The most important of these—and the most controversial—is Government. Despite numerous journalistic pursuits, Mill could not provide a comfortable living for his large family until he was appointed an Assistant Examiner in the India House ina result of his most important work, History of British India, begun in and published in As a utilitarian, Mill believed in seeking "the greatest happiness of the greatest number"; assumed that human beings are only motivated by self-interest and that they will always seek pleasure and avoid pain; sought to educate citizens to understand what was truly in their self-interest; and focused on training individuals to choose behavior that would result in the greatest happiness for the whole society.
Above all, it is important to consider, that in this class of instruments is included the power of taking away life, and with it of taking away not only all the pleasures of reality, but, what goes so far beyond them, all the pleasures of hope.
A parallel case may be given. His great work, the Elements of Political Economy, appeared in 3rd and revised ed. In this country, at least, it will be remarked, in conformity with so many writers, that the imperfection of the three simple forms of Government is apparent; that the ends of Government can be attained in perfection only, as under the British Constitution, by an union of all the three.
Edited by Currin V. What is the nature of political knowledge, and how is it to be obtained? Employing individuals, it must choose them; it must lay down the rules under which they are to act; and it must punish them, if they act in disconformity to those rules.
Pleasures and pains come from two sources, our fellow human beings and nature. What is implied in that desire of power; and what is the extent to which it carries the actions of men; are the questions which it is necessary to resolve, in order to discover the limit which nature has set to the desire, on the part of a King, or an Aristocracy, to inflict evil upon the community for their own advantage.
In the debate on the motion of Mr. Knowledge, on the part of those whose interests are the same as those of the community, would be an adequate remedy. The end is, every thing, without exception, which the human being calls pleasure, and the removal of pain.
Upon this principle of re-choosing, or of the permanency of the individual, united with the power of change, has been recommended the plan of permanent service with perpetual power of removal. The other mode of obtaining labour is by allurement, or the advantage which it brings.
Dedicated to logic, the elder Mill also derided the imagination, fiction, and literary writing. In the grand discovery of modern times, the system of representation, the solution of all the difficulties, both speculative and practical, will perhaps be found. What then are the inconveniences which are likely to flow from a too limited duration?
If a King is prompted by the inherent principles of human nature to seek the gratification of his will; and if he finds an obstacle in that pursuit, he removes it, of course, if he can. But there would, if experience is any guide, or if the general laws of human nature have any power, be sufficient agreement to prevent their losing sight of the common interest; in other words, for insuring all that abuse of power which is useful to the parties by whom it is exercised.
Upon this principle, we conceive that the chain is complete and irrefragable. If Government is founded upon this, as a law of human nature, that a man, if able, will take from others any thing which they have and he desires, it is sufficiently evident that when a man is called a King, it does not change his nature; so that when he has got power to enable him to take from every man what he pleases, he will take whatever he pleases.
The former are any small number whatsoever; who, by the circumstance of being entrusted with power, are constituted an Aristocracy. Nothing but this can be said with pertinency.
And it appears that a combination of the simple forms is impossible. If the powers of Government were to be shifted from one set of hands to another every day, the business of Government could not proceed. The object, it is plain, can best be attained when a great number of men combine, and delegate to a small number the power necessary for protecting them all.
Between andhe wrote for the Anti-Jacobin Reviewthe British Review and The Eclectic Review ; but there is no means of tracing his contributions.
Mill deems Whig defenses of a greatly restricted franchise and virtual representation to be arguments against representative government itself. The idea, therefore, is wholly chimerical and absurd.
There are, therefore, no bounds to its desire of exactness in the conformity between its will and the actions willed; and, by consequence, to the strength of that terror which is its procuring cause. He maintained that only a representative democracy with frequent elections and an enlarged franchise provided a unity of interest between public officials and the community.
The House of Commons, according to that theory, is the checking body.I.: The End of Government; viz. the Good or Benefit for the Sake of which it exists.
THE question with respect to Government is a question about. In Mill’s Essay on Government (), originally written for the fifth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, his arguments were mainly directed against “virtual representation,” which, for Mill, resulted in a few aristocrats with “sinister interests” ruling at the expense of the majority’s happiness.
James Mill () was a Scottish political philosopher, economist and proponent of Utilitarianism. He was the father of John Stuart Mill. Originally published inthis book presents the complete text of Mill's An Essay on Government. An Essay on Government. About us. Editorial team. General Editors: David Bourget (Western Ontario) David Chalmers (ANU, NYU) Area Editors: David Bourget Gwen Bradford Berit Brogaard Margaret Cameron David Chalmers James Chase Rafael De Clercq Ezio Di Nucci Barry Hallen Hans Halvorson Jonathan Ichikawa Michelle Kosch.
James Mill, Supplement to the Encyclopedia Britannica (London: J. Innes, ). Essay on Government (first half) James Mill’s Political Writings, "Reply to Macaulay (), pages - not available online.
James Mill (born James Milne, 6 April – 23 June ) was a Scottish historian, economist, political theorist, and philosopher. Essays on Government, Jurisprudence, Liberty of the Press, Education, and Prisons and Prison Discipline,Download