Evaluating Mill's views on democracy

Mill democracy evaluated

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 21-06-11 16:00

Mill's arguments against democracy

- Laws are based on likings and dislikings
- Tyranny of the majority via legal and social means
- democracy may be better than stage 1 but is still flawed
- restricted by tradition and custom
- solves issues by introducing the harm to others principle

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What mill calls tyranny is simply agreement?

It could be argued that people in society have progressed to have the  same opinions so there isnt tyranny of the majority, there is simply shared views

It could also be argued that Mill has got it wrong thinking everyone should have a different opinion. A group opinion could be a sign of progression and without group opinions there would be so many individual opinions that no decisions would ever be made

However it could be said this objection misses the point of mills argument as he doesnt say agreement is a negative thing simply that it can lead to oppression

Mill issue was not based on agreement it was based on whether people gained their beliefs from custom and tradition or experiments of living and rational thinking. He wants people to know why they believe what they believe

Mill wouldnt mind people forming group opinions as long as they came to the idea rationally.

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There is no problem- Mill is wrong in the links he

Gray explains that some societies have progressed without individuality and still maintaining their customs. eg. japan. 

This may not link well to Mills argument as Mill viewed progression as improving the benefit of the individual and society whereas Gray focuses on technological progression.

The two are very different as just becasue you are technologically progressive is not to say you are culturally progressive

For Mill progression needs to include happiness. This is not a good argument against Mill as they are arguing over different types of progression

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Mill is inconsistant

this is the strongest argument against Mill

In his book 'parliamentary reform' mill seems to be arguing in favour of TOM

he claims in this book that educated people should be allowed more votes that those members of society who arent educated. This could lead to TOM and the involvement of selfish motivationsMill may arguue that the educated would choose what was best for society as a whole therefore benefitting society

this could be repression of the lower classes as education isnt necessary to have common sense

Under pluralistic voting systems is paternalistic and would treat the citiizens like children

Mill argues this would develop the society in a positive way as they are lesser in number than the working class and it is simply evening it out

He is also inconsistant in the application chapter- Public decency and advertising

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