more from John Locke

Single Idea 19911

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 7. Changing the State / c. Revolution]

Full Idea

Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience.

Gist of Idea

If legislators confiscate property, or enslave people, they are no longer owed obedience


John Locke (Second Treatise of Government [1690], 222)

Book Reference

Locke,John: 'Two Treatises of Government' [Everyman 1988], p.229

A Reaction

This might fit Louis XVI in 1788. Locke was certainly not averse to consideration the situations in which revolution might be justified. He was trying to be even-handed about 1642. Locke seems to think that without property you ARE a slave.

Related Idea

Idea 19905 People stripped of their property are legitimately subject to despotism [Locke]