Essay on John Stewart Mill: A Brief Look

Essay on John Stewart Mill: A Brief Look

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With the exceptions of Athenian democracy and Rome during its republican era, mankind, insofar as them being subject to government control, for most of its history has been constrained and dominated by monarchical rule. This classical form of antagonistic rule consisted of the tyranny of self-proclaimed (and therefore illegitimate) sovereigns over a class of subjects. However, this system of power underwent a fundamental transformation, as representative democracies began to supersede over monarchical rule. Unfortunately, the emergence of democracy or “government of the people,” unpremeditatedly gave rise to another form of repression. John Stuart Mill recognized that the “will of the people” would give birth to tyranny of the majority through both a legal procedure and custom. Unlike many forms of government that are tenuous due to their heavy reliance on excessive coercion, despotism of the majority may be enduring as it threatens both individual self-development and liberty by enslaving its citizenry’s consciousness. Mill’s harm principle allows society to overcome this threat, by providing a model in which a democratic majority would justifiably exercise their powers over the liberties of every member of a state.
John Stuart Mill furnished a better understanding of the role that individualism plays in the rejection of intellectual and moral authority. According to Mill, every democratic society is led by the masses, and as a result those who are categorized as minorities are prone to the decisions taken by the majority. In other words the minority is being undermined, because the actions that a state takes, whether it be domestic or internationally, are carried out regardless of the minorities objections. Moreover, in a ...


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...human nature is “self-will”, as well as corruption, and that “there is no redemption for anyone until human nature is killed within” mankind (Mill 75). Calvinist theory argue that we should not be able to think, speak, or act in any way we desire because our human nature is evil and must be oppresses. In rebuttal to this argument, Mill argues that it is only by bringing forth and cultivating human nature, “within the limits imposed by the rights and interests of others, that human beings become a noble and beautiful object of contemplation” (Mill 76). He goes on to express that “by this same process human life also becomes rich, diversified, and animating, furnishing more abundant aliment to high thoughts and elevating feelings, and strengthening the tie which binds every individual to the race, by making the race infinitely better worth belonging to” (mill 76).

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