For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Considerations on Representative Government

by Mill, John Stuart (1861)

Abstract

[Summary from the National Library of Australia' Trove] This book contains Mill's arguments in favor of a representative form of government, which was in Mill's view the ideal form a government should take. Mill thought that the best government was whatever kind would contribute to the most happiness in a society, both on an individual and an overall level. Democracy in particular creates the most overall happiness because, in Mill's thinking, it encourages individuals to participate in society. By taking active and intelligent interest in social issues, individuals develop their natural "human sympathies," learn to consider the common good, and are able to enjoy the benefits of working together with others. These types of social feelings of well-being--so important to utilitarians like Mill--simply aren't possible under other forms of government.

Keywords

Representative Government, Democracy, Politics, Utilitarianism

Themes

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