Government's Roles In The Case Of John Locke And The Rights Of Revolution

1816 Words8 Pages
In the Second Treatise of Government, John Locke argues that citizens have the right of revolution when the government acts against their interests. To Locke, revolution was an obligation, however, many other philosophers do not view it that way. Edmund Burke, for example, believed that gradual change was better than all out revolution. Other philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes believed that the people need to obey their government due to a ‘social contract’ between them and the state. This essay will argue that a right to revolution needs to be granted to citizens in the case of a tyrannical government because it is the government’s duty to serve its citizens, and if it fails to do so, the people need to replace it with an alternate form of governance. The right of revolution is also a fundamental human right, and needs to be in place in order to ensure the liberty and freedom of the people. To examine the need for a right of revolution, we must first try to understand what such a right is. According to Locke, for the people to revolt, there first needs to be a ‘dissolution of government’, meaning that that the power is no longer in the hands of the people. In other words, a tyranny has been formed. Locke believes that the majority are meant to be the sovereign, thus, if the power shifts from the people, then they have the right to use force in order to gain back their rights. Therefore, we can conclude that the right of revolution refers to a situation in which citizens
Open Document