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Mills And Rousseau On Contemporary Issues

1381 words - 6 pages

Several philosophers have provided individual theories on different forms of government as well as how societies prefer to live. Researching the observations different philosophers created is quite interesting. Recognizing that many of the views philosophers had has now shown to be true regarding contemporary issues. The contemporary issue this paper will examine will be the violent acts law enforcement displayed towards their citizens during the G20. This paper will also discuss how John Mills in On Liberty and Rousseau in Discourse would have viewed this issue as well as personal opinions to both Rousseau and Mills ideologies. Through this paper insight on these philosophers views as well as the violence during the G20 will be displayed.
Both Mills and Rousseau shaped different theories involving government as well as how societies behave. Although each ideology is different both display well argumentative explanations. Beginning with Mills in On Liberty’s introduction he speaks on how society can have power over individuals “Civil, or Social Liberty: the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual.” (Mills,1). When discussing democracy Mills makes aware of the negative attributes that may be present in a democracy. The majority of the people who have the same beliefs will gain more power over the minority group. This could also be viewed as the powerful over the less powerful. This may create a problem in a democracy because the majority group weakens the minority opinions. In order to create a just society there must not be any fear of the government. Mills theory will help create a more justifiable government. Taking a look at Mills harm theory he believes that the only reason to exercise power over a person against their will is to prevent harm to others, “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.” (Mills, 1). The harm principle can also be viewed as people may do as they please as long as they are not harming another individual during the process. If a person is to harm an individual they should be punished for their actions. This theory connects well the Utilitarianism. Representing that a person should have as much happiness in their life as long as they do not impede others and their path to happiness. Mills also discusses individuality and that individual freedom is important in a society. Conformity was an immense problem for Mills; this is because societies usually choose conformity over individuality. Yet Mills believes that in order to have a progress of society individuality must be present “pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it” (Mills, 1). Therefore individuality should be encouraged rather than being suppressed. Mills later goes on to discuss free speech as well as...

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