Quotes from On Liberty and Other Essays

John Stuart Mill ·  640 pages

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“Protection, therefore, against tyranny of the magistrate is not enough: there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling; against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development, and, if possible, prevent the formation, of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel all characters to fashion themselves upon the model of its own.”
― John Stuart Mill, quote from On Liberty and Other Essays


“But reflecting persons perceived that when society is itself the tyrant—society collectively, over the separate individuals who compose it—its means of tyrannizing are not restricted to the acts which it may do by the hands of its political functionaries. Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practises a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.”
― John Stuart Mill, quote from On Liberty and Other Essays


“On the average, a person who cares for other people, for his country, or for mankind, is a happier man than one who does not; but of what use is it to preach this doctrine to a man who cares for nothing but his own ease, or his own pocket? He cannot care for other people if he would. It is like preaching to the worm who crawls on the ground, how much better it would be for him if he were an eagle.”
― John Stuart Mill, quote from On Liberty and Other Essays


“Governments must be made for human beings as they are, or as they are capable of speedily becoming.”
― John Stuart Mill, quote from On Liberty and Other Essays


“is the absolute and essential importance of human development in its richest diversity.”
― John Stuart Mill, quote from On Liberty and Other Essays



About the author

John Stuart Mill
Born place: in Pentonville, London, England, The United Kingdom
Born date May 20, 1806
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