Locke2 - Saleh 1 Fahad Saleh Professor Brennan Founders...

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Saleh 1 Fahad Saleh Professor Brennan Founders, Framers and Philosophers November 19, 2007 Locke and Consent of the Governed John Locke believes that just governmental authority stems from the consent of the people. As a believer in individual autonomy, Locke asserts that for an individual to join a political society, he must individually give his consent. However, once an individual consents to join a society, he has agreed to be a part of “one body, with a power to act as one body,” so the individual is then “bound by the consent to be concluded by the majority” (Locke 96). Nonetheless, as government receives its just powers from the people and the people have limited power in the state of nature, the individual possesses certain rights that may not be justly infringed upon regardless of the will of the majority. In The Second Treatise , John Locke puts forth a vision of government with an emphasis on individual rights and responsibility, allowing each individual to choose his own government but then requiring the individual to honor the consent he has given by complying with the laws of that government. Believing in an “equality of men by nature,” Locke asserts that consent can only be given directly by an individual (5). As such, a son cannot be bound by an act of his father. The son remains under his father’s “tuition and authority” until he comes to the “age of discretion,” but then the son becomes a “free-man” with liberty to place himself under whichever government he decides (118). Without giving consent, the individual
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Saleh 2 exists in a state of nature, but he may join a society through either an express consent or tacit consent. In order to become a “perfect member of society,” an individual must give express consent through an actual agreement (119). The individual then becomes a subject of the government and places all of his possessions under the jurisdiction of the government (120). As a consequence of this matter, whoever “enjoys any part of [the individual’s] land” must take the land with the condition of submitting to the government in so far that any subject of that government would be obliged to as regardless of whether the land had been attained through “inheritance, purchase, permission, or otherways,” this land had been annexed to and remains under the dominion of that government (120).
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Locke2 - Saleh 1 Fahad Saleh Professor Brennan Founders...

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