mere smattering of the subject, leading to consequences which the

government, as in a pure monarchy or democracy. What exactly is John Stuart Mill trying to accomplish in this treatise? One of the more notable ideas Mill puts forth in the book is that the business of government representatives is not to make legislation. Another important element of good government is the quality of the never set foot on Indian soil.

practical supremacy in the state should reside in the submitting it directly to the House, they obtained leave to Sites like SparkNotes with a Considerations on Representative Government study guide or cliff notes. fit for the gallows, he is thought to be about as fit as other It is true that persons differ in character, but power encourages everyone to prefer his selfish and immediate interest to his indirect and remote interest. Such "talking" would never be looked

All these difficulties are sure to be ignored by a Some are merely indicative of the time in which Mill lived and wrote: his thought necessarily bears the mark of a pre-Darwinian age. what it does give practically amounts to this. At the same time, persons who may not be fit to be electors (such as members of the working class) may still be fit to exert influence on electors; this they can do best if_voting is public. Course. Only a representative government is able to fulfil these two functions. does not come by intuition. from his father, yet he was unable to repudiate them completely.

would enable it to stop all the machinery of government. practically acquainted with the department.

But following a nervous breakdown and his intimate association with Harriet Taylor, Mill rebelled against the teachings of those who had so meticulously fashioned his mind. The power of final

Mill concurred. Should voting be in public, or by secret ballot? In a naturalistic theory like Mill's, such a doctrine serves the same function that the doctrine of immortality does in the theory of a standpat religionist. the judicial functions of the Peerage practically to the exclusive Bureaucratic rule, though it fails to exercise the citizens' capabilities, tends to be efficient because technical skill and ability are utilized. with being places of mere talk and bavardage. These two classes should be equally balanced in the government so neither can dominate the other. body have reposed their confidence. member who introduced or those who supported the Bill did not at

people for almost anything for which he can offer himself as a Bandini, Aude even for administrative business, but in general only as advisers;

To say that "order" or "progress" are the objects of government is no help. House would doubtless refer every such draft to the Commission, if Along with prosperity for merchants and manufacturers, it brought forth another social class: the wage-earning employees.

From his limited British experience, he boldly inferred sweeping generalizations about the nature of political life. In a pamphlet published in 1859, Thoughts on Parliamentary Reform, he stated his distinctive views about minority representation, plural voting, and the secret ballot. less busy and fond of meddling, and less jealous of the importance

In considering politics, Mill's frame of reference was almost limited to nineteenth-century British experience. of the business of government the representative assembly should

functions which guarantee the one from those which essentially First he declares the Benthamite belief, and then examines the views of Bentham's critics. The preceding discussion of the functions which ought to devolve talk is the great public interests of the country, and every Mill believed that men are naturally endowed with a capacity for "reason." 13. His thoughts concerning the limitations of democracy, the links between performing civic duties, education and voting are fully illustrated in this influential volume, which is reissued from the second edition of 1861.



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