2006 | 15 | 4(60) | 289-299
Article title

Tyranny of the Masses

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J.S. Mill wrote against limitations of freedom of speech. He also argued that instigation to disorder or harassment were not permissible. The authoress tries to determine more specifically where, and why, Mill proposed to draw the line between legitimate and illegitimate uses of the freedom of speech. She believes that he was primarily moved by the desire to promote cultivation of individuality. Freedom of speech is not an end in itself but a social arrangement that helps people control their lives in a competent manner. This consideration was probably essential in Mill's opposition to, and abhorrence of, the tyranny of the masses. The uncultivated majority tends to live in a limited world of stale ideas and customs. Unable to question or modify them, the conformists persecute extravagant individuals, people of foreign cultures, non-conformists of every kind and mavericks. These observations lead the authoress to say that Mill's message has not been absorbed in the current life styles, which are permeated by banal contents of popular culture, infantile television programs, sentimental movies and gaudy advertisement.
  • T. Holowka, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Instytut Filozofii, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 3, 00-047 Warszawa, Poland
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