Analysis Of John Stuart Mill's Tyranny Of The Majority

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Intro: John Stuart Mill obtained many intellectual foundations from Aristotle that better informed his own political and philosophical interpretations. Mill goes to great length discussing the nature of liberty within society and the importance of individuality and progression, in On Liberty, taking modern stances on Aristotelian assertions. Aristotle spends ample time describing how to acquire virtue and achieve happiness, focusing on conservative moral appeals within a political realm. Mill and Aristotle share similar perspectives on the importance of diversity and the dangers the tyranny of the majority imposes on society, furthermore they synonymously endeavor to define the best laws for the state. While Mill and Aristotle come to similar conclusions on these subjects,…show more content…
Both utilize the word “despotism” as a way to characterize this type of rule and clearly state that it is a threat to society. As a solution both interject that law is needed to protect society rather than the opinions and conclusions of common people. Aristotle proposes that when a society diverges from the law and allows the citizens to rule within democracy the tyranny of the majority takes shape. He states that the many become a monarch and assert great strength acting as a tyrannical force. The majority becomes overtly more powerful and the minority’s dissenting opinion holds little ground. Within this type of rule, decrees are mandated by popular assembly, and judgement of guilt is decided by the majority, both of which are devoid of legislation and subject citizens to extreme partiality. Aristotle contends, that without laws, the tyranny of the majority acts as a perversion of rule. He articulates that in a democracy that allows the majority to hold absolute power, the faculties of government are overtaken and devoid of law which creates a state without a just form of

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