English_Master June 7, 2016 No Comments
PEOPLE—THE ONLY CENSORS OF GOVERNMENTS There are governments of men who are sincere, honest and true, just as there are governments run by self-seekers, demagogues, and power-obsessed tyrants. There are monarchies, oligarchies, dictatorships and democracies. Who serves as a check on all types of government, good, bad or indifferent? Who acts as the final arbiter and the ultimate determinant of their worth and performance? The plain answer is—the people. The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government. The legal sovereign, that is, the authority constituted or set up by law, may have a will of its own and may enforce it for some time, but it is the political sovereign (who lies behind, and limits, the legal authority) that ultimately prevails. During the 16th and 17th centuries the doctrine of “popular sovereignty” emerged as an expression of resentment of the people against the despotic authority of kings and their reliance on the theory of Divine Rights. The concept of popular sovereignty attributes ultimate sovereignty to the people. Rousseau was its great exponent, and it became a slogan of the French Revolution. The American Declaration of Independence and the U.S. constitution incorporated this principle in the preamble by affirming that Government derives its authority from...
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