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Mill’s political hopes for France resembled those for Britain: a political regime on utilitarian lines, a widely representative assembly, a liberal franchise, a free press, free associations, popular education, and an enlightened public. However, the revolution of 1830 became a dismal disappointment. The monarchy of Louis Philippe, wedded to narrow commercial and financial groups, was unwilling to jeopardize for the sake of reform its powers and privileges, and at every step opposed major changes. From London Mill closely and anxiously followed events, and between 1830 and 1834 in successive articles in the poured out his bitterness.

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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.

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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.

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What is necessary, however, to make the two ends perfectly reconcilable, is a smaller matter than might at first sight be supposed. It is not necessary that the Many should themselves be perfectly wise; it is sufficient, if they be duly sensible of the value of superior wisdom. It is sufficient if they be aware, that the majority of political questions turn upon considerations of which they, and all persons not trained for the purpose, must necessarily be very imperfect judges; and that their judgment must in general be exercised rather upon the characters and talents of the persons whom they appoint to decide these questions for them, than upon the questions themselves. They would then select as their representatives those whom the general voice of the instructed pointed out as the instructed; and would retain them, so long as no symptom was manifested in their conduct of being under the influence of interests or of feelings at variance with the public welfare. This implies no greater wisdom in the people than the very ordinary wisdom, of knowing what things they are and are not sufficient judges of. If the bulk of any nation possess a fair share of this wisdom, the argument for universal suffrage, so far as respects that people, is irresistible: for, the experience of ages, and especially of all great national emergencies, bears out the assertion, that whenever the multitude are really alive to the necessity of superior intellect, they rarely fail to distinguish those who possess it.

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Hans J. Morgenthau (1904–1980) developed realism into acomprehensive international relations theory. Influenced by theProtestant theologian and political writer Reinhold Niebuhr, as well asby Hobbes, he places selfishness and power-lust at the center of hispicture of human existence. The insatiable human lust for power,timeless and universal, which he identifies with animusdominandi, the desire to dominate, is for him the main cause ofconflict. As he asserts in his main work, Politics among Nations:The Struggle for Power and Peace, first published in 1948,“international politics, like all politics, is a struggle forpower” (25).

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that Mill experienced after his mental crisis helped to shape the mould of his political thought in that turbulent and confused era of the 1830s. However much he strayed from the strict path of his father’s thought, he remained in agreement with the main legal and political reforms sought by James Mill and the Philosophic Radicals. In his journalism he still advocated extensive changes in the laws, the parliamentary system, and the whole system of government to reduce what, in his opinion, was the baneful influence of the aristocracy on the major aspects of British society. He endeavoured to arouse the Radicals in and out of parliament to form a powerful party that either alone or allied with progressive Whigs could shape public policies on reformist lines. In a letter to Edward Lytton Bulwer in March 1838 he summarized his political ambitions in the preceding years: