'The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others . Giving due credit, I must acknowledge Prof. Keith Eubanks for inadvertently turning me on to Mill. Warning: this is a long review! Book review by Caryn Ann Harlos, LP Secretary. New York: HarperCollins, 2007. Too bad, since so much of the book is tightly logical and well written. Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new posts by email. Here is a man who rebels with grace, kindness, and consideration. Ordained PCA. In the beginning, the retention of liberty was necessary to protect against political tyranny of overzealous rulers. Simply put, the Christian would argue that God is the standard against which we measure truth, and due to his immutability he stands as a very good standard by which to judge. A political essay/book I have recently read by John Stewart Mill. ( Log Out / The work, published in 1859, applies Mill's ethical system of utilitarianism to society and the state.Mill attempts to establish standards for the relationship between authority and liberty. Along. Share. More than anyone else, Rousas John Rushdoony (1916–2001) has been responsible for the burgeoning of theonomic thought among a small, but vocal, minority of Reformed Christians. Mill is en exponent of liberty, not of democracy, because democracy is imperfect, whereas liberty is not. Indeed, Mill's main antagonist is the democratisation of the masses, how we subdue ourselves to the tyranny of public opinion and passively accept mediocrity. Some of the later parts let it down slightly, especially on education. See for instance his hour interview here: Written in the 1850s, parts of this classic text are a little dated, but mostly it remains surprisingly relevant to the modern world. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Thus if the lack of justification is due to the principle of harm, then Mill seems to be equating two vastly unequal harms (the silencing of one vs. the silencing of all minus one). “A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.”, “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. An indisputably great work of philosophy. On Liberty is a philosophical work by English philosopher John Stuart Mill, originally intended as a short essay. All of these feed back into the issue being discussed by Mill, that is, how much power society should be able to wield over its members and just what is the nature and extent of our liberty. Democracy is a pragmatic system that attempts liberty. The accompanying essays were valuable. Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. Mill mentions ‘Odium theologicum’ which is hatred of other religions and faiths. Language : English: LoC Class: JC: Political science: Political theory: Subject: Liberty Category: Text: EBook-No. I remember it very positively, except for his waffling on liberty in certain areas, such as allowing the state to provide education. Probably it’s most famous for its second chapter, where Mill gives an impassioned defence of free speech. Introductory -- Of the liberty of thought and discussion -- Of individuality, as one of the elements of well-being -- Of the limits to the authority of society over the individual -- Applications. I don't think Mill's ideas are perfect in every single situation, but he makes a convincing argument. 2 Shares. Here is a man who rebels with grace, kindness, and consideration. Email. On Liberty remains a central text of the modern liberal tradition, as our interviews below with philosophers, politicians, historians and political commentators make clear. The differences in people are those which make intolerance feast on the weak and powerless. How relevant is the quote below to the modern phenomenon of the social media mob? It is known as “On Liberty”. Citizens began to realize that in order to achieve their absolute liberty, government would have to begin working as an instrument, a delegate of the people's will. Tweet 2. by Penguin Classics. Liberty is perfect thus democracy should aspire towards liberty and not vice versa. What do you think of this quote from the book? 4.5/5 I was listening to an interview of Mr.Anupam Kher today on a 'Newslaundry' podcast. Never have Liberty found such a passionate, clear, beautiful and eloquent defence. ;), On liberty by John Stuart Mill is by far the best account I have ever read so far concerning the protection of individual rights. Mill attempts to establish standards for the relationship between authority and liberty. The book is so great that whenever being asked about it, I'm just speechless, restless, wondering how to give the right word. The book can be purchased on Judge Jim Gary’s website. ( Log Out / I keep delaying to note my thoughts about it, partly afraid I'm not good enough to comment on such a masterpiece. I usually have a difficult time reading books much over 100 years old, this was no exception. There are few books which has the capacity to instill the faith that written words can change the world, if they are done well, and this is one such book. When you open it up, you will probably notice that the layout is kind of funky, with words splashed all the way into what is known as the "bleed zone." ‘On liberty’ by John Stuart Mill is by far the best account I have ever read so far concerning the protection of individual rights. I My first thought as I began reading the essay, “On Liberty”, was whether JSM was a philosopher at all. Start by marking “On Liberty” as Want to Read: Error rating book. The interviewer was questioning him persistently on why he supports restrictions on freedom-of-expression ? I think Eubanks once quoted Mill, perhaps in his course syllabus, and I found the quote (something about expecting more from students, and how they will perform to these higher standards given the expecatation and opportunity) intriguing. “Freedom”, in the Anglo-American literary tradition, is a word that excites a visceral response. 10.30.2020. John Stuart Mill, English philosopher, political economist, civil servant and Member of Parliament, was an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century. LP Presidential Nominee On The Ballot in All 50 States Plus DC. Change ). Liberty is a hardcover book at a paperback price. This should remain as a source of greatest inspiration for all those who want to defend truth and guard their true-selves at all the times. In general, I agree with his ideas on the harm principle, individuality, and government. In addition to the full text of On Liberty, it includes a Chronology, a decent Introduction, as well as a number of Appendices offering preludes to, … He was an exponent of utilitarianism, an ethical theory developed by Jeremy Bentham, although his conception of it was very different from Bentham's. Although the circulation was fairly broad, it met with very harsh reviews and a religious backlash against Mill for referring to the lack of effectiveness of Christianity as a doctrine. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. We have collected dozens of previously unpublished examples in one place. Mill mentions the greatest challenge. A summary of Part X (Section1) in John Stuart Mill's On Liberty. Mill’s poignant criticism in expressed later on against religious people and their mad persecutions of atheists; anyone who was a non believer was called an infidel, thereupon eliminated. This makes me wonder whether even those who suppose themselves to be liberals truly understand the basic reasons behind. The ideas being presented are just as relevant now as they were during Mill’s time, such the fact that the voice of third parties is all but crushed in the U.S.’s two party system or the discussions over gay marriage, abortion, or even something as small as free speech zones on college campuses. Namely, the silencing of one person's opinion would seem to amount to less harm than the silencing of all of mankind minus one. 2 out of 5 stars. In Liberty: The Lives and Times of Six Women in Revolutionary France, Lucy Moore looks into the lives of six different women who were strong and courageous and played a huge role in the success of women during the French Revolution. - I especially like Jeremy Waldrons. It is a win-win for everyone and for liberty. There are a couple of odd words, and some parts were historical context is handy (one bit that confused me is the "Maine Law", which he mentions late in the book. On Liberty Summary February 7, 2016 Niklas Goeke Culture, History, Philosophy, Politics, Society 1-Sentence-Summary: On Liberty is the philosophy classic that laid the foundation of modern liberal politics, by applying the concept of utilitarianism to societies and countries, in order to create a working system between authority and liberty. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Do you think the average person could read this without too much difficulty? Most interesting were his points about freedom of expression, and his ability to move from our justifications for freedom of expression to freedom of tastes and pursuits without even flinching. Many people speak about democracy as if it was liberty, but it is not, and can never be. As stated by Mill the topic of On Liberty is the role society should take in interfering with the liberty of an individual, that is, the amount of power that society may legitimately exercise over its people. USA Today Publishes Florida County LP Director’s Letter-To-The-Editor . Despite the mindless conformity betrayed by a perusal of almost any academic journal and the ideological groupthink superintending vast swaths of the humanities and social sciences, he wants to argue, in Scholarship and Freedom, that the two are intimately connected. It's amazing how it appears as if the older the work, the more relevant it is to today. The first edition of On Liberty sold out and a second edition followed in late 1859 and a third in 1864. Liberty is perfect thus democracy should aspire towards liberty and not vice versa. How relevant is the quote below to the modern phenomenon of the social media mob? To everyone, especially to those who are young. Published in 1859, it applies Mill's ethical system of utilitarianism to society and state. "... the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community... is to prevent harm to others. Recommendations from our site However, Mill's idea of liberty was not boundless; while the first danger to liberty, he argued, is the threat of state control, its second danger is that to which most democracies are known, the 'tyranny of the majority.'" ( Log Out / Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. I furthermore enjoyed Mill's advocacy for freedoms of thought and expression, freedom of discussion, freedom of assembly, and the freedom to be different, and even eccentric. Mill’s main thesis is that society and the governing bodies have no right to interfere with the liberty of thought, action or individuality in any person save when those liberties may cause harm to others; that “over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.” This is to say that society is unable able to interfere with individuals unless they’re harming somebody, not including themselves – a person has every right to do harm to themselves and society may not intervene simply for the good of the individual. Its author, John Stuart Mill, was inspired to write this work after having his own liberty restricted all throughout his childhood by his demanding father. Overall Mill’s text is a good read even for people today. Get them here for free! ( Log Out / The accompanying essays were valuable. The second issue which may be taken is with lack of any solid judge for truth. The sphere of Mill’s inquiry is the system of a democracy, where the main danger to individual liberty is that of the “tyranny of the majority,” in which minorities are subjected to the whims of the majority such that the “weaker members of the community” are “preyed upon by innumerable vultures.” Mill’s argument is that “self-government” is not “the government of each by himself, but of each by all the rest.”. There are some of the complex sentence structures that you often see it stuff from the 19th century (lots of semicolons), but overall, it's not really difficult. This makes me wonder whether even those who suppose themselves to be liberals truly understand the basic reasons behind freedom-of-expression. July 29th 1985 You can help support Presbyformed by Becoming a Patron. Diversity is the enemy of the intolerant bigot. .' 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