"[W]henever the legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence. Whensoever therefore the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society; and either by ambition, fear, folly or corruption, endeavour to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people; by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty ..."
by:
John Locke
(1632-1704) English philosopher and political theorist. Considered the ideological progenitor of the American Revolution and who, by far, was the most often non-biblical writer quoted by the Founding Fathers of the USA.
Source:
Second Treatise of Civil Government [1690]
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/7370/7370-h/7370-h.htm
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Reader comments about this quote:
WOW ! ! ! that I could rate this quote with 10 stars an innumerable times, it would not be enough. Knowing that the founders quoted Locke, second only to the Bible, gives an absolute basis for the lawful identity of the representative republic - that was to be. Locke was quoted sufficiently to coin the phrase, "we hold these truths to be self evident" Thank you editor.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike said it better than I can.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
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    Well said Mike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    Excellent!! Each of us should have this memorized.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Indeed, just look at the last 10 years - they have broken every conceivable law - 1933 was when the starting gun was fired. John Locke and George Berkeley what a duo. "Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist" GB
     -- RBESRQ     
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    This quote has similar meaning of a statement from Our Declaration, "...when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." When the government ignores the fundamental rights of the individual citizen and assumes more power than that which was consented by the governed, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it and restore it to the purpose of establishing justice and securing the blessings of liberty. Actually, it is more than just Our right, its Our duty. If we falter in this sacred responsibility, we will suffer for it until our deaths and children will suffer their entire lives. The usurpation will continue until another Founding Generation is enlightened by the Almighty with the wisdom and strength necessary to once again make this the land of liberty and justice. "Duty is ours, results are Gods." Lets do Our duty, and pray that God gives pleasing results.
     -- Publius     
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    Share far and wide, this better than any other explanation tells what our Constitution really is. Lets pray there are enough Patriots left to restore what has been stolen from us.
     -- William V. Wood, Shepherd, MI     
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