Saturday, January 5, 2019

FREEDOM, John Stuart Mill

This morning, a quote on one's definition of "deserving" Freedom, 
The only freedom which deserves the name is that of 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. 
What does this mean; this deserving or worthy freedom?  

First, more on Mill, a video, On Liberty: 

John Stuart Mill - On Liberty   

Here, in this book On Liberty, Mill defines liberty in terms of potential harm to others; an example offered is drinking. It is one's freedom to drink but when then driving a car raises the potential for harming another, other vehicles and person. Harming can be (or is) a point of view, and opinion at times; therefore, the potential of harm is not always objective or measurable.  The aim of this idea is incremental; attempts to lower the potential of harm and thereby raise the potential for protection.  

At places in this abstract is the state as a potential protector of the public good or interest.  As the narrator of the video describes, Mill [the idea(s) of Liberty] warrants or justifies the state's intervention or intrusion (colonialism, imperialism...) when the targeted group is "barbaric" or uncivilized--and of course, this assessment of the group is another matter, sometimes purposely rationalized on the basis of what the state desires, namely,    POWER.     In this desire is power as both the driver (or means) and the objective (or end); if/as this desire become despotic, tyrannical or absolute, so comes corruption.  
As another Englishman put it (Lord Action), Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.      

Once again, John Stuart Mill,

Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing .
It is one thing to trust another, accepting that their actions or behavior is basically good or intended so; but when that given trust is exploited not for good (intentions, objectives) but rather for one's own self-interest--depriving others of theirs..., then comes corruption.  

More to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment