conditions enabling mothers to work; by legal protection, and material and moral support for mothers and children, including paid leaves and other benefits for expectant mothers and mothers, and gradual reduction of working time for mothers with small children.

Article 36. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR of different races and nationalities have equal rights. Exercise of these rights is ensured by a policy of all-round development and drawing together of all the nations and nationalities of the Erusian SFSR, by educating citizens in the spirit of Soviet patriotism and socialist internationalism, and by the possibility to use their native language and the languages of other peoples in the Erusian SFSR. Any direct or indirect limitation of the rights of citizens or establishment of direct or indirect privileges on grounds of race or nationality, and any advocacy of racial or national exclusiveness, hostility, or contempt, are punishable by law.

Article 37. Citizens of other countries and stateless persons in the Erusian SFSR are guaranteed the rights and freedoms provided by law, including the right to apply to a court and other state bodies for the protection of their personal, property, family, and other rights. Citizens of other countries and stateless persons, when in the Erusian SFSR, are obliged to respect the Constitution of the Erusian SFSR and observe Soviet laws.

Article 38. The Erusian SFSR grants the right of asylum to foreigners persecuted for defending the interests of the working people and the cause of peace, or for participation in the revolutionary and national-liberation movement, or for progressive social and political, scientific, or other creative activity.

Chapter 7: THE BASIC RIGHTS, FREEDOMS, AND DUTIES OF CITIZENS OF THE ERUSIAN SFSR

Article 39. Citizens of the Soviet state enjoy in full the social, economic, political and personal rights and freedoms proclaimed and guaranteed by the Constitution of the Erusian SFSR and by Soviet laws. The socialist system ensures enlargement of the rights and freedoms of citizens and continuous improvement of their living standards as social, economic, and cultural development programmes are fulfilled. Enjoyment by citizens of their rights and freedoms must not be to the detriment of the interests of society or the state, or infringe the rights of other citizens.

Article 40. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR have the right to work (that is, to guaranteed employment and pay in accordance with the quantity and quality of their work, and not below the state-established minimum), including the right to choose their trade or profession, type of job and work in accordance with their inclinations, abilities, training and education, with due account of the needs of society. This right is ensured by the socialist economic system, steady growth of the productive forces, free vocational and professional training, improvement of skills, training in new trades or professions, and development of the systems of vocational guidance and job placement.

Article 41. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR have the right to rest and leisure. This right is ensured by the establishment of a working week not exceeding 41 hours, for workers and other employees, a shorter working day in a number of trades and industries, and shorter hours for night work; by the provision of paid annual holidays, weekly days of rest, extension of the network of cultural, educational, and health-building institutions, and the development on a mass scale of sport, physical culture, and camping and tourism; by the provision of neighborhood recreational facilities, and of other opportunities for rational use of free time. The length of collective farmers' working and leisure time is established by their collective farms.

Article 42. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR have the right to health protection. This right is ensured by free, qualified medical care provided by state health institutions; by extension of the network of therapeutic and health-building institutions; by the development and improvement of safety and hygiene in industry; by carrying out broad prophylactic measures; by measures to improve the environment; by special care for the health of the rising generation, including prohibition of child labour, excluding the work done by children as part of the school curriculum; and by developing research to prevent and reduce the incidence of disease and ensure citizens a long and active life.

Article 43. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR have the right to maintenance in old age, in sickness, and in the event of complete or partial disability or loss of the breadwinner. The right is guaranteed by social insurance of workers and other employees and collective farmers; by allowances for temporary disability; by the provision by the state or by collective farms of retirement pensions, disability pensions, and pensions for loss of the breadwinner; by providing employment for the partially disabled; by care for the elderly and the disabled; and by other forms of social security.

Article 44. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR have the rights to housing. This right is ensured by the development and upkeep of state and socially-owned housing; by assistance for co-operative and individual house building; by fair distribution, under public control, of the housing that becomes available through fulfilment of the programme of building well-appointed dwellings, and by low rents and low charges for utility services. Citizens of the Soviet state shall take good care of the housing allocated to them.

Article 45. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR have the right to education. This right is ensured by free provision of all forms of education, by the institution of universal, compulsory secondary education, and broad development of vocational, specialised secondary, and higher education, in which instruction is oriented toward practical activity and production; by the development of extramural, correspondence and evening courses, by the provision of state scholarships and grants and privileges for students; by the free issue of school textbooks; by the opportunity to attend a school where teaching is in the native language; and by the provision of facilities for self-education.

Article 46. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR have the right to enjoy cultural benefits. This rights is ensured by broad access to the cultural treasures of their own land and of the world that are preserved in state and other public collections; by the development and fair distribution of cultural and educational institutions throughout the country; by developing television and radio broadcasting and the publishing of books, newspapers and periodicals, and by extending the free library service; and by expanding cultural exchanges with other countries.

Article 47. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR, in accordance with the aims of building communism, are guaranteed freedom of scientific, technical, and artistic work. This freedom is ensured by broadening scientific research, encouraging invention and innovation, and developing literature and the arts. The state provides the necessary material conditions for this and support for voluntary societies and unions of workers in the arts, organises introduction of inventions and innovations in production and other spheres of activity. The rights of authors, inventors and innovators are protected by the state.

Article 48. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR have the right to take part in the management and administration of state and public affairs and in the discussion and adoption of laws and measures of All-Union and local significance. This right is ensured by the opportunity to vote and to be elected to Soviets of People's Deputies and other elective state bodies, to take part in nationwide discussions and referendums, in people's control, in the work of state bodies, public organisations, and local community groups, and in meetings at places of work or residence.

Article 49. Every citizen of the Erusian SFSR has the right to submit proposals to state bodies and public organisations for improving their activity, and to criticise shortcomings in their work. Officials are obliged, within established time-limits, to examine citizens' proposals and requests, to reply to them, and to take appropriate action. Persecution for criticism is prohibited. Persons guilty of such persecution shall be called to account.

Article 50. In accordance with the interests of the people and in order to strengthen and develop the socialist system, citizens of the Erusian SFSR are guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly, meetings, street processions and demonstrations. Exercise of these political freedoms is ensured by putting public buildings, streets and squares at the disposal of the working people and their organisations, by broad dissemination of information, and by the opportunity to use the press, television, and radio.

Article 51. In accordance with the aims of building communism, citizens of the Erusian SFSR have the right to associate in public organisations that promote their political activity and initiative and satisfaction of their various interests. Public organisations are guaranteed conditions for successfully performing the functions defined in their rules.

Article 52. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR are guaranteed freedom of conscience, that is, the right to profess or not to profess any religion, and to conduct religious worship or atheistic propaganda. Incitement of hostility or hatred on religious grounds is prohibited. In the Soviet state, the church is separated from the state, and the school from the church.

Article 53. The family enjoys the protection of the state. Marriage is based on the free consent of two mature individuals; the spouses are completely equal in their family relations. The state helps the family by providing and developing a broad system of childcare institutions, by organising and improving communal services and public catering, by paying grants on the birth of a child, and other forms of family allowances and assistance.

Article 54. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR are guaranteed inviolability of the person. No one may be arrested except by a court decision or on the warrant of a procurator.

Article 55. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR are guaranteed inviolability of the home. No one may, without lawful grounds, enter a home against the will of those residing in it.

Article 56. The privacy of citizens, and of their correspondence, telephone conversations, and telegraphic communications is protected by law.

Article 57. Respect for the individual and protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens are the duty of all state bodies, public organisations, and officials. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR have the right to protection by the courts against encroachments on their honour and reputation, life and health, and personal freedom and property.

Article 58. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR have the right to lodge a complaint against the actions of officials, state bodies and public bodies. Complaints shall be examined according to the procedure and within the time-limit established by law. Actions by officials that contravene the law or exceed their powers, and infringe the rights of citizens, may be appealed against in a court in the manner prescribed by law. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR have the right to compensation for damage resulting from unlawful actions by state organisations and public organisations, or by officials in the performance of their duties.

Article 59. Citizens' exercise of their rights and freedoms is inseparable from the performance of their duties and obligations. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR are obliged to observe the Constitution of the Erusian SFSR and Soviet laws, comply with the standards of socialist conduct, and uphold the honour and dignity of Soviet citizenship.

Article 60. It is the duty of, and matter of honour for, every able-bodied citizen of the Erusian SFSR to work conscientiously in his chosen, socially useful occupation, and strictly to observe labour discipline. Evasion of socially useful work is incompatible with the principles of socialist society.

Article 61. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR are obliged to preserve and protect socialist property. It is the duty of a citizen of the Erusian SFSR to combat misappropriation and squandering of state and socially-owned property and to make thrifty use of the people's wealth. Persons encroaching in any way on socialist property shall be punished according to the law.

Article 62. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR are obliged to safeguard the interests of the Soviet state, and to enhance its power and prestige. Defence of the Socialist Motherland is the sacred duty of every citizen of the Soviet state. As such, every citizen of the Erusian SFSR holds to right to own and bear arms, and is encouraged to do so, for the preservation of a free state, against foreign, or internal agression. A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Betrayal of the Motherland is the gravest of crimes against the people, and individuals guilty of such action will be tried without mercy.

Article 63. Military service in the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Erusian SFSR is an honorable duty of Soviet citizens.

Article 64. It is the duty of every citizen of the Erusian SFSR to respect the national dignity of other citizens, and to strengthen friendship of the nations and nationalities of the multinational Soviet state.

Article 65. A citizen of the Erusian SFSR is obliged to respect the rights and lawful interests of other persons, to be uncompromising toward anti-social behaviour, and to help maintain public order.

Article 66. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR are obliged to concern themselves with the upbringing of children, to train them for socially useful work, and to raise them as worthy members of socialist society. Children are obliged to care for their parents and help them.

Article 67. Citizens of the Erusian SFSR are obliged to protect nature and conserve its riches.

Article 68. Concern for the preservation of historical monuments and other cultural values is a duty and obligation of citizens of the Erusian SFSR.

Article 69. It is the internationalist duty of citizens of the Erusian SFSR to promote friendship and co-operation with peoples of other lands and help maintain and strengthen world peace.

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