President/Head of State. Geographic Zone. Period in Power
ASCAP & BMI -- Protectors of Artists or Shadowy Thieves
No less cardinal in his thought is a related concern for achieving a balance amongst the powerful and contending interests in the modern state. To him industrial society appears to be a fierce struggle of classes and groups for diverse ends. In view of this struggle, democracy can only provide the best form of government when it is “so organized that no class, not even the most numerous, shall be able to reduce all but itself to political insignificance . . .” (467). It must operate in such a way as to sustain a workable plurality of interests that prevent the domination of any one over all the others. Much of what he says about political machinery concerns instruments, often complicated, that are intended to protect society from the monopoly of power by a single interest. To the end of his days he remained convinced that the presence of countervailing interests is essential for the survival of political liberty.
NOTE: I first wrote this article in 1993 when I …
Mill carries the themes of centralisation and bureaucracy from into his essay on centralisation which, under the guise of reviewing the ideas of two French writers, presents an acute comparison of French and English political thought and institutions. The first of the authors, M. Odilon Barrot, has opinions readily defined and in harmony with Mill’s own. A severe critic of the current centralism of France under Napoleon III, he condemns its confusion of spiritual and temporal powers, its petty interferences with the privacy of individuals, and its restrictions on the rights of communes to manage their local affairs and appoint their local officials. He complains that the central authority, with an insatiable appetite for power, forbids the communes to convene their councils without its permission, prescribes their annual estimates, and compels them at their expense to employ its own engineers and architects.