Madsen Pirie on John Locke – @ASI

Last Thursday , 29th August, marked the birthday (in 1632) of John Locke.

The Adam Smith Institute’s Madsen Pirie writes a profile of the “father of liberalism” and his concept of constitutional government.

people eventually form civil governments through a contract to protect their rights. This is a two-way contract in which government has the duty to protect those rights, and loses the consent of the governed if it violates them.

As well as influencing England’s Bill of Rights…

Locke had major influence on the American Revolutionaries, and his ideas can be seen permeating both the Declaration of Independence and the first ten amendments to the Constitution that make up the Bill of Rights. He has been described by some as the intellectual foundation of government by consent, and is thus a major theoretician behind the institution of democratic elections that can give that consent.

Worth a read.

Image: By Godfrey Kneller, Portrait of John Locke (Hermitage).jpg (from, Public Domain,