The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State: A Statement of the Moral Principles of the Party of Individual Liberty, and the Political Measures Founded Upon Them

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Williams and Norgate, 1885 - 105 pages

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Page 43 - ... 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. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because in the opinions of others to do so would be wise or even right.
Page 43 - These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise.
Page 6 - I have my own stern claims and perfect circle. It denies the name of duty to many offices that are called duties. But if I can discharge its debts, it enables me to dispense with the popular code. If any one imagines that this law is lax, let him keep its commandment one day.
Page 28 - We ain't so weak an' poor, John, With twenty million people, An' close to every door, John, A school-house an' a steeple. Ole Uncle S. sez he,
Page 4 - Liberty,' of which Mr. Auberon Herbert is the spokesman, must, I think, be classified as Anarchist ; 15 though the definition of their conception of the relations of the individual to government looks, at first sight, as if it meant no more than limited Individualism. Each man and woman are to be free to direct their faculties and their energies according to their own sense of what is right and wise, in every direction except one. They are not to use their faculties for the purpose of forcibly restraining...
Page 59 - ... of that cell which may be called " the Empire of the Individual" ? We must discard all attempts to derive just laws from a single high moral principle. The attempt is as vain as that of Descartes to recreate the universe out of a single physical principle. Moreover, whence sprang this grand moral principle that " a man has inalienable rights over himself, over his own faculties and possessions " ? This, even if true now, was not always true. It is meaningless when applied to "bears and lions,"...
Page 22 - ... justice. But this is not all. Mr. Herbert oversteps the bounds of limited Individualism and enters the region of Anarchy, when he says he is not quite sure that even this pittance of administrative power is strictly justifiable. I do not think that it is possible to find a perfect moral foundation for the authority of any Government, be it the Government of an emperor or a Republic. They are all of the nature of a usurpation, though I think, when confined within certain exact limits, of a justifiable...
Page 3 - It is to Mr. Herbert Spencer's clear and comprehensive sight that we owe so much in this matter of liberty. Mr. Mill was an earnest and eloquent advocate of individual liberty. He was penetrated with the leading truth that all the great human qualities depend upon a man's mental independence, and upon his steady refusal to let a church, or a party, or the society in which he lives think for him. His book on liberty remains as a monument of a clearer sight, a higher faith, and nobler aspirations than...

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