POLI 231 - Locke 2

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Published on 29 Sep 2011
School
McGill University
Department
Political Science
Course
POLI 231
Limited Government
What is the threat to individual liberty? Three viewpoints:
1) Republican/Nationalist (both are characterized to a certain extent by
their absolutist tendencies)
Threat: other individuals
Solution: strong government, rule of law, responsible government
2) Liberal
Threat: government
Solution: limited government
separation of government
checks and balances
federalism
empowering actors in society (associations, etc)
empowering actors in the market
3) Socialist
Threat: other organized groups
Solution: specific to the group that is the threat
ex.
T -> Religion; S -> Secularism
T -> Family; S -> State intervention
T -> Corporations; S -> Unionism
Locke is generally a Liberal; however, he favours the Rule of Law, and
uses an idea of freedom that combines the Liberal and Republican
definitions.
Dispersion of Power -> Separation of Government
Legislative (held supreme) vs Executive
To have dispersion of power, one requires two mechanisms:
1) Constitutional Government
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Document Summary

Three viewpoints: republican/nationalist (both are characterized to a certain extent by their absolutist tendencies) Solution: strong government, rule of law, responsible government: liberal. Empowering actors in the market: socialist. Solution: specific to the group that is the threat ex. Locke is generally a liberal; however, he favours the rule of law, and uses an idea of freedom that combines the liberal and republican definitions. To have dispersion of power, one requires two mechanisms: constitutional government, dissolution of government. When: executive undermines legislative, and when trust played in government by citizens is. Popular sovereignty violated: rule of law, elections. These two institutions must be followed by the government in order for the government to be legitimate. If the above institutions are corrupted by the executive, then sovereignty reverts back to the people. Collapse of government is not equal to the collapse of society.