Single Idea 7229

[catalogued under 25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / a. Nature of democracy]

Full Idea

A people accustomed to transacting their own business is certain to be free; it will never let itself be enslaved by any man or body of men because these are able to seize and pull the reins of the central administration.

Gist of Idea

People who transact their own business will also have the initiative to control their government


John Stuart Mill (On Liberty [1857], Ch.5)

Book Reference

Mill,John Stuart: 'Utilitarianism (including On Liberty etc)', ed/tr. Warnock,Mary [Fontana 1962], p.246

A Reaction

He makes reference to Americans. This is an important idea, because it shows that democratic control is not just a matter of elections (which can be abolished or suborned), but is also a characteristic of a certain way of life.