Attitudes toward democracy The word "democracy" is a tricky one, and it is important to bear in mind that it meant different things to different people in the 19th century, Just as it does today. For some mid-Victorians the word democracy was a term of abuse. But for many others, it was worth pursuing, but not to be taken too far. John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham were a famous thinkers and philosophers who held an important attitudes toward democracy. Each one of them call for a different theory toward suffrage and the right to vote. Bentham's theory calls for "ultra-democracy", he believes that each individual has the right to decide what the public interests are. He insists that the interest of the community is nothing than the sum of the interests of several members who compose it. And to be able to understand any individual's interest, you should understand his preferences and the pleasure he seeks, which could be achieved through maximizing the preferences of the greater numbers. Bentham was objected to the "sinister interest" of the ruling elite, because he has a great believe that they were bound to pursue their own interest, which in turn the interest of the minority and could be conflicted to the rest of the society's interests. Therefore, the only remedy for this evil is to allow each person a share in choosing who will represent his or her interests in the parliament. On the other hand, John Stuart Mill would have regarded such democracy as a great improvement on what went before, but hold a different attitude toward it. He believes that everyone ought to have a voice, but not everyone should have an equal voice. Mill, in the first place, objects to the distinction between classes and... ... middle of paper ... ...Know nothing about the interests or happiness of their community except the class which they belong to .Secondly,by excluding poor people from voting will increase the level of feud between this class and the rest of the society, which in turn will lead to unstable community full of violence and hostility. Thirdly, the poor and working class represent the majority of all communities,and by ignoring their opinions and interests we are ignoring the interests of the majority,this tends to be unfair and would as a result lead to a great disorder and an unstable society,because no one could be aware of their interests except them,it is one of their right to choose who should represent them and call for their needs and fulfill their ambitions as well .That's why I do believe in Bentham's theory and feel it is persuasive since it is based on justice and equality.
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Richard Lebow’s analyzed Mill’s arguments sustaining that it can be identified two contrary visions; one arguing for the market on its own and the other for the necessity of a state’s intervention. This classification of two clearly opposed views is also raised by Gide and Rist in the following statement “During the first half of his life, Mill was an individualist who was deeply committed to utilitarianism. During the second half, he was a socialist who remained a champion of individual liberty” (1947, page
Mill, John S. The Basic Writings of John Stuart Mill. New York, New York: Modern Library, 2002. Print.
In relation to social obligations and advancement of society, Mill writes advocating the expression of one’s opinion as the main driving force. Mill states, “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in sile...
For Mill, the freedom that enables each individual to explore his or her own particular way of life is essential for a generous and diverse development of humanity. The only source of potential within society to further continue human development is the spontaneity or creativity that lies within each individual. Mill has a utilitarian view on freedom. He was especially keen on individual liberty because it allowed the greatest measure of happiness. His concern is not to declare liberty as a natural right but to rather set out the appropriate constraints within ‘Civil or Social liberty’. Civil liberty is defined as the limit society can exert its legitimate power over each individual and social liberty has much to do with a political principle
John Mill’s On Liberty seeks to expound on how individuals and the society can exist as liberal entities without infringing on each other’s rights. Liberty is the condition of being free within the society, that is free from any form of restriction inflicted by authority. He argues that individual freedom is the basis of democracy where people exercise their own free will (Mill 2005). He also rejects the idea of social contract where individuals comply with society for them to gain social benefit (Mill 2005). It is generally thought that social development can only occur if certain constraints are placed on individual liberty. But the contrary is also true, if restriction are placed on people’s freedom, it becomes difficult for them to thrive
He recognized that a free market economy and private property could be maintained only if there were limited government, individual rights, the rule of law, and toleration (Capaldi, 2004, p. 198). It seems odd that in order for the free market economy to work efficiently there must be individual rights and the rule of law along with toleration. The basis of the free market economy is focused primarily around these three attributes that individuals must put forth. The odd part is that with the lack of a free market there are still individual rights and toleration must still be exercised frequently to preserve peace. The concept itself is profound and has great outcomes available, but with so many individuals varying opinions there would be potential conflict that limits all three of those attributes. John Stuart Mill had a great idea on this topic but didn’t have plans set in place for if the government wouldn’t provide rules for all individuals. The free market economy could fall into ruin if not handled in a joined effort with all involved. A free market economy is not just about making money. Unless as many individuals as possible are encouraged to obtain private property and participate as entrepreneurs within the market economy, liberal culture will breed its own self-destructive Frankenstein (Capaldi, 2004, p.
Democracy is defined as “A system of government in which ultimate political authority is vested in the People.” The Declaration’s statement of equality and unalienable rights is very closely connected to the idea of democracy. To have a democracy that works well you must have equality between people, and the citizens must feel that the government represents their concerns. Jefferson knew this when he began writing the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence states that all men were, “endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” By eliminating the control of a monarchy, Jefferson envisioned a country where all men would have the opportunity to control their own destinies. Jefferson foresaw a government where individual rights would be recognized and the new government wo...
For Mill, liberty is defined by, "the nature and limits of the power of which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual." Mill's stance is that society can step in only when the action of the individual causes harm to others. Interference for any other reason is unwarranted and only hinders the development of society as a whole. When these liberties are preserved the end result is freedom, and true freedom, according to Mill, is pursuing one's own good in which ever way they deem fit, so long as it doesn't bring harm to others. And here in lies the problem, It is human nature to believe that you are right and the other is wrong. This concept, which seems to be hard wired into all of us, leads to the disapproval, which leads to anger, which in turn leads to suppression. This is the one thing that must be avoided. Across history there are examples of government, or society, stifling the voice of opposition. Though we may think we are right, that doesn't give us the right to keep others from expressing their own opinions and ideas.
Before that can be established, I think a definition of democracy should be stated so that it may be called upon later in this essay. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, democracy is stated as "the principle of social equality and respect for the individual within a community" .
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
The first objection of Mill’s argument enforces the idea of giving voice to a contrary opinion. Man has no choice but to act out what they believe to be their best judgment; anybody can be wrong about anything. However, a person should not let the possibility of being wrong immobilize them; man is not assuming infallibility. Mill’s reply to argument one approaches the ability to reply to dissenters and the capability to ans...
In Mills essay On Liberty he places great emphasize on individual roles in the political and social aspect of life’s systems. In Mills defense, such themes can be attributed to the liberty of individuals being responsible for their own destinies. Meaning that individuals should be the only ones to define and judge their actions. Mills feels that individuals should have the right to decide what is right or wrong and their standards of living should stem from those beliefs. Then from their primary way of living should implies one’s freedom to pursue whatever they feel is their own personal calling. Which would create individuality marking their own personal footprint in society off what they feel ad believe rather than following the masses and
Democracy has come to mean a principle under whose flag has most of the developed countries aced in their race for Imperialism. It has gone beyond all previous governing systems and has made room for progress and development. By offering free and fair elections, democracy has redefined human dignity and patriotism. It has also helped to improve decision-making among the citizens, and brought down the crime level. Democracy is for sure the most fitting among the other types of government, and needs to be implemented fully for effective functioning of a state.