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What does MILL insist on freedom of thought and expression in on LIBERTY?  JOHN...

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hibo | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

Posted October 22, 2010 at 9:44 PM via web

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What does MILL insist on freedom of thought and expression in on LIBERTY?



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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 22, 2010 at 10:11 PM (Answer #1)

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In the end, I would say that the fear of "the tyranny of the majority" is what helps to motivate Mill's insistence on freedom and expression.  Mill was convinced that the prevailing attitude of liberal political thought of the time was steeped in popular sovereignty, and then living purely with the results of such a principle.  In the end, Mill understood that government has to be driven by both consensus and the need to appreciate the voices of those who might have been on the lesser end of such decisions.  For Mill, liberty and choice are moral and political notions that cannot be negotiated away with percentage votes.  In preserving the right to liberty, Mill speaks for a notion that is absolute, a condition or reality that is absolute.  In his commitment to freedom and choice, one understands that Mill's insistence is motivated by the belief that liberal democracy exists with compromise, but there are some conditions and realities that are transcendent, incapable of compromise.  Freedom of thought and expression are such conditions.

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