“And it is not difficult to show by abundant instances, that to extend the bounds of what may be called moral police, until it encroaches on the most unquestionably legitimate liberty of the individual, is one of the most universal of all human propensities...”
The concept of personal liberty and the nature and limits of the power that can be legitimately exercised by the State over the Individual, went without codification until the publication of On Liberty, John Stuart Mill's inspiring treatise advocating complete and unwavering dedication to the cause of freedom. In persuasive and powerful prose, he declares that there is “one key principle” regarding the use of coercion in society: one may only coerce others either to defend oneself or to defend others from harm.
JOHN STUART MILL (1806-1873) was a prodigious thinker who sharply challenged the beliefs of his age. He is recognized as perhaps the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century. In On Liberty he argues that any democracy risks becoming a tyranny of opinion in which minority views are suppressed if they do not conform to those of the majority. The Subjection of Women stresses the paramount importance of total equality between the sexes. Together these seminal works provide eloquent testimony to the hopes and anxieties of mankind, and offer incisive understandings of what it really means to be free.