John Stuart Mills's Tyranny Of Majority

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Introduction Each generation has gone through struggles that would later come to define them. In the fifties there was WWII, sixties there was the Vietnam Conflict, eighties there was the Cold War and today there is the War on Terror. These conflict shaped justice, morality and culture. Spurring evolution in all aspects of life including but not limited to fashion, law, music and cinema. These evolving aspects of culture were often transgressive and therefor created unique and novel challenges for each individual existing within. The civil rights movement and the summer of love in the sixties was a reaction to the Vietnam Conflict. The students rebelled against their parents and grandparents moral perspectives in favor of one crafted in the…show more content…
This authority was viewed as the antithesis to personal freedom and the driver of personal moral transformation. In fact, as early as the first chapter of his groundbreaking book “On Liberty” Mills stated that” The struggle between Liberty and Authority is the most conspicuous feature in the portions of history” (3). Further explaining the idea of tyranny of majority and how it affects personal freedoms Mills states that “society can and does execute its own mandates and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression since . . . it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself” (10). This leads into another theory of Mills that supports my conclusions, that of The Limits of Liberty for other regarding actions. Mills believed that society had the right to limit freedoms of the individual to engage in behaviors that affected those not engaging in the behaviors. This idea is articulated later in “On Liberty” when mill states that the “only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”
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