Civil Disobedience In John Locke's Two Treatises Of Government

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The relationship between the government and the governed is centered on trust. This, ideally, should be represented by a mutual partnership, one that shows equal participation of the citizens and government. As John Locke once described in his Two Treatises of Government, the government cannot operate unless it has the consent of the governed. By giving this consent, we are not only putting our trust in the government, but we are also taking on the responsibility to guide the government, to show them what the people want. It is through civil disobedience that we the people, as the body of a free society, can maintain a strong relationship with the government. Just like any relationship, it is important to show one party when it is doing something undesirable. By peacefully standing up against something we put ourselves on the path to betterment. In other …show more content…
This in itself is deceiving, because it seems wrong to threaten violence on the nation, however it is a concept our nation was built on. The idea of revolting out of an injustice committed by the government was the Framers’ way of making sure our government could not commit atrocities. In other words, this right of the citizens is what keeps our nation in perfect balance. In Jefferson’s theory of revolution, he states that threatening to revolt is more effective than actually revolting. In his article, Mirkin says that the threat of revolution is a “safe way to realize the goals of real revolution” (Mirkin, 63). Locke has a similar viewpoint in that he believes giving people the right to revolt will keep them from actually revolting. In other words, Locke and Jefferson understood our capacity to cooperate, and in turn believed it could be used constructively, without violence. Civil disobedience is done as a way to effectively get our voice heard – our way of practicing our right of speech as