John Locke Tacit Consent Analysis

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Some 350 years ago, British philosopher John Locke made the claim that humans have a duty to obey the laws of whatever country one resides in simply because by residing in these countries, each resident has tacitly consented to obeying the laws of their respective country’s laws. The idea of tacit consent is central to Locke’s theory of political obligation because it is the foundation of the relationship between a state and its citizens, and whether there is a natural sense of trust between the government and the body politic. In a Lockean society, a sovereign power is, to a large extent, accountable for its people; however, their power is also restricted by Locke’s law of nature, which states that all men are free “to order their actions…show more content…
Even though people are, according to Locke, naturally free and thus have no duty to obey others, the fact that people adhere to their government’s respective laws means that they have consented to those same laws of the sovereign that rules over them. Consenting to the government is not often expressed by citizens, either in verbal or written form. By joining a body politic under a legitimate government, one displays a moral duty to tacitly obey the laws of their government. A legitimate government can be defined as a body of power that respects the natural rights of men and adheres to the laws of nature, while simultaneously providing guidance for the people that it carries power over. In return, the body politic must observe the laws that the government sets, respecting their legitimacy. If a government loses its legitimacy and begins to negatively affect its people, then the body politic has the right to overthrow the government and elect a new one into power. Otherwise, it is implied that citizens have the duty to respect the
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