The Role of John Locke in the Establishment of the Government

John Locke was one of the most influential philosophers that always talked about the definitions of the government. For instance, in the ‘two treatises of the Government,’ he argued that men are free by nature and equal based on what God claims because they are made natural due to the monarch. Locke also argued that everyone has rights to life, property, and liberty. He also claimed that men were created free by God and naturally equal when it comes to the understanding of the legitimate political governments due to the social contract where other individuals naturally transfer their rights to the government to be stable and comfortable while enjoying their property, liberty, and lives. Since the existence of the government is because of people’s consent, people have the rights to promote the goods of the government and replace to a new one if it is resisted. This essay will elaborate more on the government from arguments from John Locke and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Locke has always defended the right to revolution. According to him, he does not agree with the principle of the rule by the majority and the separation of executive and legislative powers (Locke 78). In his ‘Letter Concerning Toleration,’ Locke does not agree with the idea that coercion does of bringing people together (Locke 78). He also does not agree with the fact that churches are given the powers over citizens. Since Locke was not the first philosopher to argue on the religious toleration, he happened to be the first one to say on the theory about the limits and functions of the political authority. When restoration was taking place, Locke gave the civil magistrate the power to apply various forms of worship by insisting that the power of the magistrate is limited when it came to the protection of the public goods (Locke 81). The primary role of the state according to him was to settle disputes of the impartial umpire that existed by making the definition of the civil society.

In the ‘Second Treatise of the Government,’ Locke talks about the move of men from a natural state because of freedom governed embed by nature and why the authority of the civil government is vested in an executive and legislative power. These ideas developed through his texts such as the popular consent and sovereignty of the limitations and protection of property due to the challenges inherited an absolute monarchy (Locke 83). Locke also argued that people could dissolve a government if it did not abide by the bond of trust developed between the governor and the governed.  Locke also had the desire to protect a person’s property when it came to the establishment of the civil governments. According to him the definition of property was a person’s possession, liberty, and life.

Any land in this case that an individual cultivated belonged to him, same as any fruits picked from the ground. Locke also stated that “as the societies establish due to the growth of population, then it is mandatory for the government to regulate the property,” (Locke 89). When people consent to be governed, then the Civil government is established because of their executive and legislative power in a civil society. The executive power developed is the supreme law of property, and all requirements are supposed to follow and known (Locke 91). The executive power also enforces the rules of the legislature by exercising the powers of prerogative. Locke argued that with such a move, the government can use discretion in the enforcement of public goods only when the law is ignored or circumvented. The existence of the government, in this case, exists if people are allowed to be governed.

Ayatollah Khomeini was an Islamic religious leader that existed in 1979 in Iran following the removal of Shah from powers of the West. Upon his success, the revolution of Khomeini made him become the leader of Iran. According to Khomeini, he conveyed that the implementation and establishment of law based on the ordinances of Islam should be done under the Islamic state (Khomeini 562). He argued that people should not consent themselves with the promulgation of law but through the implementation of law through administering and stoning. The prophet, in this case, is made the successor, and his role is to expound more on law and the Islamic faith. Khomeini also argued that the implementation of the law is only established through the Islamic institutions because the Islamic successor was appointed as the prophet (Khomeini 565).

The prophet appointed is still needed to establish and execute the law in the Islam society so that happiness may be attained after that. Social and law institutions according to Khomeini need to exist as an executor. The law is supposed to be everywhere and always especially when the legislation is beneficial because by itself. When the bill is established Khomeini argues that the executive power must be brought into power just the way the laws were developed. Vali-yi amr, in this case, is the individual who held the executive powers (Khomeini 569). Khomeini also argued that the enactment of the law should be necessitated by the prophet that was restricted or confined after his departure from earth. The author also claimed that the noble verses o the Quran have no limitations concerning place or time especially when the law is being enacted.

 Khomeini claimed that the law of Islam could be restricted to a particular period due to the creedal bases of Islam. Since it is necessary to enact the rules after the Prophet has departed, his deeds will remain until the government is established and the administrative organs are executed. Without the establishment of the organs and the formation of the government, through the enactment of the law, all the activities are then allowed to take place in the framework of the system (Khomeini 569). In this case, anarchy and chaos may arise from the prevalence of the moral, social and intellectual corruption. The best way in this case according to the author to prevent the disorder and anarchy to make the society safe from crime that may arise from the government by imparting order throughout the organization.


The argument about the governments according to John Locke and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini show that before they gain power, people must agree to be controlled. Later people will form laws that run the powers of the government to avoid people of the societies being mistreated. According to Locke, he argued that the idea that coercion does of bringing people together and thus the powers of law are formed through the government. Khomeini, on the other hand, explained that a Prophet must be made a successor so that he can enact the laws that will govern people as well as reducing corruption.

Works Cited

Khomeini, Ayatollah ruhollah. “The Necessities on Islamic Government.’” Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, pp. 562–569., doi:10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_sim_0002650.

Locke, John. “Locke the Man and Locke, the Writer.” John Locke: Two Treatises of Government, pp. 78–93., doi:10.1017/cbo9780511810268.003.

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