Milton Konvitz American Ideals Lectures

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Revolution occurs when the grievances of the people are very great. A sovereign and a legislature rule by the trust of the people, Locke maintained, and when such trust is broken, revolution should result. Underlying Locke’s political philosophy, Professor Konvitz observes, is the belief that mankind shares a moral sense and moral principles. Ultimately, the political system is subject to this morality. Responding to a question, he agrees that it is theoretically possible for a single individual to draft a society’s laws but in such instances he is merely acting as a legislator and the drafter of such laws is also bound to them. Questions regarding historical revolutions and how they would be understood in terms of Locke’s theories are discussed at length, as is the relation of such theories to political reality.

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