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Single Idea 19893

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 4. Citizenship]

Full Idea

Every man that hath any possession or enjoyment of any part of the dominions of any government doth thereby give his tacit consent, and is as far forth obliged to obedience to the laws of that government, during such enjoyment.

Gist of Idea

Anyone who enjoys the benefits of a state has given tacit consent to be part of it


John Locke (Second Treatise of Government [1690], 119)

A Reaction

I wondered at the age of about 18 whether I had given tacit consent to be a British citizen. Locke says you only have to travel freely down the highways to give consent! We are all free, of course, to apply for citizenship elsewhere. But Idea 19894.

Book Reference

Locke,John: 'Two Treatises of Government' [Everyman 1988], p.177

Related Idea

Idea 19894 You can only become an actual member of a commonwealth by an express promise [Locke]