Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"On Liberty"

In 1859 John Stuart Mill published “On Liberty,” one of his defining essays.  Here is a sample of lines that merit serious consideration.

The tyranny of the majority “practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression.”  The Six Great Humanistic Essays of John Stuart Mill (New York:  Washington Press Square, 1963, p. 130)

“...the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feelings...prevent the formation of any individuality not in harmony with its ways...”  (130-31)

“...there is also in the world an increasing inclination to stretch unduly the powers of society over the individual, both by the force of opinion and even by that of legislation:...”   (139)

“We have now recognized the necessity to the mental well-being of mankind...of freedom of opinion and freedom of the expression of opinion...”  (176)

“The despotism of custom is everywhere the standing hindrance to human advancement...”  (194)

Are these statements compatible with political correctness?

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