John Locke's Responsibility Of Government

John Locke is one of the most influential political philosophers to this day. Among many other topics, Locke continuously wrote about governmental responsibilities to their people. He wrote that people create governments to ensure the stability of order in their lives that would ultimately generate a government that protected what belonged to the people. The government has the responsibility of protecting the people’s rights, and working to preserve the will of the majority.
Before a government type is selected, according to Locke, people live in a state of nature. In the state of nature people are given certain innate rights, like the right to their life, their property, and to the prosperity in their life. In the state of nature every person
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Before a government can work to preserve the rights of the people, the people must elect to have a legislative power which will hold supreme power so long as it is given consent by the people. The legislative power is limited to only doing what is good for the people, meaning that it can never possess powers to enslave, destroy, or impoverish its people. With their power the legislative power must elect to establish laws that can’t be varied by your status or your job, universal laws for the state. The burden held for making laws is not only to create new ones, but also to uphold the laws of nature as established by God. After those laws have been established, the legislative power must ensure that the laws made are ultimately for the good of the people. Additionally, Locke held the belief that the legislative power should not raise taxes on property unless they are given consent by the people or the representatives of the people. Locke believed that in the same way the legislative power would remain loyal to the will of the people, and the people had to be loyal to their government and not serve another. Under the surface there is an underlying trust that the people will respect the laws and rulings of their government, and that the government will only work to protect and preserve. Finally, the legislative power cannot place their burden of power in anyone else’s hands so as not to shift power to …show more content…
The people could choose to live in the state of nature, or submit themselves to the possibility of one person rising up in power. The lack of security will always leave the possibility for chaos and unjust behavior to occur. It would not take long for a rational being to decide that having security is the best option available. Although Locke points out that people in the state of nature are rational beings, he emphasizes that the lack of security in the state of nature is the reason people ultimately choose government. He believed that people were innately selfish and would choose incorrectly if given all the power to make punishments. He believed that the power alone would also cause corruption. For people are innately self-interested, and when given the choice to have revenge or provide a just punishment, they will chose the former. This kind of corruption leads very quickly to an almost chaotic way of living. Additionally, as said before the chance that someone might take hold of power and decide they are fit to rule over people is a very plausible possibility. It seems that in every case the state of nature does not last very long before people decide they need more to

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