Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

The epigraph at the head of this paper condenses an important thesis characteristic of Western political thought: the idea that a people has the right to rebel against illegitimate regimes, overthrowing it through direct action. I will refer to this thesis in summary fashion throughout this piece as ‘the right of the people’. The idea can be found with differing degrees of emphasis in the great moments of Western political thinking: Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Marsilius of Padua, William of Ockham, Machiavelli, and Locke all included this thesis in their reflections on state legitimacy.

Comments

Many thanks to Brad Hayes for his invaluable help translating this paper.

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