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 to define exactly what Mills' notion of ***** is and how it should be regulated by studying his book "On Liberty." The main discrepancies of his theory will be highlighted so as to demonstrate the apparent contradiction between his ideology and ***** examples he chooses to s*****case ***** ***** in its application.

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

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

The question becomes, how ***** we regulate this type of balance between intervention and non-intervention on ***** part of society? Currently, the method of doing so is simpl*****tic. Mill has identified this ***** as being largely a reworking of one ***** the Catholic

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