Political Science 1020E Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Political Philosophy, Jeremy Bentham, Participatory Democracy

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All that makes existence valuable to anyone depends on the enforcement of restraints upon the actions of other people. mill, on liberty. That we have no real alternative to the state acts as a negative justification: we cannot think of anything better. Therefore, we need a moral argument to show that we have a moral duty to obey the state. This argument will also help us to understand when the state loses its legitimacy. According to locke, nobody has the right to claim authority over you if you have not voluntarily put yourself in that position through your own consent. For locke, the problem is justifying the state is to show how authority can be reconciled with the natural autonomy of the individual. According to this view, our political institutions must be justified in terms of the will, choices, or decisions of those over whom they have authority.

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