Jurlandia Writings

Copyright © Barnabas D. Johnson

(Skip Introduction)


The following list provides links to major Jurlandia writings. Some of these writings provide links to earlier “parent writings” which (a) have historical value and, for that reason, have not been altered, yet (b) have been superseded by their offspring. Generally, those earlier writings promoted discussions and correspondence over several years that led to revisions, etc., as reflected in their offspring, most of which are listed below. As Gregory Bateson noted in his 1971 book, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, an “ecology of mind” includes the historical steps — prior works — that “informed” it.

I do not now endorse every particular of those earlier writings. For example, my 1998 Inaugural Essay prompted responses from Professor Harold J. Berman (regarding, inter alia, the origins of the Western Legal Tradition) which have led me to rethink the role of Justinian and Aristotelian “rediscovery” in shaping what came to be called Scholasticism. Yet these “parent writings” contain valuable contextual materials. For example, none of my post-1998 writings have addressed several key themes introduced in the Inaugural Essay; despite its faults, therefore, that essay continues to provide important context regarding Jurlandia’s goals.

In any event, most Jurlandia writings are, and will remain, subject to ongoing revision. That is the power and beauty of internet-based publishing: each element, large or small, can be reconsidered and improved. Yet all previous versions of everything ever published on the World Wide Web remain, whether we wish this or not. For example, the WayBack Archive apparently keeps copies of all web pages produced since 1996. Thus, it provides whatever it finds (or sometimes fails to find) in periodical “snapshots” of this website since 2001. WayBack also contains archives of this website’s predecessor, www.jurlandia.am, hosted by the American University of Armenia, where I served as onsite manager of the Department of Law during 1998-03. Obviously, I cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of such archival versions. The list below provides current versions of most Jurlandia writings, plus links from those writings to several precursor writings.

These writings compose and explain curriculum materials focussed on comparative constitutional arrangements, particularly judicial systems. My years as head of the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary haunt me. Current American jurisprudence has been defiled and corrupted at a time when the United States must become a better exemplar for the whole world. My focus is on global discontinuity and reform.


I have long resisted suggestions that I create this list. Lists are linear, moving from one “place” (the “starting point”) to another (the “end”), whereas what I am trying to create with Jurlandia is more like a “holographic encyclopedia” whose information is organized not “A” through “Z” but contextually, depending on a multitude of “entry points” where the parameters of a question necessarily affect the parameters of any answer that can be recognized as responsive. The metaphor of a hologram, as distinct from a list — whether to help us conceptualize individual brains or the totality of human knowledge — is only a metaphor, of course, and lacks the important element of historicity: What we “see” must carry the dew of many morning refreshments, the scars of many dusky lamentations.

Such a “hologram of historicity” must, on principle, be viewed in space and time from an infinity of perspectives, whether from left or right, top or bottom, inside or outside, near or far. The tools for constructing it, or even thinking about it, have not yet been conceptualized; indeed, it is, and must remain, its own best metaphor and self-generative tool: an evolving global culture constructing its “trans-human” progeny upon firm foundations of ordered liberty, intellectual integrity, and the irreducible dignity of the unconquerable human soul.

Reconceptualizing the human condition, as we must, requires refining our tools of thought and communication, including our tool-making tools — metaphors, allegories, parables, etc., regarding how wisdom should be generated, presented, employed, refined, and advanced. Lists of paintings are poor substitutes for ambling through a great art museum with a great art historian. With that caveat, I offer the following “sort of” Table of Contents.


List of Major Writings

(See Introduction)

The Constitution of Jurlandia in English, in Russian, and in Armenian. The first draft of this “pedagogical constitution” was written in 1991 by Barnabas D. Johnson and translated into Russian by Lowry Wyman.

(Many computers will get “junk” when seeking the Russian and Armenian versions; presumably those who can read Russian or Armenian have access to computers that remedy this problem.)

See also the 1996 Explanatory Essay discussing this endeavor. A chapter-by-chapter version of the Constitution of Jurlandia will eventually contain extensive links to explanatory materials.


CONSTITUTION OF THE UNION OF SOVIET REPUBLICS OF EUROPE AND ASIA: A discussion draft by Andrei D. Sakharov prepared in December, 1989 — Translation © 1990 by Lowry Wyman, Fellow, Russian Research Center, Harvard University

Commentary on Sakharov’s Constitution, by Lowry Wyman, 1990

The above two documents, in circulation since Winter 1989-90, were published by Ab Imperio Quarterly (2005), pp. 361-379.


The Conversation of Democracy. See also its first version, now the Summary. The full essay (including many links to endnotes) provides the best “entry point” to the Jurlandia website.

Constitutional Democracy. This 1998 essay sought to introduce young Armenians to the fundamentals of constitutional democracy. Accordingly, it too provides a good entry point.

Rule of Law: Ten Principles Governing Law and Law-Making. This 1998 essay summarizes the “natural law” foundations of sustainable government under law, thereby providing another good entry point.

Due Process of Law (and 1998 Summary), including links to other “due process” essays, of which several more are being composed. These essays illuminate what I consider the most precious phrase of the English language and the most essential value undergirding any “civilization” worthy of humanity’s best potentials.

Ordered Liberty. “Balancing” contrasting values such as liberty and order is the key to conceptualizing the foundations of global constitutional democracy.

The Cybernetics of Society: The Governance of Self and Civilization. This essay, still under construction, examines why “government” must be “cybernetic” and, hence, self-corrective. See, also, Summary.


Saying What Needs to be Said: Preliminaries to The Conversation of Democracy

The Enterprise of Integrative Jurisprudence

RISE: Regenerative Intelligence Still Evolving


Ecology of Values, a preliminary (far from complete) discussion of the relationships between the ecology of mind and an ecology of values

The Rule of Law Based on the Rule of Reason, a 2001 essay examining the basics of “legal reasoning” and “cybernetic” thinking


Isonomia: Equal Justice Under Law

Mythos, Logos, and Nomos

First Trinity




“Original Meaning” of the Constitution

The Constitution of the United States (provided for easy reference)


Lustration in Transitional-Justice Context

Post-Soviet Law Reform and Legal-Education Reform

Dedichotomizing Law and Economics by Recontextualizing Self and Society

by Other Good Ideas

EVOLUTION AND COEVOLUTION: The Exhilaration of Pondering Intelligent Design Without An Intelligent Designer

FREEDOM OF CONTRACT AND THE INFOSPHERE OF DEMOCRACY: What Kropotkin Didn’t Understand Until He Stopped Being a Master of Serfs

LEARNING EMPATHY: Liberal-Arts Education Aimed at Advancing and Balancing Individual Liberty and Social Justice by Dedichotomizing Competition and Cooperation

WHY PUBLISH JUDICIAL DECISIONS? A Think Piece on Developing an Informed Consensus Favoring, and a Prototype System Demonstrating, Internet-Mediated Access To, and Commentary On, All Law — Including Key Judicial Decisions — in Armenia


ARAKAM TO JURLANDIA: A Constitutional Odyssey. This is the first part of a deeper inquiry into the philosophical foundations for sustainable and worthwhile global progress.



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