John Stuart Mill's Considerations On Representative Government

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In Considerations on Representative Government, Mill denounces the idea that a despotic monarchy headed by a good despot is the best form of government. Mill goes on to share the reason behind this idea. The reason lies in the supposition that a distinguished individual with absolute power will ensure that all the duties of government is performed intelligently and virtuously. Mill does not disagree with this belief but he finds the need to address it. He states that an “all-seeing” monarch rather than a “good monarch” is needed. The despot would need to be informed correctly and in detail at all time, and be able to oversee every division of administration with effective attention and care in the twenty-four hours per day he has. If not, the …show more content…

And because it is not necessary for them to voice their opinions, the public becomes uninterested and uninformed on the matters of government. This leaves people with stunted mental capacities. A good despotism is a government with no positive oppression by officers of state, but where all the interests of the public are managed for them. Mill asserts that despotism that consents not to be despotism could, in fact, be good. However, it depends on the despot. If the despot would refrain from exercising absolute power and instead, appoint a council chosen by the people, the despot could get rid of the evil elements of despotism. Mill continues to shed light on this despotic monarchy which is, in actuality, a representative government, when public opinion is allowed. Public opinion will either be for or against the despot. If it is against him, he can either put down opposition or defer to the nation. The former would cause animosity between the despot and the people; the latter would indicate a constitutional king rather than a monarch. Mill concludes by saying that the principle element behind a good government is the improvement of the

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how mill denounces the idea that a despotic monarchy headed by an absolute power is the best form of government.
  • Analyzes how mill asserts that a good despotism is an entirely false ideal. mill concludes by informing us on the best form of government.
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