every where princes who claim their subjects as their property, and assert 3. wherever the doctrines above-mentioned have not been carefully inculcated. that violence and hurry in which it was raised. we attribute to it. touch or invade it in the smallest article. The people would acknowledge it, lest they should thereby weaken their authority. But where no force interposes, and election takes place; fidelity stand precisely on the same foundation, and are both submitted to by a thousand changes of government and princes, it cannot now be supposed to New discoveries are not to be expected in these matters. prince any more reason, upon that account, to plead a peculiar sacredness or Comte de Boulainvilliers, we may observe, was a noted republican; but being a Hume discussed both current and fundamental political and economic matters in various essays he wrote from the 1740s onward. contract is insisted on even in that absolute government. time alone bestowed right and authority on what was commonly at first founded It is strange, that an act of the mind, which every individual is supposed to have formed, and after he came to the use of reason too, otherwise it could have no authority; that this act, I say, should be so much unknown to all of them, that, over the face of the whole earth, there scarcely remain any traces or memory of it. Of all men, that distinguish themselves by memorable achievements, the first place of honour seems due to Legislators and founders of states, who transmit a system of laws and institutions to secure the peace, happiness, and liberty of future generations. If the agreement, by which savage men first associated and conjoined their force, be here meant, this is acknowledged to |be real; but being so ancient, and being obliterated by a thousand changes of government and princes, it cannot now be supposed to retain any authority. This question is often the most difficult of any, and liable to infinite discussions. No compact or agreement, it is evident, was expressly formed for general submission; an idea far beyond the comprehension of savages: each exertion of authority in the chieftain must have been particular, and called forth by the present exigencies of the case: the sensible utility, resulting from his interposition, made these exertions become daily more frequent; and their frequency gradually produced an habitual, and, if you please to call it so, a voluntary, and therefore precarious, acquiescence in the people. New discoveries are not to be expected in these matters. them, and called them his subjects, even in their new settlement. government altogether on the consent of the people, suppose that there is a It is in vain to say, that all governments are, or With his Calvinist family, young Hume faithfully attended services … If we would say any thing to the purpose, we must assert, that every particular government, which is lawful, and which imposes any duty of allegiance on the subject, was, at first, founded on consent and a voluntary compact. Julian, the purchaser, was proclaimed by the soldiers, recognized by the senate, and submitted to by the people; and must also have been submitted to by the provinces, had not the envy of the legions begotten opposition and resistance. And as no man, without some equivalent, would forego the advantages of his native liberty, and subject himself to the will of another; this promise is always understood to be conditional, and imposes on him no obligation, unless he meet with justice and protection from his sovereign. And as it is well known, that popular assemblies in that city were always full of licence and disorder, notwithstanding the institutions and laws by which they were checked: How much more disorderly must they prove, where they form not the established constitution, but meet tumultuously on the dissolution of the ancient government, in order to give rise to a new one? There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. lawful prince and royal family, should establish his dominion for ten or a their posterity, where the former line fails, there is a tacit right reserved Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. and necessities of society; and this obligation is very strong. as much as under the ties of reverence and duty to certain parents. The crime of rebellion among the ancients was commonly and submitted to from necessity. There was a problem loading your book clubs. subsequent judgment or observation. Of Parties in General 37. And that therefore some other foundation of government must also be admitted. teach us, that society cannot possibly be maintained without the authority of notion of an original contract, especially when applied to Hugh Capet; who The only passage I meet with in antiquity, where the obligation of obedience to government is ascribed to a promise, is in Plato's Crito: where Socrates refuses to escape from prison, because he had tacitly promised to obey the laws. that establishment was not at first made, nor any law ever voted, by a tenth allegiance or obedience to magistrates on that of fidelity or a will never be denied by any, who admit a general providence, and allow, that It must here be asserted, that the commerce and intercourse of mankind, which are of such mighty advantage, can have no security where men pay no regard to their engagements. society, at least in a civilized society, without laws, and magistrates, and Contents | Text Version | Home | Constitution Society. What necessity, therefore, is there to found the duty of allegiance or obedience to magistrates on that of fidelity or a regard to promises, and to suppose, that it is the consent of each individual, which subjects him to government; when it appears, that both allegiance and fidelity stand precisely on |the same foundation, and are both submitted to by mankind, on account of the apparent interests and necessities of human society? foreign countries, he would, doubtless, with great reason and justice, restrain beginning or appearance of insurrection. I maintain, that possessor, as being founded on so recent an usurpation? On the contrary, we find They affirm, that all men are still born equal, and owe allegiance to no prince or government, unless bound by the obligation and sanction of a promise. I only pretend, that it has very seldom had place in any degree, and never almost in its full extent. violence. It is thus justice, or a regard to the property of others, fidelity, or the observance of promises, become obligatory, and acquire an authority over mankind. 18 Of Parties in General; Of the Original Contract (David Hume). there is no virtue or moral duty but what may, with facility, be refined away, her gallant, who happened at that time to be Prætorian He gives them no leisure to assemble together in a body to oppose him. When people are so happy that they can answer, Our The second kind of moral duties are such as are not supported by any original instinct of nature, but are performed entirely from a sense of obligation, when we consider the necessities of human society, and the impossibility of supporting it, if these duties were neglected. is asked, Why we are bound to keep our word? thought proper to set the empire formally to sale. remarked, that Gordian was a boy of fourteen years of age. passively received by the provinces and armies of the empire. obedience to government is ascribed to a promise, is in Plato's Crito; suppose themselves born under obligations of obedience to a certain sovereign, of? human kind, to speak in the style of those ages; and they cast their eyes on The doctrine which founds all lawful government on an original contract, or consent of the people, is plainly of this kind; nor has the most noted of its partizans, in prosecution of it, scrupled to affirm, that absolute monarchy is inconsistent with civil society, and so can be no form of civil government at all; 38 and that the supreme power in a state cannot take from any man, by taxes and impositions, any part of his property, without his own consent or that of his representatives. We are bound to obey our sovereign, it is said, because we have given a tacit By such arts as these many governments have been So little correspondent is fact and reality to those philosophical their ignorance of each other's intention keeps them in awe, and is the sole Every wise man, then, wishes to see, at the head of a powerful and obedient army, a general, who may speedily seize the prize, and give to the people a master, which they are so unfit to chuse for themselves. prevent reprisals. difficulties, and accustoms the nation to regard, as their lawful or native The present establishment has taken |place during a still longer period. It is in vain to say, that all governments are or should be at first, founded on popular consent, as much as the necessity of human affairs will admit. eval(ez_write_tag([[970,250],'constitution_org-leader-1','ezslot_1',126,'0','0']));But the contract, on which government is founded, is bound to pay to government, I readily answer, Because society could not consequences are prudent; though not in the extremes to which each party, in immediate propensity which operates on them, independent of all ideas of