John Locke's Principles Of Government

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The main philosophy of John Locke, a famous and well-known Enlightenment philosopher, involves his theory of natural law and natural rights given to mankind. In this particular article, entitled “The Consent of the Governed”, part of his work Two Treatises of Government, Locke addresses importance of man’s natural state and its main characteristics, the forming of a government and what it offers and the relationship between a government and its subjects. According to Locke, man’s natural state is a state of equality, with no man being of higher power than another and all are welcome to have complete control over their own lives. He states that, by nature, men are “all free, equal, and independent, no one can be put out of this estate,…show more content…
He states that “for all being kings as much as he, every man his equal”—in other words, both the government and its subjects play a role to balance each other out. Furthermore, the people must follow the “universal law” set by the government, the “established, settled, known law, received and allowed by common consent to be the standard of right and wrong”. In return, the government will not take the “law of nature”, or their natural rights of, away from the people. However, if the government’s subjects refuse to obey the law of the land, the leading authorities have the right to “punish the crimes committed against that law”. Moreover, if the government takes their natural rights away from the people, they have the right to overthrow the government, because those rights are universal and belong to every human being. Locke’s proposed system guards against absolute or arbitrary power by emphasizing the power of unity. While a man may possess higher power than another, not one man alone possesses all the power to rule. When discussing the formation of a government, Locke never ceases to repeat that a government is a “society with others, who are already united, or have a mind to unite”. Locke also determines that the government is a balanced system, and governs by the consent of the people. This way, absolute or arbitrary power will not
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