Milton Konvitz American Ideals Lectures

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For Locke, Professor Konvitz suggests, political sovereignty is dependent upon the existence of a social contract between the sovereign, the legislature, and the people who, through this contract, agree to be governed. It is the right of the governed, acting as a whole, to revolt against their government when it no longer protects their natural rights and to seek a new government that will act in accordance with these rights. It is further the right of individuals within such a society to refuse to act in accordance with specific laws that offend their personal conscience, but they should be prepared to suffer consequences for violating such laws. In the latter concept, Locke, Professor Konvitz asserts, has anticipated the essential elements of the concept of civil disobedience.

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