Politics Essay

1328 words - 5 pages


Among many political issues the topic of revolution as a way of social
change has been highly contradictory. On the one hand, most scholars
target the creation of a system that would be stabile and preserve its
political and social order, replicating it over centuries. On the
other hand, many of them believed that change is necessary if the
society’s political system lands in a deadlock. A change is also
welcome is the government is corrupt.

The website of the MultiEducation Inc. gives the following definition
of the phenomenon: “complete and usually violent process by which the
government and its manner of rule are taken out of power, and a new
government is established” (MultiEducation Inc., n.d.). Perhaps the
wittiest definition is that by the Canadian economist John Kenneth
Galbraith who says that the revolution is “the kicking in of the
rotten door” (John Kenneth Galbraith Quotes, n.d.).

Locke on the Dissolution of the Government

John Locke, one of the most reputable political scientists whose works
are often cited for major ideas such as division of power into three
branches and natural rights, did not object to the disbandment of the
government that mistreats its people. In Locke’s view, this
dissolution is usually “brought about by such in the commonwealth who
misuse the power they have” (Locke, 1690). Thus, the government is
formed to maintain the natural rights of the people, which is its only
justification for existence. In fact, the need for government arises
out of the fact that human beings are prone to violate each other’s
natural rights.

In fact, Locke calls for restoration of the old order via the change
of power in case the old order is subversively corrupted by immoral
authorities. Thus, he justifies the dissolution of the government if
“a single person, or prince, sets up his own arbitrary will in place
of the laws, which are the will of the society, declared by the
legislative” (Locke, 1690). The order once established is therefore in
Locke’s perception sacrosanct; he fully believes that the acting laws
of the ideal society will represent the will of the citizens and have
to be guarded against evil officials. Particular instances of such
violations include the intrusion of the single person in the
activities of the legislature, or interference in the election process
through imposition of one’s own rules. Readers that lived in Locke’s
time could have concluded that the British monarchs many times
violated the laws and therefore have to be replaced. However, Locke
did not call for violent action, although his Second Treatise on
Government does not envisage a concrete procedure for change of power.

Later Theorists on Revolution

The late 19th century saw the emergence of a new political movement –
Socialism. Socialists called on the...

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