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On Liberty (1859): The Most Important Book Ever Written

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (Crofts, 1859)
[originally posted 8May2000]

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Required reading.

“The maxims [upon which this essay are built] are, first, that the individual is not accountable to society for his actions, insofar as these concern the interests of no person but himself. Advice, instruction, persuasion, and avoidance by other people if thought necessary by them for their own good are the only measures by which society can justifiably express its dislike or disapprobation of his conduct. Secondly, that for such actions as are prejudicial to the interests of others, the individual is accountable, and may be subjected to social or legal punishment, if society is of the opinion that either one or the other is requisite for its protection.”

The most important book ever written. Should be translated into every language and should be required reading, especially for those who are in some capacity working for their governments. *****

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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