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The Second Treatise of Civil Government
Sec. 197. AS conquest may be called a foreign usurpation, so
usurpation is a kind of domestic conquest, with this difference,
that an usurper can never have right on his side, it being no
usurpation, but where one is got into the possession of what
another has right to. This, so far as it is usurpation, is a change
only of persons, but not of the forms and rules of the government:
for if the usurper extend his power beyond what of right belonged
to the lawful princes, or governors of the commonwealth, it is
tyranny added to usurpation.
Sec. 198. In all lawful governments, the designation of the
persons, who are to bear rule, is as natural and necessary a part
as the form of the government itself, and is that which had its
establishment originally from the people; the anarchy being much
alike, to have no form of government at all, or to agree that it
shall be monarchical, but to appoint no way to design the person
that shall have the power, and be the monarch. Hence all
commonwealths, with the form of government established, have rules
also of appointing those who are to have any share in the public
authority, and settled methods of conveying the right to them.
Whoever gets into the exercise of any part of the power, by other
ways than what the laws of the community have prescribed, hath no
right to be obeyed, though the form of the commonwealth be still
preserved; since he is not the person the laws have appointed, and
consequently not the person the people have consented to. Nor can
such an usurper, or any deriving from him, ever have a title, till
the people are both at liberty to consent, and have actually
consented to allow, and confirm in him the power he hath till then
The PRODOS Institute Inc.. PO Box 2165, Richmond South VIC 3121, Australia.
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