John Locke: On the Dissolution of Government

The spark for this squib is the failure of western governments to protect the persons and property of their citizens from politically or religiously motivated criminals. Among just a few of the outrages:

• Swedish elementary school children recently beseeched their principal in writing to protect them from islamic students.

• Closer to home, the mayor of San Jose California directed his police and firefighters to stand idly by as paid Leftists assaulted Trump rally attendees:

The Dissolution of Government

• Last year, the mayor of Baltimore so much as encouraged rioters to destroy property.

What gives? Is this why societies create governments?

John Locke provided insight in Chapter XIX of his Second Treatise of Government. He distinguishes between society and government, in that commonwealths are formed by preexisting societies, in which people come together first and foremost to secure their safety. Fundamental to Locke’s philosophy is this societal foundation to all commonwealths or republics. So essential is society, that should society be dissolved, the government created by the society goes away with it. Society doesn’t have to have a government in order to exist, but representative government is utterly dependent on a civil society.

There are two approaches to destroy a government: from without, and from within. In both situations, outside or inside forces alter or destroy the legislative power. What Locke simply calls the ‘legislative,’ is the essence of republican government, for this body of representatives gives form, life, and UNITY to the commonwealth. The constitution of the legislative is the first and most important act of society, whereby provision is made for the continuation of union under the direction of persons authorized by the consent and appointment of the people. Since the legislative embodies the unity of society, any unconstitutional alteration of the legislative means the dissolution of government. Because the legislative is the creation of, and responsible to society, society is not bound to obey those not authorized to make laws. The people are in full liberty to resist the force of those who attempt to impose their raw will upon them.

In the first case, in order to destroy government from without, a conqueror cuts out government by its roots by mangling the civil society on which government depends. The bonds between a separated, subdued, and scattered people are broken and no longer at hand to protect them from violence.

The second case, in which society is destroyed from within, a corrupt executive accomplishes this by altering the legislative. Locke wrote, “He who takes away the freedom or hinders the acting of the legislative, in effect takes away the legislative and puts an end to government.” In Locke’s time, English kings often prorogued or dismissed parliaments at will. By other devices, parliament was hampered in its ability to rationally consider, debate and craft laws for the kingdom.

Locke identified another ruse to alter the legislative and dissolve government, which occurs when the executive corrupts the electoral process through the delivery of fellow citizens into foreign subjection. Witness Obama’s illegal open borders policy, where the intent is to dilute the political power of American citizens. The flood of mexicans and muslims is designed to forever alter the legislative. An executive confident enough to corrupt the electoral process is likewise strong enough to terrify and suppress political opponents. Soon, alteration of the legislative accelerates into a total breakdown that is indistinguishable from foreign conquest.

The last way in which a government may be dissolved occurs when he who has the supreme executive power, neglects and abandons his duty to see to it that the laws be faithfully executed. There is no greater crime between men, when those in government do not hinder, or actually partake in overthrow of the legislative. Society is purposely reduced to anarchy, and the government is dissolved. Laws are the bonds of society which keep all parts of the body politic in their due places and functions. Government ceases when the law ceases. Society becomes a confused multitude without order or connection to one another. Without the administration of justice to secure men’s rights or provide for the necessities of the public, there is certainly no government left. Government without laws is inconceivable to human capacity and inconsistent with civil society.

End.

The decision of San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and other western politicians to stand down in the face of barbarism represents the final throes, the dissolution of republican government. Our national legislative, the congress, no longer serves the purposes We The People assigned it. What constitutes law and the legislative are increasingly up to Obama and scotus. When national and local law enforcement no longer enforce the law, and fail to protect the innocent, the innocent have every right and duty to reconstitute a government that once again secures their God-given, unalienable rights.

We are the many; our oppressors are the few. Be proactive. Be a Re-Founder of the American Republic. Join Convention of States. Sign our COS Petition.

27 thoughts on “John Locke: On the Dissolution of Government

  1. Pat Berry

    Another excellent, well reasoned article. We have three choices: 1. surrender our rights and pass into subjugation; 2. Armed revolution; 3. Convene an Article 5 Convention of the States and rein in the out of control government.

    1. michael kuhn

      Thank you Rodney for that great article. Convention of States is needed. Let’s hope the people of this country wake up and become proactive.

  2. Rodney Dodsworth Post author

    Well, thank you. It turned out a bit more dense than I had hoped. I agree with your estimate of our choices.

  3. Roger Kramer

    Thanks Rodney! Locke and his contemporaries studied the science of good government. Perhaps a COS would provide the forum for renewing that critical thinking.

    1. Rodney Dodsworth Post author

      I believe that during the weeks leading to a COS, we’ll witness a nationwide dialogue on the means and ends of government not seen since the 18th century. First principles are just that. I don’t see how a COS could possibly avoid them.

    2. Alice Pavlick

      Here’s another reason to support Article V Convention of States: when we get this amendment limiting the power of the federal government ratified, and we, the people will, they are going to sit up & take notice! Party’s over, folks! They are going to be scared to death. It will not be business as usual! Once we get our supporting states , and have ratified the Constitution, slicing the head off of the federal leviathan- taking its perceived power away, the times will be changing!! We will have our grass roots movement in place, and can stand up to the “establishment” & take our country back! The COS is our best & last hope. Make your voice heard- let it be ” the shot that was heard around the world”. http://www.conventionofstates.com

  4. George Rombach

    Great Article! States well why we are in COS. I hope that many will ready articles like this in their effort to get educated. Thank you Rodney.

  5. George Rombach

    Great Article! States will the reasons why we are in COS. I hope that this kind of dialogue on the means and ends of government takes a bigger place in our society. Thank you Rodney.

  6. M Sellers

    The Convention of States Project is the safe and constitutional way to reclaim our beloved country. We prospered under the Constitution, and we can return to our founding principles once more!

  7. Gary Rosenbaum

    Great Article Rodney! The Federal Government is out of control. America is 20 Trillion dollars in debt. It has 200 Trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities. Congress has surrendered the power of the purse. The Judiciary views the Constitution as an anachronistic historical document. We at Convention of States have a solution as big as the problem. Please encourage your local state rep to become more involved in States’ rights. Visit here to learn more, sign the petition, and sign up to volunteer:
    http://www.cosaction.com/?recruiter_id=1636326

  8. C.A. Hall

    Great article and explanation of what will destroy a legislative government and subsequently the society that formed that government with the People in mind.

  9. Brandon Benson

    I always love reading Locke.

    This was great part to put in:
    There are two approaches to destroy a government: from without, and from within. In both situations, outside or inside forces alter or destroy the legislative power. What Locke simply calls the ‘legislative,’ is the essence of republican government, for this body of representatives gives form, life, and UNITY to the commonwealth.

    Thanks for writing this!

  10. Alex Scott Grunberg

    Hello,

    I am a volunteer with conventionofstates.com a subsidiary of citizens for self governance. We are a grassroots operation involved in the education and organization of citizens throughout the united states, at all levels of government. We believe it is time to try amending the constitution at a state convention, and we intend to do so by informing the public.

    Learn more at conventionofstates.com; sign the petition and volunteer. We will contact you with more information on how you can get involved in local politics; become a district captain, and begin hosting local meetings in your area. We believe that the power in this country ought to be in the hands of the people, not the legislators. In other words; our representatives and senators ought to do what we tell them to.

    In an amended constitution legislators may receive shorter terms; so they may be more focused on serving the interests of the people.

    In an amended constitution judges may receive shorter terms; so they may be more focused on serving the interests of the people.

    More elections could ensure that the voters have their voices heard, and their interests met.

    Furthermore, amending the constitution to include legislation that will require the federal government to balance a budget; to ensure government programs continue to be funded for future generations.

    There are some great scholarly minds behind these statements; read more at conventionofstates.com

  11. Richard Sutterfield

    Wow! Great job. What a great reminder of how insightful our founding fathers were in anticipating what a government can become. Sad that it has happened, but the COS is the answer. More of this please!

  12. Steve McCarthy

    Jefferson warned we would become “a single and splendid government of an Aristocracy, founded on banking institutions and monied in corporations… riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry.” (Jefferson to William Branch Giles, 12/26/1825). We might genuflect before our Supreme Court for Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) for bringing Jefferson’s warning into reality; bestowing upon insentient corporate entities a First Amendment right to buy and sell political campaigns. With our Commander in Chief directing the diffusion of the very language we speak, not to mention refusing to identify the enemy at our doors, we are clearly at the mercy of a runaway federal executive, and in jeopardy of a treacherous defeasance of our Constitution with the prospect of judicial activism on the Supreme Court.

    Thank you for your efforts in explicating the philosophical foundations of our as yet still democratic republic!

    1. Rodney Dodsworth Post author

      “With our Commander in Chief directing the diffusion of the very language we speak, not to mention refusing to identify the enemy at our doors, we are clearly at the mercy of a runaway federal executive, and in jeopardy of a treacherous defeasance of our Constitution with the prospect of judicial activism on the Supreme Court.”

      I couldn’t agree more.

  13. Michael Millikan

    Hey, would someone get me my fiddle? Rome is burning and I want to play sweet music by the firelight. Help save America from the fiddlers in Washington DC. Please visit our website to learn about Citizens for Self Governance and our Article V Convention of States Project:

    http://www.cosaction.com/?recruiter_id=1501881

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