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Single Idea 19888

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / d. Social contract]

Full Idea

The beginning of politic society depends upon the consent of the individuals to join into and make one society.

Gist of Idea

A society only begins if there is consent of all the individuals to join it


John Locke (Second Treatise of Government [1690], 106)

A Reaction

This is the dramatic new political idea (originating with Hobbes), that all of the members must (at some point) consent to the state. In practice we are all born into a state, so it is not clear what this means in real life.

Book Reference

Locke,John: 'Two Treatises of Government' [Everyman 1988], p.169