, Second Edition (Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2006) []

I fully admit that the mischief which a person does to himself may seriously affect, both through their sympathies and their interests, those nearly connected with him, and in a minor degree, society at large. When, by conduct of this sort, a person is led to violate a distinct and assignable obligation to any other person or persons, the case is taken out of the self-regarding class, and becomes amenable to moral disapprobation in the proper sense of the term. If, for example, a man, through intemperance or extravagance, becomes unable to pay his debts, or, having undertaken the moral responsibility of a family, becomes from the same cause incapable of supporting or educating them, he is deservedly reprobated, and might be justly punished: but it is for the breach of duty to his family or creditors, not for the extravagance. If the resources which ought to have been devoted to them, had been diverted from them for the most prudent investment, the moral culpability would have been the same. George Barnwell murdered his uncle to get money for his mistress, but if he had done it to set himself up in business, he would equally have been hanged. Again, in the frequent case of a man who causes grief to his family by addiction to bad habits, he deserves reproach for his unkindness or ingratitude; but so he may for cultivating habits not in themselves vicious, if they are painful to those with whom he passes his life, or who from personal ties are dependent on him for their comfort. Whoever fails in the consideration generally due to the interests and feelings of others, not being compelled by some more imperative duty, or justified by allowable self-preference, is a subject of moral disapprobation for that failure, but not for the cause of it, nor for the errors, merely personal to himself, which may have remotely led to it. In like manner, when a person disables himself, by conduct purely self-regarding, from the performance of some definite duty incumbent on him to the public, he is guilty of a social offence. No person ought to be punished simply for being drunk; but a soldier or a policeman should be punished for being drunk on duty. Whenever, in short, there is a definite damage, or a definite risk of damage, either to an individual or to the public, the case is taken out of the province of liberty, and placed in that of morality or law.

(Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1987)

 Democrazia: il dio che ha fallito: Italian version of Democracy: The God That Failed

Festschrift Ceremony, July 2009

It is evidently one of the worst possible arrangements, that the time of the supreme legislative assembly, which would find ample occupation in the preparation and perfecting of general enactments, should be taken up with matters of only local interest, and sometimes of merely individual concern; that it should be occupied with bills for changing names, alienating estates, supplying towns with water and lighting them by gas. While this continues to be the case, it is both morally and physically impossible there can be that degree of excellence in legislation, which the present state of knowledge admits. It is a system which acts injuriously in both directions; a system on which neither enactments of a local nor those of a national kind can possibly be of the same beneficial character as if the preparation of them were devolved on separate assemblies.

This site rocks the Classic Responsive Skin for .

To the other strong reasons for reducing the numbers of the House, will sooner or later be added one of economy. We mean, of course, when the members are paid—a change to which we shall certainly come, and of which our author is a warm advocate:

A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism (Kluwer, 1989; Mises Institute reprint, 2007; , 2013)
It concentrates the knowledge necessary to the interest of the parts, and of the whole.

Democracy versus Dictatorship: Essays: School

We have equally left out of our consideration the back-woods, and have not thought it necessary to justify democracy from being in any way accessary to “Lynch-law.” We have not forgotten Sir Robert Peel’s Tamworth speech; but (we must say) we think that speech chiefly remarkable as a specimen of what the conservative baronet thought would with his Tamworth auditory, or, we may perhaps add, with his party. There are Tories enough, probably, who are ignorant of the difference between the state of Mississippi and the state of New York; but we much doubt his being one of them. Sir Robert Peel is not so ignorant as to suppose, that government could establish good order and obedience to law, in countries which count nearly as many square miles as inhabitants. He must have read Mr. Crawford’s report; from which he might have learnt that in the back settlements not more than one crime in a hundred either is, or possibly can be, made the subject of legal redress; and each person consequently retains the right of self-defence which belongs to man in a state of nature. Least of all can Sir Robert Peel be sincere in laying the blame upon democracy, of lawless proceedings which are exclusively confined to the south-western states, where all the bad passions arising from slavery, are blended with the vices natural to a country colonized almost exclusively, as M. de Tocqueville says, by adventurers and speculators. Even Lynch-law, which, though it occasionally sanctions its mandates by death, limits them in the first instance to removal from the neighbourhood, is probably a real improvement upon the state of society previously existing, in which every man’s rifle was his own protector and avenger.

[Compare this, what Thomas Paine has to say with what  has to say.] It ...

Corruption is the main outcome of democracy essay

Less precise and much harder to summarize is Mill’s view of the economic roles of the contemporary state. On this theme his thinking after 1848 underwent pronounced changes in response to transformations in society and the currents of European opinion. It was the ethos of his philosophy to further the full and free development of every human individual. He doubted, however, whether the existing industrial society offered the best environment for such development, since sometimes it failed to permit even the most harsh and exhausting labour to earn the bare necessaries of life. It fostered inequalities between groups, gave advantages to some, and imposed impediments on others. He believed that in existing society remedies for man’s plight must be sought through a variety of institutions: co-operative industrial associations might replace the wage system, reformed proprietorship might replace land monopoly, and restrictions on the right of inheritance might reduce the general extent of inequality. Many new and untried instruments of economic control are possible and must be employed under the direct or indirect initiative of the state.

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Typographical errors have been silently corrected in the text; the note below lists them. In the headnotes the quotations from Mill’s bibliography, the manuscript of which is a scribal copy, are also silently corrected; again, the note below lists them. While the punctuation and spelling of each item are retained, the style has been made uniform: for example, periods are deleted after references to monarchs (e.g., “Louis XIV.,”), dashes are deleted when combined with other punctuation before a quotation or reference, and italic punctuation after italic passages has been made roman. Indications of ellipsis have been normalized to three dots plus, when necessary, terminal punctuation. The positioning of footnote indicators has been normalized so that they always appear after adjacent punctuation marks; in some cases references have been moved from the beginning to the end of quotations for consistency.