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"Ludwig von Mises: Liberty and its Antithesis Study …

These sentiments may seem somewhat uncharacteristic of one renowned as spokesman of British nineteenth-century liberalism. They reflect his thinking at a critical period when he was striving to assess the changing winds of current opinion. At the same time they also reflect an enduring element: his doubts about the average man’s capacity unaided to cope wisely with the complex problems of citizenship.

For Berlin, his conception of liberty is based upon the idea of positive and negative freedoms.

Nevertheless, for Mill the most desirable form of government, provided the people are willing and able to fulfil its conditions, is representative, because it offers the maximum opportunity for fostering men’s intelligence, virtue, and happiness. But at the same time he admits that where the people are morally and mentally unfit for this demanding form of rule, it may become an instrument of tyranny, and popular elections less a security against misgovernment than an additional wheel in its machinery (378). Even in the progressive democracies many men are content to be passive in public affairs. Absorbed in private cares and satisfactions, they patiently endure social evils and surrender to the pressure of circumstances. Usually present, however, are an energetic and active few who express thought, advocate innovations, and encourage provocative debate, thus making progress possible. Representative institutions enable these few to thrash out differences and reach workable agreements for the common good. With characteristic sober optimism Mill describes the competitive and restless spirit of liberal society as he perceives it in the nineteenth century: “All intellectual superiority is the fruit of active effort. Enterprise, the desire to keep moving, to be trying and accomplishing new things for our own benefit or that of others, is the parent even of speculative, and much more of practical, talent. . . . The character which improves human life is that which struggles with natural powers and tendencies, not that which gives way to them.” (407.)

The Libertarianism Antithesis: War | The Libertarian …

John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XVIII - Essays on Politics and Society Part I (On Liberty) [1977]

It will be convenient for the argument, if, instead of at once entering upon the general thesis, we confine ourselves in the first instance to a single branch of it, on which the principle here stated is, if not fully, yet to a certain point, recognised by the current opinions. This one branch is the Liberty of Thought: from which it is impossible to separate the cognate liberty of speaking and of writing. Although these liberties, to some considerable amount, form part of the political morality of all countries which profess religious toleration and free institutions, the grounds, both philosophical and practical, on which they rest, are perhaps not so familiar to the general mind, nor so thoroughly appreciated by many even of the leaders of opinion, as might have been expected. Those grounds, when rightly understood, are of much wider application than to only one division of the subject, and a thorough consideration of this part of the question will be found the best introduction to the remainder. Those to whom nothing which I am about to say will be new, may therefore, I hope, excuse me, if on a subject which for now three centuries has been so often discussed, I venture on one discussion more.

it is to be hoped, is gone by, when any defence would be necessary of the “liberty of the press” as one of the securities against corrupt or tyrannical government. No argument, we may suppose, can now be needed, against permitting a legislature or an executive, not identified in interest with the people, to prescribe opinions to them, and determine what doctrines or what arguments they shall be allowed to hear. This aspect of the question, besides, has been so often and so triumphantly enforced by preceding writers, that it needs not be specially insisted on in this place. Though the law of England, on the subject of the press, is as servile to this day as it was in the time of the Tudors, there is little danger of its being actually put in force against political discussion, except during some temporary panic, when fear of insurrection drives ministers and judges from their propriety; and, speaking generally, it is not, in constitutional countries, to be apprehended, that the government, whether completely responsible to the people or not, will often attempt to control the expression of opinion, except when in doing so it makes itself the organ of the general intolerance of the public. Let us suppose, therefore, that the government is entirely at one with the people, and never thinks of exerting any power of coercion unless in agreement with what it conceives to be their voice. But I deny the right of the people to exercise such coercion, either by themselves or by their government. The power itself is illegitimate. The best government has no more title to it than the worst. It is as noxious, or more noxious, when exerted in accordance with public opinion, than when in opposition to it. If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the 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. Were an opinion a personal possession of no value except to the owner; if to be obstructed in the enjoyment of it were simply a private injury, it would make some difference whether the injury was inflicted only on a few persons or on many. But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

11/01/2018 · Definition of Ordered Liberty ..

The objections to government interference, when it is not such as to involve infringement of liberty, may be of three kinds.

But, without dwelling upon supposititious cases, there are, in our own day, gross usurpations upon the liberty of private life actually practised, and still greater ones threatened with some expectation of success, and opinions which assert an unlimited right in the public not only to prohibit by law everything which it thinks wrong, but in order to get at what it thinks wrong, to prohibit any number of things which it admits to be innocent.

The preceding instances may be objected to, although unreasonably, as drawn from contingencies impossible among us: opinion, in this country, not being likely to enforce abstinence from meats, or to interfere with people for worshipping, and for either marrying or not marrying, according to their creed or inclination. The next example, however, shall be taken from an interference with liberty which we have by no means passed all danger of. Wherever the Puritans have been sufficiently powerful, as in New England, and in Great Britain at the time of the Commonwealth, they have endeavoured, with considerable success, to put down all public, and nearly all private, amusements: especially music, dancing, public games, or other assemblages for purposes of diversion, and the theatre. There are still in this country large bodies of persons by whose notions of morality and religion these recreations are condemned; and those persons belonging chiefly to the middle class, who are the ascendant power in the present social and political condition of the kingdom, it is by no means impossible that persons of these sentiments may at some time or other command a majority in Parliament. How will the remaining portion of the community like to have the amusements that shall be permitted to them regulated by the religious and moral sentiments of the stricter Calvinists and Methodists? Would they not, with considerable peremptoriness, desire these intrusively pious members of society to mind their own business? This is precisely what should be said to every government and every public, who have the pretension that no person shall enjoy any pleasure which they think wrong. But if the principle of the pretension be admitted, no one can reasonably object to its being acted on in the sense of the majority, or other preponderating power in the country; and all persons must be ready to conform to the idea of a Christian commonwealth, as understood by the early settlers in New England, if a religious profession similar to theirs should ever succeed in regaining its lost ground, as religions supposed to be declining have so often been known to do.

It’s the liquor-soaked delusion of a lowly man who is either growing senile or being paid off to do a hit on the libertarian movement.
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    "Ludwig von Mises: Liberty and its Antithesis Study Guide" (2007)

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The Liberty Letters; Postscript; Website; ..

Among the principal faults of the centralist system in Mill’s opinion is the massive patronage it creates and the major power that the bureaucracy constantly exercises at the expense of popular liberty. A centralized executive, equipped to give or withhold many favours, dominates the elections and controls the legislature. It turns the electorate into a vast tribe of place hunters (608-9). Hence its management of public affairs is difficult to challenge successfully, except in times of crisis, and then, as in 1830 and 1848, the result is likely to be revolutionary violence. Indeed, an overcentralized regime may be amenable to no effective check short of revolution.

The Donald Trump Liberty University Road Show - Jon Ward - Medium

Disturbing to Mill is the manner whereby the system fosters a supine attitude towards officials. French citizens almost universally appear to tremble before every petty bureaucrat, a circumstance which Mill thinks makes them incapable of much liberty. “How should they not be slavish, when everyone wearing a Government uniform . . . can domineer at will over all the rest . . . ?” (587.) To him it seems evident that hitherto no French government, whatever its liberal professions, has been able to divest itself of the exclusive right to be a judge in its own cause.

Antithesis - Examples and Definition of Antithesis

Our author, having pointed out many needful things which would never be done by the mere self-interest of individuals, does not seem to be aware that anything can be expected from their public spirit: apparently because public spirit in this form is almost entirely stifled in the countries with which he is most familiar, by the centralisation which he applauds. But in our uncentralised country, even such a public want as that of life-boats is supplied by private liberality, through the agency of a voluntary association.

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