Essay - John Stuart Mill's Concept of Liberty Professes to Be Liberal...


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John Stuart Mill's concept of liberty professes to be liberal but ends up with a distinctly 'non-liberal' feel when analysing the details. This paper endeavours ***** define exactly what Mills' notion of liberty is and how it should be regulated by studying his book "On Liberty." The main discrepancies ***** his theory will be highlighted so as to demonstrate the apparent contradiction *****tween his ideology and the examples he chooses to showcase his theory in its application.

Mill defines liberty (civil or *****cial) as "the nature ***** lim***** of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over ***** individual." (Chapter I - Introductory; 1) The obvious wielder of this power Mill identified to ***** the government. However the ***** can be controlled or checked in turn since ********** are still held accountable to the people. Mill recognized ano*****r wielder of this control over the individual, ***** 'society' in question that exercises this ***** over the individual is the majority or those considered to be ***** majority. However, unlike the government, ***** is held accountable to the people, ***** majority does not have those checks. Mill states that in many instances the ruling majority ***** not always the same people who have this power ***** on them. The majority may even wish to dominate a part of the population. Therefore, there would ***** need ***** be a limit*****tion placed on ***** ***** majority. (Chapter I - Introductory; 4)

***** re*****on behind the importance in limiting the power and influence ***** government and 'society' over its ***** constituents lies in the risk of tyranny. Society enforces its own rules and regulations, as well ***** punishments it metes out to *****mever society deems necessary to penalize. However, if society is ********** in *****s judgment or if ***** unjustifiably interferes in an individual citizen's affairs, it actually practices tyr*****ny. If society delves too deeply in the private affairs of individuals, it leaves that individual less room to maneuver, less ***** to escape such tyranny, particularly if ***** allegations of wrongdoing are unfounded. Mill ident*****ies this type of ***** as "enslaving the soul itself." (Chapter I - Introduct*****y; 5) Mill uses this argument to justify protection, not just from the government of the day in securing true liberty, but also ***** ***** majority. "There needs [to be] protection... against the tyranny of prevailing opinion ***** *****ing; ***** the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from *****; to fetter the development, *****, if possible, pr*****t ***** formation, of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel characters to fashion themselves upon the model ***** its *****." (***** I ***** Introduc*****ry; 5)

***** question becomes, how ***** we regulate this type of balance between *****tervention and non-intervention on ***** part of *****? Currently, the method ***** doing so is simplistic. Mill has identified this ***** as being largely a reworking of one ***** the C*****tholic

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