To conclude, The power that every individual gave the
society, when he entered into it, can never revert to the individuals
again, as long as the society lasts, but will always remain in the
community; because without this there can be no community, no
common-wealth, which is contrary to the original agreement: so also when
the society hath placed the legislative in any assembly of men, to
continue in them and their successors, with direction and authority for
providing such successors, the legislative can never revert to the people
whilst that government lasts; because having provided a legislative with
power to continue for ever, they have given up their political power to
the legislative, and cannot resume it. But if they have set limits to
the duration of their legislative, and made this supreme power in any
person, or assembly, only temporary; or else, when by the miscarriages of
those in authority, it is forfeited; upon the forfeiture, or at the
determination of the time set, it reverts to the society, and the people
have a right to act as supreme, and continue the legislative in
themselves; or erect a new form, or under the old form place it in new
hands, as they think good.

John Locke

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