- The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering w/liberty of any action is self protection. The only purpose for which power can rightfully be exercised over any member of civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. Remember this happened in the Skip Hire Glasgow case? Well, Hhs own good, moral or physical, isn’t a sufficient warrant & he can’t rightfully be compelled to do/be prevented from doing something b/c it’s better for him/will make him happier/others consider it a better thing to do. These are good reasons for reasoning w/him or persuading, but not compelling him/causing him evil if he chooses not to listen. The only part of conduct for which anyone is amenable to society is that concerning others. In the part which merely concerns him, his independence is as of right absolute. Over himself, individual is sovereign (doesn’t apply to kids, barbarians).
- People should be able to do different things – society isn’t to be made of people doing the same thing
- Human liberty = 3 parts
- Inward domain of conscience – liberty of thought & feeling, absolute freedom of opinion & sentiment
- Liberty of tastes & pursuits – framing the plan of life to suit your character, doing as we like, subject to consequences which follow, w/out impediment from fellow creatures, as long as we don’t harm them
- Liberty within same limits of combination of individuals – freedom to unite, for any purpose, not involving harm to others
No society where these aren’t respected is free, regardless of form of govt. – must be free absolutely & unqualifiedly. The only freedom deserving of its name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we don’t deprive others/impede their efforts. Each is the proper guardian of own health: mental, bodily & spiritual.