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On Liberty

Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
Length: 4 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: History, American
4.5 out of 5 stars (284 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

First published in 1859, John Stuart Mill's On Liberty is an exhaustive exploration of social and civic liberty, its limits, and its consequences. Mill's work is a classic of political liberalism that contains a rational justification of the freedom of the individual in opposition to the claims of the state. Drawing upon the empiricism of John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume, and the utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham, On Liberty defends the representative democracy as the culmination of society's progression from lower to higher stages, even as it recognizes one of the unique dangers of this type of government - namely, the "tyranny of the majority".

Central to Mill's ideology is the harm principle - the idea that individual liberties should only be curtailed when they harm or interfere with the ability of others to exercise their own liberties. Unlike other liberal theorists, Mill did not rely upon theories of abstract rights to support his ideology, but rather grounded his philosophy in ideas of utility.

As relevant to modern audiences as it was to Mill's Victorian readership, On Liberty is an enduring classic of political thought.

Public Domain (P)2011 Tantor

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Should be required reading for everyone.

All I can see is that if you've read this and understand it, you will discover that the world is in pretty dark place right now, where liberty is under huge threats. You certainly can't be someone who'd think remaining in the EU would be good idea. Sobering indeed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Why we need to limit Google, Facebook, Twitter etc

This book provides the clearest outline for the dangers and remedies to the greatest threat to our liberty since the jack boot.

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Timeless.

Should be required reading for High school students. Chapter two is a fantastic review of the value and importance of free speech.

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A Must Read for My Generation.

As a millennial, I say we are overdue for the awareness that government is the biggest threat to all people's prosperity. There's no end to the nation-state in sight, but we can preserve, and improve on the good and bad aspects of the prosperous system we were given.

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A defense of Liberty that is still important.

John Stuart Mill's work titled, "On Liberty" is a well reasoned explanation and defense of the universally important and historically fragile concept of liberty. He clearly and reasonably argues in this work that the concept of liberty is a vital premise which any allegedly free nation must embrace if it were to be considered accurately as having a just and free society by future generations in hindsight. Of greater note, John Stuart Mill also places great emphasis on the right of disagreement for not only the popular majority but also for the unpopular minority. He treats this right as the key stone principal for the exercising and securing of liberty itself in any society. Thus he argues that neither government, or the outrage of a worked up angry mob or the lustful gaze of the powerful few in society has the right to deny the individual the right to disagree from their unjust excesses or deprivations of opinions be they false or true at the present time. Furthermore, he clearly explains the merits and benefits that society receives from hearing from those who are considered at the present to have wrong opinions by the majority.

Overall I really enjoyed this work. I would highly recommend "On Liberty" to those who see great merit in standing up for freedom and liberty for all. It is a extremely well reasoned and solidly firm defense of the concept and exercise of liberty. It stands strong for the affirmation of the rights of the biggest minority in the world, i.e. the individual and it is today just as relevant as it was back when it was first published.

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dry but good.

dude reading it is definitely not my favorite. But the content is also all info so it's difficult to liven that up. it's short enough that you can get past the dryness. wuff.

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should be read by liberals and conservatives

should be read by liberals and conservatives to encourage civil discourse. it discusses the power of listening to those that do not agree with.

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Mostly Reasonable Dissertation

When we take into account John Stewart Mill's isolated upbringing, enforced by his father, it is not surprising that he would become the purveyor of the extraordinarily compartmentalized philosophy he shares in this volume. Though his logical conclusions are for the most part, agreeable to me; his tone is that of a man who is very self-possessed - "I know what's right, and good; so let's leave off any further discussion."

As is usually my experience with books he reads, Gildart Jackson was more than satisfactory in his reading of "On Liberty"!

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The best treatise on Free Speech ever written!

Re-read”On Liberty”, for the 3rdtime. It is the greatest treatise on Free Speech ever written, published in 1859, but prescient for the politics of today.

If you've never read it, it delves into the suppression of speech by forces such as government and the tyranny of the majority (public opinion), to include the stifling of speech with the use of labels. Heresy & blasphemy were the dogmatic supression terms of the past, is ”X-phobia” the dogmatic term(s) of today? 🤔

Definitely worth reading!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Great Thinkery

I truly enjoyed this essay. I think of liberty differently now. everyone should read it

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  • Vegard
  • 02-08-17

Great introduction to some aspects of liberalism

This book is a great introduction to some aspects of modern Liberalism, while not agreeing with it completely.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful