In political philosophy, the right of revolution (or right of rebellion) is the right or duty of the people of a nation to overthrow a government that acts against their common interests and/or threatens the safety of the people without cause. Stated throughout history in one form or another, the belief in this right has been used to justify various revolutions, including the American Revolution, French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, and the Iranian Revolution.
To justify their overthrowing of the earlier Shang Dynasty, the kings of the Zhou Dynasty (1122–256 BC) of China promulgated the concept known as the Mandate of Heaven, that Heaven would bless the authority of a just ruler, but would be displeased and withdraw its mandate from a despotic ruler.
The Mandate of Heaven would then transfer to those who would rule best. Chinese historians interpreted a successful revolt as evidence that the Mandate of Heaven had passed on. Throughout Chinese history, rebels who opposed the ruling dynasty made the claim that the Mandate of Heaven had passed, giving them the right to revolt. Ruling dynasties were often uncomfortable with this, and the writings of the Confucian philosopher Mencius (372–289 BC) were often suppressed for declaring that the people have the right to overthrow a ruler that did not provide for their needs.
Resistance theory is an aspect of political thought, discussing the basis on which constituted authority may be resisted, by individuals or groups. In the European context it came to prominence as a consequence of the religious divisions in the early modern period that followed the Protestant Reformation. Resistance theories could justify disobedience on religious grounds to monarchs, and were significant in European national politics and international relations in the century leading up to the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. They can also underpin and justify the concept of revolution as now understood. The resistance theory of the early modern period can be considered to predate the formulations of natural and legal rights of citizens, and to co-exist with considerations of natural law.
Any "right to resist" is a theory about the limitations on civil obedience. Resistance theory is an aspect of political theory; the right of self-defence is usually taken to be a part of legal theory, and was no novelty in the early modern period. Arguments about the two concepts do overlap, and the distinction is not so clear in debates.
"In free governments, the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns"
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Self-governance, self-government, or self-rule is the ability of a group or individual to exercise all necessary functions of regulation without intervention from an external authority. It may refer to personal conduct or to any form of institution, such as family units, social groups, affinity groups, legal bodies, industry bodies, religions, and political entities of various degree.
Self-governance is closely related to socio-philosophical concepts of self-control and self-discipline, and to socio-political concepts of sovereignty, independence and autonomy.In the context of nation-states, self-governance is called national sovereignty which is an important concept in international law. In the context of administrative division, a self-governing territory is called an autonomous region.
Self-governance is also associated with political contexts in which a population or demographic becomes independent from colonial rule, absolute government, absolute monarchy or any government which they perceive does not adequately represent them.It is therefore a fundamental tenet of many democracies, republics and nationalist governments. Mohandas Gandhi's term "swaraj" is a branch of this self-rule ideology. Henry David Thoreau was a major proponent of self-rule in lieu of immoral governments.