Posted: February 15th, 2022

Mill Compared To Plato, Locke, Marx And Machiavelli

On this paper, I’ll argue that John Stuart Mill’s theories are essentially the most cheap in comparison with Plato, Marx, Locke, and Machiavelli. Furthermore, Mill’s theories permit mankind to train particular person rights to a larger extent than the theories of the opposite talked about philosophers. Greater than these of Plato, Marx, Locke, or Machiavelli, John Stuart Mill’s theories are compelling as a result of they’re essentially the most logically smart and supply for the welfare of the individuals.

As talked about, my normal for judging these theories is the extent to which they make logical sense and promote the welfare of the individuals. A great political system promotes the welfare of the individuals, so it follows political idea would additionally help this similar purpose. So far as making logical sense is anxious, a political idea that’s logically constructed with sound reasoning is extra seemingly than to not be nicely thought, possible, and true. I’ll begin with explaining why I don’t discover the opposite theorists compelling, and finish with explaining why I discover Mill essentially the most compelling within the bounds of the factors simply defined.

The philosophies of Marx and of Plato are inherently idealistic, which in itself doesn’t essentially discredit the theories. Idealistic visions of essentially the most good sort of presidency are useful in testing the efficacy of a political idea within the theoretical realm. Furthermore, political philosophies usually are not created with direct implementation in thoughts. It’s fallacious to anticipate a political idea to be supposed for direct utility in politics. A discourse on political idea is deliberately distinct from a regulation or a structure. It’s fallacious to confuse a regulation or structure, which is meant for fast implementation in politics, with a political idea, which is meant normally to affect opinion and actual political insurance policies. Though I’ve provided this argument that means the theories of Plato and Marx are to not be judged by their implementation, it’s worthwhile to notice that their implementation would rely upon an developed sort of human nature, one that might acknowledge one’s place in society and the profit to society of fulfilling one’s obligation. This developed human nature merely doesn’t exist even at the moment, a lot much less to say through the time of Plato.

Plato maintains that democracy is among the lowest types of authorities, and that it may decay into despotism “is pretty clear” (Plato 288). Plato thinks the most effective authorities is aristocracy (Plato 267). A part of my standards for judging these theories is how nicely it gives for the welfare of the individuals. Granted, Plato has a considerably legitimate argument that a large amount of freedom in a democracy might result in undisciplined habits. However an aristocracy is far much less more likely to have the welfare of the individuals in thoughts than a democracy. Whereas democracy will not be good, it by nature follows the desire of the best variety of individuals. Assuming that almost all of individuals act in their very own greatest curiosity, then not less than the bulk is ensured its personal welfare. With an aristocracy, there isn’t any such insurance coverage of basic welfare. The one factor that’s sure is that the aristocrats will rule, presumably in response to their very own pursuits. Moreover, Plato is keen to censor creative supplies. This assumes infallibility within the republic’s skill to discern whether or not works are useful to the state. I’ll talk about later on this paper about this idea, in reference to Mill. A lot of the autocratic parts of Plato’s philosophy rely upon a basic assumption that the federal government’s judgments are infallible, which is logically incorrect.

Marx maintains that all the pieces in society relies on economics and manufacturing. This additionally types the theoretical foundation for a lot of of his different theories. However it is a generalization that has many exceptions. The non secular and charitable parts of society usually are not pushed by capitalist economic system; they’re primarily based on unrelated ideas of giving and kindness. Granted, non secular homes and charitable establishments are fueled by financial donations, however the truth that individuals are keen to relinquish their capitalist earnings for which they’ve toiled demonstrates even additional the existence of a charitable or non-selfish motive.

Moreover, as briefly talked about earlier, each Plato and Marx have twisted views of human nature that don’t correlate with actuality to the extent that Mill does. Plato’s theories rely upon the concept that individuals will someway fall into their obligation in society, and in the event that they dare overstep their bounds, they’re committing an “injustice.” Marx’s theories rely upon the belief that folks won’t be disheartened by the prospect of by no means proudly owning property. Mill formulated his theories with a view of human nature that appears extra correct. Mill believed that people have been people and revered the inherent particular person nature of man. In his dialogue on the fallacy of customized, he famous that man is “not a machine to be constructed after a mannequin, and set to do precisely the work prescribed for it, however a tree, which requires to develop and develop itself on all sides in response to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a residing factor” (Mill 114). That is most in distinction to Plato and Marx, whose theories relaxation on the belief that folks will fall into their positions in life with out following any “inward forces” that will encourage them to need extra. Mill stated that impulses are equally part of human nature as are restraints (115). This can be a true assertion of human nature; one can’t ignore the existence of human impulses and emphasize restraints.

Locke’s concepts usually are not very sensible. There are points with Locke’s idea of property, particularly the labor idea of property, and there are points with Locke’s pure rights idea. With the labor idea of property, which states that man makes one thing his property solely when he has used his labor to take it out of nature (Locke 11), there is a matter that arises from the truth that nearly all of the labor at the moment makes use of equipment, factories, and varied technique of manufacturing. Somebody should personal these technique of manufacturing. Locke’s labor idea of property doesn’t account for possession of the technique of manufacturing. Locke championed the idea of pure rights, rights endowed by God which can be inalienable. The entire idea of pure rights is, as Jeremy Bentham stated, “rhetorical nonsense” (“Anarchical Fallacies”). Pure rights by no means really existed within the first place. Pure rights are imaginary, so it’s unattainable for an imaginary object to be taken away. The notion of pure rights could also be helpful to society, however the obvious usefulness of an thought isn’t sufficient purpose to miss the reality worth of the thought. A political idea primarily based on these unrealistic ideas are tough to take significantly in political conditions that have an effect on many individuals.

Machiavelli’s Prince was meant for distribution to these in positions of energy. Accordingly, it offers solely with the pursuits of a single highly effective particular person. Whereas the theories of Marx, Plato, Aristotle, Locke, and Mill handled the welfare of all society, Machiavelli’s concepts have however one particular person’s welfare in thoughts. Granted, Machiavelli did advocate the prince to take care of the welfare of the individuals, however Machiavelli makes it clear that it is a self-interested tactic aimed toward perpetuating the Prince’s management. Caring for the welfare of the individuals in The Prince is about avoiding hatred of the Prince and sustaining good relations with the individuals (Machiavelli 64). Certainly, The Prince appears to be an correct and possibly very helpful handbook for the autocrat. Benito Mussolini praised The Prince as “the statesman’s supreme information” (Arditti). Though The Prince helps the welfare of the individuals, it solely helps the welfare of the residents as an auxiliary tactic for retaining the prince in energy. The welfare of the individuals will not be a major goal of the prince. Subsequently, as a mere tactic, the emphasis on the welfare of the individuals could also be simply disposed of and changed with one other tactic. A perfect system of presidency would revolve across the welfare of the individuals as a matter of necessity.

The primary a part of my standards for judging these theories is how a lot logical sense it makes. On this part, I’ll take a look at how John Stuart Mill’s theories make sense logically.

Mill’s feedback in regards to the flaws of democracy and republics are logical. A paradox of republics is that though they’re typically generally known as workout routines in “self-government” or “authorities by the individuals for the individuals,” the federal government doesn’t at all times replicate the needs of all of the individuals. There are just a few causes for this that Mill properly factors out. Firstly, what appears to be the desire of the bulk is actually the desire of solely essentially the most lively a part of society (Mill 66). These individuals are merely those that “achieve making themselves accepted as a majority” (66). What’s perceived because the “majority,” notably regarding sure concepts about which individuals really feel strongly, is usually a false majority. Secondly, in a republic, those that train the ability usually are not these over whom the ability is exercised (65). Trying on the workings of a republic, this level turns into apparent as we see the political class making choices that have an effect on the remainder of the general public, with out essentially requiring the permission of these their choices have an effect on. Furthermore, a democratic republic might give rise to a brand new type of tyranny, which is what it was adopted to keep away from. Democracies are apt to provide approach to a “tyranny of the bulk,” a time period coined by Alexis de Tocqueville and repeated by Mill. This particular type of tyranny is practiced not by an authority appearing independently, however by society itself. Though much less threatening by way of penalties than a dictatorial tyranny, the tyranny of the bulk is extra harmful as a result of it’s the tougher to flee. On this case, the celebration imposing tyranny doesn’t dwell in a citadel distant, however moderately is your neighbors. Toppling this type of tyranny could be extra complicated than assassinating a single dictator.

Mill’s hurt precept as the premise for society taking motion over the person makes logical sense. We are able to begin with a quick clarification of the hurt precept. Society has jurisdiction over particular person conduct solely in as far as it impacts the welfare of others. Accordingly, society can legitimately punish offenders after the actual fact, or place vital restrictions on particular person freedom as a preventative measure. However this doesn’t apply to circumstances “when an individual’s conduct impacts the pursuits of no individuals in addition to himself, or wants not have an effect on them except they like” (130). That is the essence of the hurt precept. The hurt precept typically pertains to the justice system, a authorities’s establishment for punishing individuals. The aim of a felony justice system is to forestall or not less than reduce injury finished to society. Injury finished to a person by the identical particular person, self-harm, will not be throughout the scope of obligation for a justice system; hurt inflicted upon oneself is, beneath most sensible circumstances, not hurt inflicted upon society. Punishing the actions one does to oneself would require a separate establishment from the justice system, and including such an obligation to the accountability of a justice system could be a perversion of the justice system. To ensure that a authorities’s justice system to perform its purpose of regulating hurt upon society, it nearly by definition has to comply with the hurt precept.

Points relating to the hurt precept essentially come up when one thinks about the way it could also be utilized. Mill’s solutions to those points are logical and constant along with his unique idea. One subject is that there are some “dangerous social establishments” that essentially contain hurt being finished to some celebration, similar to in a contest, an “overcrowded occupation,” or a “aggressive examination” (Mill 148). Mill says the struggling these social establishments convey is unavoidable. When, nonetheless, the competitors is gained by dishonest or pressure, is the one circumstance that permits for society to intervene (148). This view on vital hurt makes logical sense; there are not any methods to mitigate the struggling of the loser with out diminishing the prospect of reward in competitors which introduced the loser into the sport within the first place, solely methods to maintain the competitors truthful. Mill has a solution to a different subject that issues the hurt precept because it pertains to restraint on commerce of sure commodities. This additionally pertains to that which is just probably dangerous to society, particularly “how far liberty might legitimately be invaded for the prevention of crime, or of accident” (149). Though it’s seemingly for the federal government to abuse their preventative position, it’s a vital one. It’s throughout the authorities’s energy to manage, however not ban, the sale of poison. Additionally it is throughout the authorities’s energy to forestall accidents, similar to by imposing fireplace precautions. Mill notes that the federal government’s preventative measures towards accidents don’t infringe upon liberty. Liberty is the proper to do what one pleases, and falling upon an accident very unlikely to be one thing one would want to do (149). In regard to items or companies which may trigger hurt or evil, similar to prostitution, playing, or alcohol, Mill believes that the tip customers shouldn’t be punished, however as an alternative the sellers, or those that revenue from the exercise perceived as evil. The profiteer has a vested curiosity in individuals committing this evil. In contrast to the person, who is just harming himself, the profiteer would possibly as nicely be instigating the hurt upon others, making the actions of the profiteer beneath the jurisdiction of society. Mill can also be in favor of sin taxes, as a result of they restrict the provision of an evil product to the only a few with out enacting full-fledged prohibition (153). In describing varied functions of his hurt precept, he brings the theoretical hurt precept to life and clarifies widespread questions. Additionally they logically comply with from his unique idea, so that they make logical sense.

It’s by no means applicable to imagine infallibility. This can be a idea of Mill that’s nicely based and rational. Right here is the road of logic that rationalizes the notion that we should at all times assume fallibility. Few will deny that they’re resistant to errors, that their judgment is completely impeccable (Mill 78). If one is liable to make an error in judgment, then it’s cheap to say that every one of their judgments are equally liable to this chance for error; that’s, each opinion held to be true has a chance, nonetheless small, to be false. Consequently, it’s by no means right to take care of an opinion or an thought to be completely true with no chance for it to be false. To say that one’s opinion will be completely true is to say that one’s judgment is completely infallible. So this leads us to the conclusion that we will by no means be completely certain that an apparently false thought is certainly false. Apart from, as an additional proof of the subjectivity of opinions, individuals in several geographic areas of the world maintain starkly completely different views on the identical issues. It’s the similar accident which makes one “a Churchman in London [that] would have made him a Buddhist or a Confucian in Peking” (78). Thus we now have the sound foundation for assuming infallibility.

Following from the notion of assuming fallibility, it’s equally fallacious to imagine a selected lifestyle as fallacious. In as far as it doesn’t have an effect on others, the proper to individuality of motion is simply as vital as the proper to individuality of thought. Folks must be permitted to strive varied modes of life and varied experiments of residing (Mill 112). Variety, in distinction to homogenous adherence to customized, is nice for society. Variety is very useful as a result of mankind is imperfect and incapable of totally realizing all sides of the reality (112). Within the absence of a superhuman skill to acknowledge reality, it’s vital for there to be a broad pool of selections in methods to conduct one’s life, gathered by experimentation. For there to be such a pool of selections, evidently, there have to be liberty of motion.

The second a part of my standards for judging these theories is the extent to which it promotes the welfare of the individuals. On this part, I’ll present that Mill’s theories usually tend to result in a excessive stage of human welfare.

Mill’s hurt precept is the antidote to tyranny. If authorities is permitted to intervene with particular person rights solely in instances the place hurt to others is concerned, then beneath such a doctrine, it might be onerous for a would-be tyrant to justify infringing upon the rights of the residents. Assuming that the hurt precept is enforced in its truest kind, all incidents of presidency interference could be justified. So Mill’s hurt precept naturally offers approach to particular person rights. Particular person rights is inextricably tied to well-being of the residents, as a result of particular person rights permits individuals the liberty to hold out the actions related to happiness. Consequently, the hurt precept results in the welfare of the individuals, making it a really useful political idea.

Furthermore, the hurt precept instantly advantages the welfare of individuals by stopping individuals from being harmed by an individual’s actions. This can be a good thing about Mill’s hurt precept, though it isn’t unique to Mill since punishment of offenders was a follow lengthy earlier than Mill wrote down this idea. To be exact, the hurt precept was supposed to position limits on the punishment system already in place. Nonetheless, the hurt precept units a moderately particular and applicable normal for the usage of punishment-for the aim of stopping injury and thus selling the welfare of basic society.

Mill’s idea that infallibility ought to by no means be assumed is conducive to liberty. It permits for liberty of thought, liberty of debate, and all different liberties which comply with from these two. When a authorities by no means assumes infallibility in opinions, then it’ll allow free dialogue of all matters, even of its insurance policies. A society that understands the fallibility of its opinions would tolerate opinions on the contrary of the established opinions. On this perfect state, the federal government and society at massive would essentially grant equal rights to all opinions by way of their permission to be voiced. “If all mankind minus one have been of 1 opinion, and just one particular person have been of the opposite opinion, mankind could be no extra justified in silencing that one particular person than he, if he had the ability, could be justified in silencing mankind” (Mill 77). So a consequence of assuming infallibility is to by no means stifle an opinion, nonetheless false it might seem. Since one might by no means really be assured in regards to the reality worth of an opinion, the reality or falsity of that opinion is equally seemingly. Each opinion has a chance of being both true or false, so no opinion is exempt. If one stifles a real opinion, then the injury is apparent: one loses a possibility for reality (Mill 77). If one stifles a false opinion, then one loses one thing simply as vital: the chance to light up the reality by its distinction with error (Mill 77). Thus an adherence to the fixed assumption of infallibility would insure liberties to free thought and dialogue. An important a part of the welfare of a individuals is securing their liberties to free expression, so this idea is useful to the welfare of the individuals.

All of Mill’s arguments are additional strengthened by his obvious rigorous analysis of his arguments. Becoming along with his philosophy which discusses this level itself, Mill rigorously examines all sides of his statements and arguments. He even makes sturdy arguments for the opposing facet which can be practically as convincing as his personal facet of the argument. The self-discipline with which he examines his arguments makes them appear extremely more likely to be true. Nearly all, if not all, of the main factors that Mill makes in On Liberty are preceded or adopted by a counter argument. Neither Plato, Locke, Machiavelli, or Marx use this extent of rigorous element of their arguments. Mill additionally explains varied elements of his arguments at nice size, though he isn’t the one theorist amongst this group to take action.

In conclusion, Mill’s theories are essentially the most compelling in comparison with these of Plato, Locke, Marx, and Machiavelli. Mill’s theories make logical sense and supply for the welfare and particular person liberty of the individuals. The theories of Plato, Marx, Locke, and Machiavelli both don’t make logical sense or don’t present adequately for the welfare of the individuals. Thus the theories of Mill prevail as essentially the most compelling in response to this standards for judging the theories.

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