Republican and Liberal Democratic Positions for Rousseau and Mill Essay

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Republican and Liberal Democratic Positions for Rousseau and Mill

Republican and liberal democratic positions of Jean Jacques Rousseau and Mill

Mill (2010) believes that there is an open struggle between liberty and authority especially between subjects and the government. Liberty is supposed to protect the citizenry against the tyrannical political class who oppress those they rule. This informs Mill's position of putting in place checks against the power which rulers exercise over a community. Limitation of excesses is what is meant by liberty. Mill advocates for recognition of certain immunities like the political liberties or rights which should not be infringed on failure to which would call for resistance or general rebellion which is justifiable from the end of the ruled (Mill, 2010). The establishments of constitutional checks where the consent of the community is prioritized have helped guarantee rights of individuals. Man's preoccupation with combating one enemy by another and being ruled by a master has been informed by putting in place constitutional checks. This, according to Mill, has guaranteed man safety against tyrant rulers. His aspirations have resultantly not gone beyond this point. Mill thinks that the best tool for fighting corrupt and tyrannical government is a liberated press. As such the legislature or the executive should in no way prescribe opinions to the press or try to determine what doctrines or arguments they shall be allowed to hear (Mill, 2010). Governments of constitutional countries that are completely answerable to the people should by no means control expression of opinion to escape the public's spat. Governments that censor information conveyed by the press exercise illegitimate powers. If all mankind except 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 (Mill, 2010). If an opinion is 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 makes some difference whether the injury was inflicted only on an individual or many people. The evil of silencing expression of opinion is that it robs the human race the opportunity of exchanging error for truth and the clearer perception of and livelier expression of truth.

Mill thinks that the extent of the form of government is a matter of choice. Because forms of governments are made by man, man has the choice to make them or not. Government is therefore a problem that should be worked just like any question of business by defining the purposes it's required to promote and inquiring about the form that is best fitted to fulfill the purposes (Mill, 2010). After carefully thinking about the form of government that combines the greatest amount of good with the least of evil, it is imperative to seek the opinions of those whom these institutions serve. To stir people up to insist on having this form of government its structures should be in line with the constitution. Government, if they succeed to be obeyed, should preserve order. However, not all degrees of obedience are commendable. Unmitigated despots expect the citizenry to obey unconditionally their mandates. Order thus expresses an indispensable attribute of a government. Sovereigns who are not capable of making their ordinances obeyed cannot be said to govern. To guarantee order, it is the sole responsibility of a government to preserve peace by bringing to end spates of private violence (Mill, 2010). For order to exist, the people must stop prosecuting quarrels by private force and acquire the habit of referring the decision of…

Sources Used in Document:

References List

Mill, J.S. (2010). Liberty and Other Essays. Retrieved from

Mill, J.S. (2010). To What Extent Forms of Government are a Matter of Choice. Retrieved from

Rousseau, J.J. (2000). The Social Contract or Principles of Political Right. New York:


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