An easier-to-read current language translation of the 1859 classic - with a new extended editorial foreword. Annotated.
This modern language version of John Stuart Mill's essay greatly improves its readability and understandability. The translation by Industrial Systems Research is substantive but retains literalness and original word order and grammar as far as possible.

Mill's primary concern in the essay is with individual liberty. He is fully aware that personal freedom is only a part of freedom. People live in societies and their personal liberty depends on - and contributes to - economic and political institutional (etc.) freedom. In the essay, Mill touches on many wider socio-cultural liberties. He does not examine them very systematically or in much depth.However, he is not setting out to write a comprehensive treatise on human liberty.

Nor does the book just attack state interference with freedom.

Mill declares that states are only worth the individuals who compose them. Great states produce great individuals - and conversely, great individuals produce great states. In his book, a great state is not a big state. On the contrary, a great state deliberately avoids doing what private citizens can do independently/voluntarily. Big states concentrate power in a few hands, hamper individual development, and turn citizens into dependents. Any state that dwarfs its citizens and makes them docile instruments in its hands will soon discover that with small people, nothing great is achievable.

Nonetheless, as Mill points out, private bodies such as guilds and trade unions, religious organizations, and families are quite capable of suppressing liberty without any help from the state.In democracies, majorities can oppress minorities. Sometimes, entire communities and social classes will act tyrannically towards individuals.

Mill's basic thesis is that public authorities have no business restricting the liberty of people unless this is to prevent injury to others.


Editorial foreword

1: Introductory

2: Liberty of thought and discussion

3: Individuality: One of the elements of well-being

4: The limits to the authority of society over the individual

5: Applications

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Additional Info

  • Text-to-Speech: Disabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 176 Pages
  • File Size: 1,292 KB

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