Lawful Rebellion

I believe that a mature society must recognise the possibility of its own failure and should acknowledge the concept of lawful rebellion.

I define this as rebellion which is rooted in a commitment to law:

  • There’s no need for it to be permitted by existing laws but it must arise from an undeniable failure of the established system, it must offer a viable solution to that failure, and it must allow a reasonable opportunity for the established system to implement that solution.

  • Only if that opportunity is ignored does rebellion become justifiable, and even then, to my mind, only if it can address the deeper failings which prevented the resolution of the original grievance. In other words, it must offer not just a solution to the failure of law, but also a solution to the failure of government.

That means having a clear idea, in advance, of what will be put in place if the rebellion succeeds.

Allowing a reasonable opportunity for the established system to implement the solution has two dimensions to it. It means working through established political channels to persuade Parliament to implement reform but it also means challenging the validity of laws – and, if necessary, the validity of the constitution – through the courts. Only once those avenues have been exhausted can more extreme steps be justified.

To my mind, the failure of successive governments to reform existing laws so as to give everyone fair access to land constitutes an undeniable failure of the established system. The reforms I propose to resolve this failure of law, and the failure of government, can be found on the Local Sovereignty website.

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