John Lock Civil Government Analysis

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POLT 1070 Mrs. Ajala Yassin Mukhaeir 23rdth April 2015 John Lock: Second Treaties on Civil Government: Chapters 7-19 The author: John Lock was a English Philosopher and physician. He studied medicine and had a major impact on the scientific revolution. He laid the foundations of for the enlightenment and made major contributions towards the development of liberalism (he was known as the founding father of political liberalism). He developed the theory that a person is born a blank page with his knowledge and character being formed through his experiences. He influenced the United States founding documents through his political theory of government (a government is a tool that aims to protect life, liberty and the estate). He provided an early…show more content…
In a lawful conquest the conqueror should not overpower those who conquered with them. The conqueror should only use despotic power against the government that waged war not the entire population unless they support the government’s unjust war. Lock is strictly against the unjust use of force under any circumstance. Despotic power is the right that a just conqueror has over a unjust government in which a conqueror can seize an aggressors property as long as no one else (such as the aggressors family have a right over that property). Usurpation is changing the leadership of an aggressive government without altering the form and laws of that government. Only the people have the right to confirm their leader and choose the type of government they are governed by. A good leader works for the benefit of all people and abides by legislative laws while a tyrant while a tyrant acts on his own benefit and breaks the law whenever it pleases him. An executive body falls into tyranny whenever it stops working for the benefit of the people. When a government descends into a state of tyranny it should be dissolved and replaced. Then the people should work on re-establishing a civil society and legislation which suits their best interests. Allowing people to change their own legislation leaves no room for rebellion. The people are the ones who should judge whether their leader should be overthrown…show more content…
The book was written to justify King Williams’s revolt and resistance to King James II. Lock wrote against the pro-absolutist theories of Robert Filmer and Thomas Hobbes. The author repeated and put emphasis on his main points (The people are the absolute power in a society, equality and freedom of men, a just leader acts for the benefit of the society while a tyrant acts for his own benefit and unjust conquest is never justified) which are the main advocates for a just civil society. After establishing the difference between a paternal and civil society, Lock lays out the foundations and laws of how a government should rule internally and externally. I agree with the arguments that Lock is putting forth but believe that they can only be applied in certain cases and fully realizing them is very difficult. They are generally applied all over the western world (the best example would be Switzerland where the majority of the population directly and fully participate in the legislation and execution of the laws). In most countries this form of democracy is very difficult to fully realize; in the U.S although there is a well governed democracy with laws, security and public participation as well as an elected government the general masses have no power over certain matters (especially foreign affairs). Almost ever since
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