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John Stuart Mills

By Bernard

John Stuart Mills ( 1806-1873) est reconnu pour son utilitarisme. Il a publié ses Principes d'économie politique en 1848.

Mills

John Stuart Mills et sa chevelure championne

Même s'il était très libertaire, favorable au laissez-faire, Mills respectait les notions de contrats et de droits de propriété.  Il a favorisé la taxation des héritages, un certain protectionnisme pour le commerce et la limitation des heures de travail des ouvriers, un sujet brûlant en son temps.

Il favorisait l'éducation obligatoire, mais pas les écoles obligatoires.  Il disait que le gouvernement n'avait qu'à instituer un système d'examens d'état pour garantir un niveau minimum de connaissance.

Parlant de son livre "On Liberty", publié en 1860, il précise sa conception de la liberté:

“The subject of this Essay is not the so-called Liberty of the Will, so unfortunately opposed to the misnamed doctrine of Philosophical Necessity; but Civil, or Social Liberty: the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual.”

Donc fondamentalement libertaire, il a toujours voulu restreindre l'intervention des gouvernements dans l'économie pour laisser les individus agir comme ils le veulent en autant qu'ils ne nuisent pas aux autres.

J'ai trouvé quelques-unes de ses phrases intéressantes:

"What distinguishes the majority of men from the few is their inability to act according to their beliefs."

"The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time."

"The individual is not accountable to society for his actions in so far as these concern the interests of no person but himself."

"The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people."

"The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."

"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant."

"No slave is a slave to the same lengths, and in so full a sense of the word, as a wife is.

"One person with a belief is equal to ninety-nine who have only interests."

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