Beastrabban goes further into the ideas of John Locke, which are still pertinent to today: “Rulers should be sometimes liable to be opposed, when they grow exorbitant in the use of their power and employ it for the destruction and not the preservative of the properties of their people”.
In my last post on Locke, I described how his contract view of the relationship between monarchy and people laid the foundations of modern liberal, representative democracy. Below are a few more passages setting out Locke’s view of the origins of political sovereignty in the people, rather than their leaders, and the right of the same people to elect their governors to protect their lives, liberty and property.
The Original Compact
Men being … by nature all free, equal and independent, no one can be put out of his estate and subjected to the political power of another without his own consent. The only way whereby any one divests himself of his natural liberty and puts on the bonds of civil society is by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community, for their comfortable, save and peaceable living one amongst another, in a secure enjoyment of…
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