Monday, February 27, 2012

Liberty, Part XLI

Algernon Sydney:

“Is it possible that he who is instituted for the obtaining of justice, should claim the liberty of doing injustice as a privilege?”

“The creature having nothing, and being nothing but what the Creator makes him, must owe all to him, and nothing to any one from whom he has received nothing. Man therefore must be naturally free, unless he be created by another power than we have yet heard of.”

“This liberty therefore must continue, till it be either forfeited or willingly resigned. The forfeiture is hardly comprehensible in a multitude that is not entered into any society; for as they are all equal, and ‘equals can have no right over each other,’ no man can forfeit any thing to one who can justly demand nothing, unless it may be by a personal injury, which is nothing to this case...”

“’Tis agreed by mankind, that subjection and protection are relative; and that he who cannot protect those that are under him, in vain pretends to a dominion over them. The only ends for which governments are constituted, and obedience render’d to them, are the obtaining of justice and protection; and they who cannot provide for both, give the people a right of taking away such ways as best please themselves, in order to their own safety.”

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