6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
One of the most profound works of libertarian philosophy,
By A Customer
This review is from: On Liberty (English Library) (Paperback)
"... 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. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or to forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because in the opinions of others to do so would be wise or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him , or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to someone else."
Just awe inspiring. Mill's work is characterised by such incisive and compact prose - at every point drawing the reader closer to his point of view.
An excellent commentary accompanies the book - and discusses some of the criticisms of Mill's philosophy, and modern libertarianism - and also discusses Mill's motives in writing his essays on liberty. Great Stuff - an absolute must for philosophy or politics students.