Book Review: On Liberty – By John Stuart Mill A s stated by Mill the topic of On Liberty is the role society should take in interfering with the liberty of an individual, that is, the amount of power that society may legitimately exercise over its people. Such politicians are the epitome of predatory opportunism and selfishness. Thus if the lack of justification is due to the principle of harm, then Mill seems to be equating two vastly unequal harms (the silencing of one vs. the silencing of all minus one). In Liberty: The Lives and Times of Six Women in Revolutionary France, Lucy Moore looks into the lives of six different women who were strong and courageous and played a huge role in the success of women during the French Revolution. It should be required reading in every high school in America, and anybody who disagrees with the premises and arguments within should be subject to legal sanction. A political essay/book I have recently read by John Stewart Mill. That was a crack that statists drove a Mack truck through and further confused liberty lovers ever since. Book Review: Law and Liberty, by R.J. Rushdoony. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Welcome back. -“The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.”, -“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.”, -“If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”, -“What was not wanted was that the rulers should be identified with the people, that their interests and will should be the interest and will of the nation. On Liberty remains a central text of the modern liberal tradition, as our interviews below with philosophers, politicians, historians and political commentators make clear. Regardless, Mill's introductory remark is bound to strike your mind with its brevity and cogency: I FREAKING LOVE, ADORE, UPHOLD, CHERISH, ADMIRE, REVERE (and other synonyms) THIS GODDAMN AWESOME BOOOOOOOOK!!!! Warning: this is a long review! On Liberty is a philosophical work by English philosopher John Stuart Mill, originally intended as a short essay. com: “Discussed and debated from since the beginning, the idea of personal liberty went without codification before the 1859 publication of On Liberty. He’s considered the father of reconstructionism and one of the seminal influences in the homeschool movement. 2 Shares. Mill attempts to establish standards for the relationship between authority and liberty. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Probably its most famous for its second chapter, where Mill gives an impassioned defence of free speech. Mill advocates for tolerance and for freedom of religion; everyone should enjoy the right to be an atheist. Democracy is a pragmatic system that attempts liberty. "... the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community... is to prevent harm to others. This makes me wonder whether even those who suppose themselves to be liberals truly understand the basic reasons behind. To this 'one very simple principle' the whole of Mill's essay On Liberty is dedicated. This makes me wonder whether even those who suppose themselves to be liberals truly understand the basic reasons behind freedom-of-expression. Cite this Book Review: APA Format The complete review's Review: This review is based on the Broadview edition (1999) of the text, edited by Edward Alexander. I keep delaying to note my thoughts about it, partly afraid I'm not good enough to comment on such a masterpiece. In arguing for freedom of expression Mill argues that because the opinions of the individual may be true (or at least contain some portion of truth) and because human fallibility makes it so there are none fit to judge whether the opinion is true anyway, full freedom must be granted; not only this, but because there are none fit to judge, [according to Mill] there is no absolute certainty. Liberty - it is an e-book reader application that combines great functionality with easiness of use. The people who run society are themselves predators, tyrants and manipulators who hide behind the guise of democracy. This book is a classic. I have enjoyed this book so much because it contained so many moral gems, which in my view should be a must read for all lawyers and judges in the world. 2 out of 5 stars. From Magna Carta to the Declaration of Independence, … On the whole though, I think most people could read this pretty easily and understand it. Although the circulation was fairly broad, it met with very harsh reviews and a religious backlash against Mill for referring to the lack of effectiveness of Christianity as a doctrine. ", Bill Gates Picks 5 Good Books for a Lousy Year. Giving due credit, I must acknowledge Prof. Keith Eubanks for inadvertently turning me on to Mill. You can also read the full text online using our ereader. But the whole of this book is important for understanding the history behind how liberalism got to be how it is. The accompanying essays were valuable. Overall Mill’s text is a good read even for people today. Probably it’s most famous for its second chapter, where Mill gives an impassioned defence of free speech. Many people speak about democracy as if it was liberty, but it is not, and can never be. What do you think of this quote from the book? This book is still well worth reading for its still-relevant defense of freedom of speech alone. Mill’s main thesis is that society and the governing bodies have no right to interfere with the liberty of thought, action or individuality in any person save when those liberties may cause harm to others; that “over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.” This is to say that society is unable able to interfere with individuals unless they’re harming somebody, not including themselves – a person has every right to do harm to themselves and society may not intervene simply for the good of the individual. Share. Speaking of myself, I too dont understand it completely, failing to see what is incitement of violence and what is permissible speech sometimes. ( Log Out / Liberty: The Lives and Times of Six Women in Revolutionary France. The work, published in 1859, applies Mill's ethical system of utilitarianism to society and the state. This is a brilliant book. The nation did not need to be protected against its own will There was no fear of tyrannizing over itself.”. 9 December 2020. Too bad, since so much of the book is tightly logical and well written. The first edition of On Liberty sold out and a second edition followed in late 1859 and a third in 1864. I furthermore enjoyed Mill's advocacy for freedoms of thought and expression, freedom of discussion, freedom of assembly, and the freedom to be different, and even eccentric. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. When you open it up, you will probably notice that the layout is kind of funky, with words splashed all the way into what is known as the "bleed zone." A member of the Society of Christian Philosophers and the American Chesterton Society. On Liberty, the treatise advocating a high level of individual freedom; our age of tolerance and individuality owes a lot to this work. I’ve come to think about contemporary politician and their corruptions, and how they are dealing chiefly with higher pay checks and more benefits for themselves on the account of the public. Mill mentions the greatest challenge. Language : English: LoC Class: JC: Political science: Political theory: Subject: Liberty Category: Text: EBook-No. This book is written in the dry and unchallenging style used by many barristers; it sets out an argument in favour of Human Rights and in opposition to recent British governments of all persuasions, with supporting evidence from well known cases that have been in our news over the past decade, and in unpretentious language that aims for clarity and simplicity. Mill’s poignant criticism in expressed later on against religious people and their mad persecutions of atheists; anyone who was a non believer was called an infidel, thereupon eliminated. by Penguin Classics. He suggests how to find a fitting adjustment to such a challenge. How relevant is the quote below to the modern phenomenon of the social media mob? Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Apart from this, Mill also believes that keeping away the “tyranny of the majority” is good not only for the individuals and the minorities, but for society itself as well; that the argumentation/discussion which leads from freedom of thought is pivotal in the development of the society and truth. (first published in 1859) But I made my way through it; fortunately it’s pretty short. It is, I admit, a flawed work, and I will shortly try to explain why this is so. ( Log Out / .' . - I especially like Jeremy Waldrons. New York: HarperCollins, 2007. Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. Pin. MDiv. Law & Liberty’s focus is on the classical liberal tradition of law and political thought and how it shapes a society of free and responsible persons. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Sure, this is anything but 'old' in comparison to Socrates and other writers, but this over 150 year old document still serves well today, definitely worth the few hours reading and I recommend it to everyone. Start by marking “On Liberty” as Want to Read: Error rating book. A foundational work addressing representative democracy that continues to shape ideology today. Chapter 1 Introductory The subject of this Essay is not the so-called Liberty of the Will, so unfortunately opposed to the misnamed doctrine of Philosophical Ne- cessity; but Civil, or Social Liberty: the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual. However, Mill's idea of liberty was not boundless; while the first danger to liberty, he argued, is the threat of state control, its second danger is that to which most democracies are known, the 'tyranny of the majority.'" Book Review. Mill declares that "over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign". Share. “Freedom”, in the Anglo-American literary tradition, is a word that excites a visceral response. Change ). The bigotry of religious people is similar to the bigotry of tyrants. During the libertarian rebirth of the past generation, it has become fashionable to sneer at the essay On Liberty. Turns out it was the specific name of an early alcohol prohibition law). (first published in 1859) But I made my way through it; fortunately its pretty short. It is known as “On Liberty”. This should remain as a source of greatest inspiration for all those who want to defend truth and guard their true-selves at all the times. Books + Reviews . "If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.". Review. The work, published in 1859, applies Mill's ethical system of utilitarianism to society and the state.Mill attempts to establish standards for the relationship between authority and liberty. I don't think Mill's ideas are perfect in every single situation, but he makes a convincing argument. An indisputably great work of philosophy. In the beginning, the retention of liberty was necessary to protect against political tyranny of overzealous rulers. There are few books which has the capacity to instill the faith that written words can change the world, if they are done well, and this is one such book. Book Reviews A Review of The Politics of War Powers How War Powers Eclipsed Constitutional Design Burns might not be able to provide easy answers to the problems that bedevil our polity, but she has insights to offer that are worthy of reflection. Liberty is an issue that concerns us all. Citizens began to realize that in order to achieve their absolute liberty, government would have to begin working as an instrument, a delegate of the people's will. A book to read to realize how much of freedom we enjoy today is a product of the works and fight of many a great men, and how much of the fight is still left to be done. - I especially like Jeremy Waldron’s. Published in 1859, it applies Mill's ethical system of utilitarianism to society and state. It's amazing how it appears as if the older the work, the more relevant it is to today. The book is so great that whenever being asked about it, I'm just speechless, restless, wondering how to give the right word. Not that I agree entirely with Mill's ideas about the structures and general functions of the individual and society, but this was a fascinating insight into the society I live in now, and how I regard my own place in society, if I have one. It is a win-win for everyone and for liberty. As the title of this essay suggests, we are dealing with the fundamental social force which when deficient, or when in excess, necessarily provokes chaos; Liberty. I think Mr.Kher (I am a semi-fan of his), gave a number of arguments which were moral and not legal, niceties and not crimes, and failed to distinguish between the 2. Bill Gates, tech pioneer, co-founder of Microsoft, and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is an avid reader who people follow... To see what your friends thought of this book, That seems to contradict Mill's own utilitarianism. There are a couple of odd words, and some parts were historical context is handy (one bit that confused me is the "Maine Law", which he mentions late in the book. Some of the later parts let it down slightly, especially on education. Mill wrote that he believed On Liberty to be about "the importance, to man and society, of a large variety in types of character, and of giving full freedom to human nature to expand itself in innumerable and conflicting directions." Never have Liberty found such a passionate, clear, beautiful and eloquent defence. The accompanying essays were valuable. In addition to the full text of On Liberty, it includes a Chronology, a decent Introduction, as well as a number of Appendices offering preludes to, … There are some of the complex sentence structures that you often see it stuff from the 19th century (lots of semicolons), but overall, it's not really difficult. Introductory -- Of the liberty of thought and discussion -- Of individuality, as one of the elements of well-being -- Of the limits to the authority of society over the individual -- Applications. Recommendations from our site You can help support Presbyformed by Becoming a Patron. We’d love your help. This site brings together serious debate, commentary, essays, book reviews, interviews, and educational material in a commitment to the first principles of law in a free society. One, though, whose most valuable insights are too often ignored by today's left-liberals and one that is mentioned with astonishing frequency these days by people who seem to be actively opposed to much that Mill would have thought important--the set of "conservatives" who like to claim that they are "classical liberals," probably on the basis of a quick read through a Wikipedia page and some creepy Randian blogs. As the title of this essay suggests, we are dealing with the fundamental social force which when deficient, or when in excess, necessarily provokes chaos; Liberty. In general, I agree with his ideas on the harm principle, individuality, and government. An enduring favorite is journalist Rose Wilder Lane’s The Discovery of Freedom (1943) which helped … Namely, the silencing of one person's opinion would seem to amount to less harm than the silencing of all of mankind minus one. LP Presidential Nominee On The Ballot in All 50 States Plus DC. John Stuart Mill, English philosopher, political economist, civil servant and Member of Parliament, was an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century. Most interesting were his points about freedom of expression, and his ability to move from our justifications for freedom of expression to freedom of tastes and pursuits without even flinching. Page 7 - Liberty : the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual.! Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of On Liberty and what it means. Namely, the silencing of one person's opinion would seem to amount to less harm than the silencing. This is actually the description, obtained from Amazon . We have collected dozens of previously unpublished examples in one place. Book review by Caryn Ann Harlos, LP Secretary. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”, With all the problems facing our society today, I thought I'd re-read this old classic from my college days. It is only in this that societies can avoid stagnation and people can truly learn; they must be able to see both sides of the argument (from people who truly believe them) and the ideas must be allowed to clash, thus, “genius can only breathe freely in an atmosphere of freedom.”. The ideas being presented are just as relevant now as they were during Mill’s time, such the fact that the voice of third parties is all but crushed in the U.S.’s two party system or the discussions over gay marriage, abortion, or even something as small as free speech zones on college campuses. Along the way, I couldn't help but feel this striking dissonance triggered by the notion that individuality is a double-edged sword, glistening with the promise of self-actualisation and ensconcing the egotistical neglect, which inevitably results in social elitism. Mill also speaks against intolerance and bigotry of authorities, religious or political, particularly their refusals to accept other folks’ opinions and background like creed, race, and culture etc. From a Christian standpoint there are two chief issues which may be taken. Diversity is the enemy of the intolerant bigot. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Moore, Lucy. 4.5/5 I was listening to an interview of Mr.Anupam Kher today on a 'Newslaundry' podcast. Mill also mentions the betrayal of politicians when they sit in power and make decisions based on vanities that have no concern to the benefit of the public. good pts, but i just cant even with the utilitarist arguments. 'Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.' The interviewer was questioning him persistently on why he supports restrictions on freedom-of-expression ? After the 2016 Presidential Election I would strongly suggest both parties hold 'JSM focus groups' to try to reconnect with the American people. July 29th 1985 Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published His guidance is that folks should not impose their opinions on others. From a secular standpoint I’m not sure how much can be critiqued of Mill’s ideas. 10.30.2020. Simply put, the Christian would argue that God is the standard against which we measure truth, and due to his immutability he stands as a very good standard by which to judge. Published: 9:00 AM . Mill mentions ‘Odium theologicum’ which is hatred of other religions and faiths. Liberty is a hardcover book at a paperback price. The sphere of Mill’s inquiry is the system of a democracy, where the main danger to individual liberty is that of the “tyranny of the majority,” in which minorities are subjected to the whims of the majority such that the “weaker members of the community” are “preyed upon by innumerable vultures.” Mill’s argument is that “self-government” is not “the government of each by himself, but of each by all the rest.”. The second issue which may be taken is with lack of any solid judge for truth. And government mentions ‘ Odium theologicum ’ which is hatred of other religions and faiths libertarian rebirth of the can. Stephen 's masterful review, and I will shortly try to reconnect with the utilitarist arguments, as well for... Below or click an icon to Log in: you are commenting using your Twitter.. Behind the guise of on liberty book review, because democracy is imperfect, whereas liberty is.! 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