Mill representative government. Mill’s representative government in the light of Madison’s factions 2019-01-13

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Representative Government: An Overview

mill representative government

The disease which afflicts bureaucratic governments, and which they usually die of, is routine. The certainty and celerity of Post Office communication is impeded, and its expense increased, if a letter has to pass through half a dozen sets of public offices, subject to different supreme authorities: it is convenient, therefore, that all Post Offices should be under the Federal Government. To enable two or more countries under kingly government to be joined together in an effectual confederation it seems necessary that they should all be under the same king. Robson, Martin Moir and Zawahir Moir. Under the current system Mill pointed out, minorities went unrepresented, and since they too needed to protect their interests, another electoral mechanism should be found to ensure their representation. Order is said to exist where the people of the country have, as a general rule, ceased to prosecute their quarrels by private force, and acquired the habit of referring the decision of their disputes and the redress of their injuries to the public authorities.

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Representative Government: An Overview

mill representative government

In reality, the only thing which Parliament decides is, which of two, or at most three, parties or bodies of men, shall furnish the executive government: the opinion of the party itself decides which of its members is fittest to be placed at the head. Nevertheless, in no country does the representative body undertake, by itself or its delegated officers, to prepare the estimates. He has done and suffered nothing to forfeit his public rights. For Mill, the point of having a government was that it performed two main functions: it must use the existing qualities and skills of the citizens to best serve their interests, and it must improve the moral, intellectual and active qualities of these citizens. The maximum of the invigorating effect of freedom upon the character is only obtained when the person acted on either is, or is looking forward to becoming, a citizen as fully privileged as any other. If any argument is really wrong or harmful, the public will judge it as wrong or harmful, and then those arguments cannot be sustained and will be excluded.

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John Stuart Mill, Considerations of Representative Government, Intro and TOC

mill representative government

Passive characters, if we do not happen to need their activity, seem an obstruction the less in our own path. This dignity and estimation were quite different things from the prosperity or happiness of the general body of the citizens, and were often wholly incompatible with it. The common business of life, which must necessarily be performed by each individual or family for themselves, will call forth some amount of intelligence and practical ability, within a certain narrow range of ideas. From these one can deduce conclusions about the ways in which rational political actors will or at any rate ought to behave. First, because it could not, in such circumstances, be supposed to be needful.

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Thompson, D.: John Stuart Mill and Representative Government (Paperback, Hardcover and eBook)

mill representative government

However now I think that its disadvantages outweigh its advantages and thus favour our present, non-proportional system of representation. The first element of good government, therefore, being the virtue and intelligence of the human beings composing the community, the most important point of excellence which any form of government can possess is to promote the virtue and intelligence of the people themselves. From the time he was seventeen, Mill supported himself by working for the British East India Company, where his father was an official. Legislative attempts to raise wages, limitation of competition in the labour market, taxes or restrictions on machinery, and on improvements of all kinds tending to dispense with any of the existing labour — even, perhaps, protection of the home producer against foreign industry are very natural I do not venture to say whether probable results of a feeling of class interest in a governing majority of manual labourers. Mill began his discussion of this subject by introducing Bentham's concept of sinister interests. He also argues that allowing people to air false opinions is productive for two reasons.


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Considerations on Representative Government by John Stuart Mill

mill representative government

On finance and political economy, on law and the administration of justice, on the education of the lower and superior classes, on the relations of the country to other independent states, and on almost all the subjects of our domestic and foreign policy, the constituencies would think like men who have not considered such subjects, or have considered them slightly, and through the medium of popular prejudices. To the degree that others enjoy the fruits of my labor, my primary incentive for working—namely my own happiness—is diminished if not destroyed. But it was not till after mature reflection, and diligent study of Mr. First, then, representative, like any other government, must be unsuitable in any case in which it cannot permanently subsist — i. But these are not the crying evils. As Coleridge observes, the man makes the motive, not the motive the man. Besides being an instrument of government, Parliament is a grand institution of national education, having for one of its valuable offices to create and correct that public opinion whose mandates it is required to obey.

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John Stuart Mill and Representative Government on JSTOR

mill representative government

Morally competent leaders are able to recognize the general interest and resist the sinister interests that dwell not only in the government but also in the democratic majority. In contrast with these nations, let us consider the example of an opposite character afforded by another and a comparatively insignificant Oriental people — the Jews. It is the same with bodies of men. Whether justly or not, Mill's modern reputation as a political theorist rests on a single essay. Even the government of mere numbers requires that every number should tell in proportion to its amount.

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13. J. S. Mill’s Representative Government

mill representative government

And that state does not mean stupid tranquillity, with security against change for the worse; it often means being overrun, conquered, and reduced to domestic slavery, either by a stronger despot, or by the nearest barbarous people who retain along with their savage rudeness the energies of freedom. In , he attended the winter courses on , , of the Faculté des Sciences, as well as taking a course in higher mathematics. He has not the feelings of a citizen. His father, James Milne, was a shoemaker and small farmer of modest means who was quiet, mild-mannered, and devout. Book Description: Although Mill regarded Considerations on Representative Governmentas a mature statement of his theory of democracy, critics have tended to treat it less seriously than most of his other major works. It is a quality in which different nations, and different stages of civilization, differ much from one another. In this occupation young James clearly excelled.

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John Stuart Mill and Representative Government

mill representative government

This is one of the subjects on which knowledge of mankind teaches the most important lessons—on which inexperienced political theorists are most apt to differ from experienced. The difference, thus, lies more in whether there is to be a democratic society, or a democratic government: Madison would prefer a heterogeneous society, but trustee government; Mill would argue in favour of both, with representatives in the government representing the diverse views in the society. Basic features of Mill's view are subjected to critical scrutiny, and modifications are suggested to overcome the deficiencies noted. A second condition of the stability of a federal government is that the separate states be not so powerful as to be able to rely, for protection against foreign encroachment, on their individual strength. Once framed, however, Parliament should have no power to alter the measure, but solely to pass or reject it; or, if partially disapproved of, remit it to the Commission for reconsideration. .

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The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XIX

mill representative government

Furthermore, Madison would argue these voices must be mediated. While the representation of the small boroughs was thus patched up, a host of towns, dispersed all over the country, far exceeding them in population and importance, were left, as at present, unrepresented. Mill sought to combine his two principles in other institutions of representative democracy as well. Whenever it is not deemed necessary to maintain permanently, in the different provinces, different systems of jurisprudence, and fundamental institutions grounded on different principles, it is always practicable to reconcile minor diversities with the maintenance of unity of government. It is just possible, though scarcely probable, that bribery might have been diminished; but the local influences would have gained whatever the direct money-power lost, and the members for the districts would have been merely an inferior sort of county members. He also says in this chapter that the happiness principle is based not exclusively on the individual but mainly on the community. He spent thirty-five years at it, retiring in 1858 when the company was dissolved and its functions were taken over by the British Government.

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