John Locke: On the Dissolution of Government (II)

In view of the increasing failures of national, state, local government from San Jose, CA to Sweden to protect their citizens from thugs, both secular and religious, where do innocent people turn when the institutions designed to serve the community fail to do so, or worse, actually turn against the people?

From my last post, John Locke explained in Chapter XIX of his Second Treatise, the legislative power, or, simply the legislative, granted by society to government is the essence of republicanism. When any force, from outside or within, alters the legislative, government is dissolved. Locke writes:

“When the legislative or executive act contrary to their trusts, government ceases, and is dissolved. The people are at liberty to provide for themselves by erecting a new legislature, differing from the old by change in persons or in form, as they believe best for their safety and good. Society can never lose the native and original right to preserve itself, which can only be done by a settled legislative, and a fair and impartial execution of the laws made by it.”

Yet, in the face of continued usurpations, he notes that “the greater part of the people are more disposed to suffer, than right themselves by resistance, and are not apt to stir.” If that sounds familiar, our Founders wrote, “All experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

Locke explains, “But the state of mankind is not so miserable that they are not capable of using this remedy until it be too late.” In other words, society does not have to wait until the boot of slavery is on their necks before they take action. Compare Locke to what our Founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” Men can never be secure from tyranny when there is no means to escape it. Therefore, they have not only a right to get out of tyranny but a duty to prevent it in the first place.

So, nations are apt to accept assaults on their liberty when they should actually fight back at every insult.

But what of those who say calling for rebellion in response to every alteration of the legislative sets the stage for continuous civil war? Locke countered that when the legislative is changed or the legislators act contrary to the end for which they were constituted, those responsible, not the people, are guilty of rebellion. They take away the arbitration which everyone consented to, for a peaceable framework to decide their controversies, and prevent war. When they who remove or change the legislative, they take away a decisive power which nobody but by the consent of the people can provide. By doing so, they introduce a State of War.

In the opening paragraph I asked, “Where do innocent people turn when the institutions designed to serve the community fail to do so, or worse, actually turn against the people?”

To this Locke replies, the innocent people must turn to society to decide whether or not their trustees or deputies act well, and according to the trust reposed in them. When miscarriages of power occur, authority is forfeited to the society, and the people have a right to conduct themselves as supreme, and continue the legislative in themselves or erect a new form, or put the old form in new hands as they think good.


The legislative of the United States has not only been horribly altered too many times to count, the executive of national, state and local governments increasingly make war on the people they swore to protect and serve. Every usurpation becomes precedent for the next. The grip of tyranny tightens every day. It is our sovereign duty in society with hundreds of millions of Americans to fight back. There is little time.

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.

21 thoughts on “John Locke: On the Dissolution of Government (II)

  1. cliff wilkin

    Another great commentary. Thank you Rodney for your dedication to the COS Project and our individual freedoms. Let us all push back on this repeatedly proven failed road to serfdom of socialism.

  2. Diane Barnes

    “The good new is that Franklin knew if the three branches of government strayed, there was a fourth group to reign them in and they identified that fourth group in the first three words of the United States Constitution that says, WE THE PEOPLE.” Texas Governor Greg Abbott
    Please sign the Petition by clicking on this link.

    1. Alice Pavlick

      Absolutely! We must step up and speak up! Excellent article Rodney, continue the good work. You make John Locke applicable to the times in which we live. May God bless your efforts!!


    An article V Convention of States is Constitutional and the way our Founders intended for us to handle an out of control Government. The Tenth amendment to the constitution states The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. That is why We The People must act and the way to do that is prescribed in the Constitution by an Article V Convention.Please sign the petition today here.

  4. Clayton Bink

    The argument is clear: do we content ourselves with every little distraction, or do we focus on that which is important, i.e. the Article V solution given to us by the Founders?

    I choose the Convention of States Project!!

    Learn more here:

    In Liberty,

  5. Susan

    Impressive article and explains the urgency for an Article V, before we erode to corruption. Thank you for speaking up for the innocent people. It comforting knowing that you are a part of the solution and cheating Federalism’s history, as am I. United we Stand.

  6. Carol Menges

    Good work. People are frightened when they know a too-small group’s push back will not grant them the victory they seek, but instead they’ll be merely picked off by the more powerful. Critical mass must kick in from time to time in major ways for tyranny to be destroyed.

  7. Gary Rosenbaum

    Great article Rodney. One by one our rights are being taken away by administrative acts & judicial overreach. The States created the Federal government and its now time to take the power back. Its time for an Article V Convention… it may be a long shot, but it also is our only shot to peaceably & constitutionally restore our Constitution. Visit here to learn more, sign the petition, and volunteer:

  8. George Rombach

    An Article V Convention is part of what our Founding Fathers gave and is time that We the People should use it.

  9. Paul Adcock

    I agree we do need COS. However, and my noticing of how we are going through the legislatures and the resistance we are meeting, I think there are not a small amount (though, luckily, not an insurpassable amount either) there that LIKE the status quo. Especially concerning are the big urban liberal strongholds that are being used as bases to spread the power of the Left at every level, especially national. I believe we will have to fight there in the end to get 38 states to ratify our Amendments. These liberal strongholds, if Left unchecked, will create a base with which to infect the rest of us. Furthermore, when liberal states like Illinois, Maryland, and California become too intolerable for even many liberals to live there, people move. Problem is, when the liberals move, they take their voting block with them, thus infecting other places.

    I believe we should not focus too much on DC (which is too under Leftist and RINO control to reform from within anyway) this election cycle and go for the state and local level. (Admittedly, I’m not to thrilled with the choices for President, Congressman, or Senator.)

    Of course, to defeat the Left, we need their own supporting block (some, like illegals, are most likely beyond reach of course) that they also don’t like a large out-of-control federal government and that shrinking its size and giving more power to the states, localities, and ultimately to the people is in their best interest too.

    And, of course, we need to fight for Convention of States.

  10. Fredrick Yerrick

    “Enlightened Citizens” are needed to maintain the Republic. Please join us at and and become an “Enlightened Citizen” needed to maintain our Republic. Article V Amendment Convention Project is ongoing with 8 states passed. Please join us and we thank you.

  11. Don Sutton

    Great article Rodney! Where do We the People go when our Government fails us? We invoke Article V of the U.S. Constitution to enable the states to regain their power and reign in the Tyrannical Federal Government.

    “What was to be a relatively innocuous federal government, operating from a defined enumeration of specific grants of power, has become an ever-present and unaccountable force. It is the nation’s largest creditor, debtor, lender, employer, consumer, contractor, grantor, property owner, tenant, insurer, health-care provider, and pension guarantor. Moreover, with aggrandized police powers, what it does not control directly it bans or mandates by regulation.”
    ― Mark R. Levin, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic

    Why a ?

    “…small government gives you big freedoms–and Big Government leaves you with very little freedom. The opposite of Big Government is not small government, but Big Liberty. The bailout and the stimulus and the budget and the trillion-dollar deficits are not merely massive transfers from the most dynamic and productive sector to the least dynamic and productive. When governments annex a huge chunk of the economy, they also annex a huge chunk of individual liberty. You fundamentally change the relationship between the citizen and the state into something closer to that of junkie and pusher–and you make it very difficult ever to change back.”
    ― Mark Steyn, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon

    Why not work with the Government to change direction?

    “It is folly to believe that Congress and the president, on their own, will make the necessary and difficult decisions to address the impending financial debacle. After all, they and their predecessors engineered the approaching tsunami. As the situation becomes direr, the federal government’s actions will grow more oppressive.”
    ― Mark R. Levin, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic

    Why NOW ?

    “President Ronald Reagan cautioned that Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
    ― Mark R. Levin, Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America

    “To sit back hoping that someday, someway, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will”

    Ronald Reagan

    Wait for the Tyrannical Federal Government to devour the Civil Society or join us.

  12. Phil Feeney

    Our government is threatened from within by voters who do not realize the freedoms they have will disappear if we continue as is. Our educational system has failed to produce inquiring minds and traditional values and knowledge of our system.

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