The Legitimate Authority of a Despot in the UK

1724 WordsJun 16, 20187 Pages
I will advance the thesis, if an enlightened despot seized power in the UK, and governed it justly, then the despot would have legitimate authority. By saying the despot’s authority would be legitimate, I mean that, even though the despot abruptly seized power without the explicit consent of the citizens, which would then result in a loss of autonomy and negative liberty, the authority is governing the society justly, so a small amount of their rights must be sacrificed for a better society. I have three reasons for asserting the legitimate authority of the despot; first, the tacit and hypothetical consent theories; second, instrumentalism; and third, positive liberty. As mentioned above, my thesis stating the legitimacy of…show more content…
Taking this into consideration, the scenario in which an enlightened despot seized power in the UK and governed it justly, the despot would only have legitimate authority if they have the consent of the subjects. As obviously stated, the despot governs justly; therefore the society is not tyrannical and unjust, so there is no coercion and force, and thus the despot would receive the tacit and hypothetical consent from its subjects. First, the despot would receive the tacit consent from the subjects because, “in the political realm, men have tacitly consented to obey a governments simply by remaining within its territory (Pitkin1965, p. 995),” and thus, because the society is governed justly, the subjects have the ability to leave whenever they want, so those who remain in the territory give their tacit consent and obey the government, consequently making the authority legitimate. As you can see, tacit consent theory is considered “the real battle ground for consent theory (Simmons 1976, p. 278),” because the subject can change their mind at anytime. In a similar sense, the authority is legitimate with the hypothetical consent theory because, as mentioned above, the hypothetical consent theory claims that, if the authority governs in a way that could be in principle agreed upon by the subjects, then it is legitimate as long as a government rules in the best interest of it’s subjects, which holds true for this despot because he governs justly, so he’s

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