John Locke On Tacit And Unintended Consent
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|John Locke on Tacit and Unintended Consent
In his Second Treatise on Law and Government, John Locke outlines clear and coherent standards for what constitutes a legitimate government and what persons one such government would have authority over. Both are determined by citizens' acts of consenting to relinquish to the government part of their natural authority over their own conduct. Unfortunately, the situation becomes much less clear once we consider how his standards would apply to the political situation existing in the real world today. If we continue to subscribe to Locke's account without altering its standards, we would see a precipitous drop in the number of people whose interests existing governments are responsible for serving. In this paper I will show that with certain changes and clarifications to Locke's standards, the responsibilities of existing governments need not be allowed to shrink so drastically. This creates a tradeoff, however. Changing the standards to app...
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