November 14, 2011

Blue Army: Theory and Doctrine

Global War on Disinformation

(Michael Sandel, Justice: Free To Choose, February 2011)

(Michael Sandel, Justice: What's A Fair Start?, February 2011)

John Rawls (1921 – 2002):
Those who have been favored by nature, whoever they are, may gain from their good fortune, only on terms that improve the situation of those who have lost out.

Margaret Thatcher (1925 – 2013):
There is no such thing as society.
There are individual men and women, and there are families. …
It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour.
[There] is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation.

Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982):
There is no such entity as the tribe or the public.
The tribe, or society, is only a number of individual men.
Nothing can be good for the tribe as such.
Good and value pertain only to … an individual living organism, not to a disembodied aggregate of relationships.

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 – 59):
When all the members of a community are independent of, or indifferent to, each other, the cooperation of each of them can only be obtained by paying for it; this infinitely multiplies the purposes to which wealth may be applied, and increases its value. …
Men are no longer bound together by ideas, but by interests; and it would seem as if human opinions were reduced to a sort of intellectual dust, scattered on every side, unable to collect, unable to cohere.
(Democracy in America, 1835-40, Bantam, 2011, pp 461 & 516)

Thomas Paine (1737 – 1809):
[Government,] even in its best state, is but a necessary evil …
(Common Sense, 1776)

Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004):
Government is not the solution …
Government is the problem. …

I continue to look to the Scriptures … for fulfilment and for guidance.
Indeed, it is an incontrovertible fact, that all the complex and horrendous questions confronting us at home, and worldwide, have their answer in that single Book. …

Edmund Burke (1729 – 97):
To … love the little platoon we belong to, in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections.
It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love
  • to our country, and
  • to mankind.

Ralph Emerson (1803 – 82):
Do not tell me, as a good man did to-day, of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations.
Are they my poor?
I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent, I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong.
(Self-Reliance, Essays: First Series, 1841)

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 – 59):
It is both necessary and desirable that the government of a democratic people should be active and powerful.
[Our] object should not be to render it weak or indolent, but solely to prevent it from abusing its aptitude and its strength.
(Democracy in America, 1835, p 867)

Cultural Total War: The Global War on Political Correctness

Ann Coulter (1961):
Christianity fuels everything I write. …
We should invade [Muslim] countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.
We weren't punctilious about … punishing only Hitler and his top officers.
We carpet-bombed German cities …
[We] killed civilians.
That's war.
And this is war. …
[Joe McCarthy] saved America and it was only another 20 years or so before Ronald Reagan came in and saved the world. …

Rosalie Crestani [Deputy President, Rise up Australia Party]:
[We're] about to see a crusade …
Western countries are going to start to rise up.
I mean the true western countries because I think America's too far gone now.
They've got a jihadist in the White House — he's the one that started ISIS, [he] armed and … established them, he's used the CIA to recruit [for them …]
(Sami Shah, Putting the ex in Muslim, Earshot, 1 August 2016)

Bronwyn Bishop [29th Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives] (1942):
[What] we're really seeing in our county is a clash of cultures …
[The] headscarf is being used as [an] iconic item of defiance [by] the sort of people who want to overturn our values …
[Headscarves should be banned in Australian public schools (and veiled women segregated in the public galleries of the Federal Parliament). …]
[Hijab-wearing women are slaves who] can't deal with the choices that freedom offers.
(2005 and 2014)

James Robison (1943) [Televangelist]:
I sick an tired of hearing about all of the radicals, and the perverts, and the liberals, and the leftists, and the communists coming out of the closet.
It's times for God's people to come out of closet, out of the churches, and change America.
We must do it!

Richard Russell [US Senator for Georgia (D), 1933-71] (1897 – 1971):
[The Civil Rights bill] is a perversion of the American way of life and a great blow at the right of dominion over private property that has been the genesis of our greatness.

George Wallace (1919 – 98) [Governor of Alabama, 1983-87]:
Segregation now,
Segregation tomorrow, and
Segregation forever!

During his final years, Wallace publicly recanted his racist views and asked for forgiveness from African Americans.
(6 July 2017)

Niall Ferguson (1964):
[Trump is,] in some measure, a reaction against [political correctness. …]
What was, to many people, deeply exhilarating about Trump's speeches was their completely unfiltered quality: that every single thing that was politically incorrect was there.
And I don't think it would have been as appealing, it would not have been as exciting, if these had not become taboos.
Now I can't condone the xenophobia, the misogyny — it all in there and its malignant — but the reason that it's popular, the reason that it resonates, is that we've created [a] stifling culture of self-censorship:
  • in our academies,
  • in our universities, [and]
  • in the media …
(Sydney Opera House Lecture, Centre for Independent Studies, 24 May 2016)

Ludwig von Mises (1881 – 1973):
The emergence of a numerous class of … frivolous intellectuals is one of the least welcome phenomena of the age of modern capitalism.
Their obtrusive stir repels discriminating people.
They are a nuisance.
(p 107)

[A] large number of American research physicists sympathize with socialism and communism …
University teachers of economics [oppose] what they disparagingly call the profit system …
(The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, Van Nostrand, 1956, p 20)

Milton Friedman (1912 – 2006):
It (is) crystal clear that the foundations of our free society are under wide-ranging and powerful attack — not by Communist or any other conspiracy but by misguided individuals parroting one another and unwittingly serving ends they would never intentionally promote.
(Foreward to Dr Arthur Shenfield's lectures entitled "The Ideological War Against Western Society", Rockford College, 1970)

Waleed Aly (1978)

[In] the mid-1970s … arch neo-conservative Irving Kristol (1920 – 2009) warned of a creeping 'new class' whose members are
not much interested in money but are keenly interested in [cultural power, ie the] power to shape our civilization — a power, which in a capitalist system is supposed to reside in the free market.

(Adam Curtis, Baby Its Cold Outside, The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear, Episode 1, 2004)

The "new class" wants to see much of this power redistributed to government where they will then have a major say in how it is exercised.

The "new class" [consisted of:]
[A] goodly proportion of those college educated people …
  • scientists,
  • teacher and educational administrators,
  • journalists and others in the communications industries,
  • psychologists,
  • social workers,
  • those lawyers and doctors who make their careers in the expanding public sector,
  • city planners,
  • the staffs of the larger foundations, [and]
  • the upper levels of the government bureaucracy.
Kristol, a former Trotskyist, had constructed a new "class war" between the "new class" and what would later be called the nation's "moral majority."
Since the being, then American neo-conservatism has been obsessed with the agenda of "liberal elites" who exploit their privileged position to indoctrinate the nation and take it over with their anti-capitalism.
Particular venom in this connection is saved for the 'liberal media,' …
(p 64)

The discourse of Australian neo-conservatism is essentially the same …
The components of the "new class" are all there:
  • civil-liberties lawyers,
  • (particularly climate) scientists, [and]
  • academics.

The narrative — promulgated by both [John Howard] and his devotees in the commentariat — was that Australian cultural institutions and the telling of Australian history had been captured by a leftist orthodoxy spreading a 'black armband' version of Australian history that emphasized, exaggerated and even distorted the atrocities of colonial violence against the indigenous population.
This in turn precipitated cultural relativism and an obsession with political correctness.
At fault were the proliferation of:
  • special-interest groups,
  • leftist academics and, …
  • a biased media.
On this last point, the ABC was particularly pilloried. …

Accordingly, Howard undertook the very project he so despised in his leftist foes, promoting what we might call, in the prevailing spirit of [ideological] trench warfare: a Right orthodoxy on history and culture.
Australia's history was 'heroic,' its 'blemishes' insufficient to negate its net positive [moral] 'balance sheet.'
Meanwhile he articulated a new Australian mythology centred on military history [—] Anzac Day, once a fading reference point, was reinvigorated to the point of national definition. …
(p 65)

Neo-conservatives … posit a clear, identifiable, [pure and] unproblematic national culture [—] a culture that was comparatively homogenous until the relativism of the Left tore at its fabric.
This is an ossified, nostalgic fiction. …
The history on which this nostalgia is based is … ideologically coloured.
So the diggers in Gallipoli were fighting for freedom (rather than the British Empire), just as those in Iraq were fighting for freedom.
Or similarly, ours is a culture that stems from the Judeo-Christian tradition, in spite of the fact that the Jewish tradition is very different from the Christian one, and very many Christians before World War II would probably have been repulsed at the connection being drawn.
These are new constructions, presented as history for the purpose of creating what masquerades as an old, established culture. …
(p 76)

Multiculturalism — part of the leftist cultural takeover … surrenders society to cultural relativism and the decay of values …
[It] risks raising tolerance to the level of what an editorial in The Australian so cheerfully called 'a cultural suicide pact.' …
The [neo-conservative] response [has been] to produce a counter-ideology of its own: monoculturalism.

[The] Left has destroyed the moral integrity of society in favour of postmodern cultural relativism.
In the words of Melanie Phillips … who, like many [neo-conservatives] describes herself as once left-wing … the result has been
the creation of a debauched and disorderly culture of instant gratification, with disintegrating families, feral children and violence, squalor and vulgarity on the streets. …
(p 66)

This civilisational decay has created a vacuum into which assertive minorities have marched, refusing to alter their behaviour because all cultures must be treated as equally valid. …

For neo-conservatives, people must be assimilated into what it declares to be the mainstream (and note here the neo-conservative tendency to say with utter confidence what the majority thinks). …
(p 68)

The inherent contradictions in this were neatly captured in one passage, often echoed by Howard, during Brendan Nelson's Simpson's donkey harangue:
We don't care where people come from …
[We] don't mind what religion they've got or what their particular view of the world is.
But if you want to be in Australia, if you want to raise your children in Australia, we fully expect those children to be taught and to accept Australian values and beliefs. …
[That is to say believe] anything you want, provided it is what we say defines Australianness. …
(p 71)

In the black and white world of neo-conservative, there are, ultimately, those who belong and those who do not; those who are with us, and those who are against us. …
(p 74)

The trouble [originally] started in … around 1984 when the conservative historian Geoffrey Blainey began a trenchant campaign against Australia's increased levels of Asian immigration, declaring that it was tantamount to surrendering Australia.
Asian immigrants were highly conspicuous in Australian society and this would cause great social hardship for them and for the host society.
Accordingly, the rate of Asian immigration had to be slowed and multiculturalism abandoned in the interests of social cohesion. …
(p 58)

[In 2007, Kevin Andrews, then Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, announced he would cut African immigration because Sudanese migrants were not integrating sufficiently.
Incredibly, [this decision was inspired by] the murder of Liep Gony, an eighteen-year-old Sudanese refugee, by two white kids.
[Of course, the] culture of these assailants and their capacity to integrate … was not questioned: only those of the victim.
(p 80)

(What's Right? The Future of Conservatism in Australia, Quarterly Essay, Issue 37, March 2010)

Laura Tingle (1961)

[When] John Howard came into office in 1996 [he] argued that a "political correctness" was at work in Australia which didn't allow ordinary Australians to express their disquiet over welfare recipients or Asian Immigration or Aboriginal people.
Australia was being run by "elites" whose opinions didn't reflect those of the "mainstream" or "silent majority." …
[His] push back against what he saw as self-censoring Australian political discussion had its own fallout.
It gave room for people like Pauline Hanson to emerge.
There was a new intolerance for those advocating for asylum seekers, or indigenous people, or the marginalised.
Such advocates were characterised as "bleeding hearts," or in more recent years the ultimate insult: "lefties."
It seems there is no one in the middle ground anymore.
You are either a "mainstream Australian" or a "leftie."
(p 13)

… John Howard launched a war on indigenous organisations, starting with [the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC).]
The charge was financial mismanagement.
ATSIC certainly had its problems, but Howard not only brought down ATSIC but also systematically broke the institutional structures of black Australia by cutting funding to bodies such as the land councils and health and legal services.
Since then there have been the "interventions" and the embrace of the policies pursued on Cape York by Noel Pearson.
But the approach and delivery has become erratic and utterly non transparent.
(p 32)

[The] era when executive government and the bureaucracy still worked cooperatively … to get policy outcomes that were both politically and practically successful ended … when John Howard won government and sacked a raft of department heads in what became known as his "Night of the Long Knives."
This sent a shockwave through the public service and, in combination with a series of radical reforms to the public sector, accelerated a decline in its ability to make policy. …

Tony Abbott's sacking in 2013 of more public servants, including the head of Treasury, because of their association with policies on climate change and asylum seekers — to which the Coalition was hostile [— further] cowed much of the public service and helped build a toadying culture.
(p 22)

(Political Amnesia: How we forgot how to govern, Quarterly Essay, Issue 60, December 2015)


Cultural Total War: The Global War on Political Correctness
George Megalogenis: One Nation

Alexis de Tocqueville: A Thousand Years of Freedom

Naomi Oreskes: Corrupting Science

Al Gore: The Best Government Money Can Buy

Adam Curtis: Killing Our Way To Perfection

Francis Fukuyama: War is Peace

Rear Vision: The Tea Party Movement

Andrew Bolt: The Tyranny of the Cultural Majority

George Soros: The Market Society

Joseph Stiglitz: Financial Alchemy

David Folkenflik: NPR caught in a media Sting

John Mill

Theory And Doctrine

The Counter-Enlightenment

Stephen Holmes (1948) [Walter E Meyer Professor of Law, New York University]:
The United States would not only, according to [the neoconservative followers of Leo Strauss (1899 – 1973),] be able to bring Good to the world [by spreading democracy,] but would able to overcome the fundamental weaknesses of American society: a society that has been suffering, almost rotting (in their language) from relativism, liberalism, lack of self-confidence, lack of belief in itself …
[So] one of the main political projects of the Straussians during the Cold War was to reinforce
  • the self-confidence of Americans and,
  • the belief that America was fundamentally the only force for Good in the world [without which] Evil would prevail. …

[The worldview that the Straussian's created] was a [useful] fiction.
The world is not divided into Good and Evil.
The battle in which we're engaged is not a battle between [the Righteous and the Wicked.]

The United States [— like any great power —] has done some good and some bad things …
This is the way history is.
But they wanted to create a world of moral certainties.
So [they invented] these mythologies — fairy-tales — that [described] any force in the world that obstructs the United States as somehow Satanic, or associated with Evil. …

Ruhollah Khomeini [Supreme Leader, Islamic Republic of Iran, 1979-89]:
We are reactionaries, and you [in the West] are enlightened intellectuals.
You, who want freedom for everything.
The freedom that will corrupt our country … corrupt our youth.
[Freedom] that will pave the way for the oppressor.
Freedom that will drag our country to bottom. …

Kamal Habib [Founding Member, Islamic Jihad]:
… I was one [of the leaders of the Jihadi movement] and so was Ayman Zawahiri.
We spearheaded the jihadi state of mind, rather than the earlier more moderate ideas in the liberal era that simply accepted reality.
[We] thought we were superior to reality.
We despised the everyday vision of the world.
[We] wanted to transform … this reality. …

Gilles Kepel [Historian of the Islamist Movement]:
[Ayman Zawahiri] thinks he is a visionary.
The means do not matter — just as in Lenin — revolution in one country or revolution world-wide.
[He had been] convinced that [assassinating Sadat would] mobilize the masses.
[But] it had not worked.
[He] felt the masses were under the spell of ideology — the ideology of America.
[So he started looking for] a new strategy.

Azzam Tamimi [Institute of Islamic Political Thought]:
Ayman Zawahiri came to the conclusion that, because you have what you believe to be a sublime objective, then the means can be as ugly as you can get.
You can kill as many people as you wish because the end … is noble.
The logic is:
We are the Vanguards.
We are the correct Muslims.
Everybody else is wrong.
Not only wrong, but everybody else is not a Muslim, and the only means available to us today is … to kill our way to perfection. …

Adam Curtis (1955)

[CIA Director (1981-87), William Casey] was sympathetic to the neo-conservative view [that the Soviet Union was a driving force in the international terror network], and when he read The Terror Network … he was convinced.

(Oliver Stone, Reagan, Gorbachev & Third World — Rise of the Right, The Untold History of the United States, Chapter 8, 2012)

He called a meeting of the CIA's Soviet analysts at their headquarters and told them to produce a report for [President Reagan] that proved this hidden network existed.
But the analysts [said, this was] impossible, because much of the information in the book came from Black Propaganda the CIA themselves had invented to smear the Soviet Union.
They knew the Terror Network didn't exist, because they themselves had made it up.
Melvin Goodman [Head of Office, Soviet Affairs, CIA, 1976-87]:
[When] we looked through the book, we found very clear episodes where CIA Black Propaganda — clandestine information that was designed under a Covert Action Plan to be planted in European newspapers [— had been] picked up and put in this book.
A lot of it was made up. …
[But] Casey had made up his mind.
He knew the Soviets were involved in terrorism, so there was nothing we could tell him to disabuse him.
Lies became Reality. …

Ronald Reagan:
The spectre of Marxist-Leninist controlled governments with ideological and political loyalties to the Soviet Union poses a direct challenge to which we must respond.
They are the focus of evil in the modern world. …
But what had started out as a myth the Leo Strauss had said was necessary for the American people, increasingly came to be seen as the Truth by the neoconservatives.
They began to believe their own [propaganda.]
They [became so-called] 'democratic revolutionaries' who were going to use force to … transform the world.
{[Together] with the Islamists in Afghanistan [they fought] an epic battle against the Soviet Union.
And both [came] to believe that they had defeated the Evil Empire.}
Michael Ledeen [Special Adviser to the US Secretary of State, 1981-82]:
We were aiming for an expansion of the zone of freedom in the world. …
That's what we were about.
That's what we're still about.

Adam Curtis:
[And] when you say you're democratic revolutionaries, what do you mean?

Michael Ledeen:
It meant that we wanted to support people who wanted to carry out revolutions against tyrannical regimes in … order to install a democratic system. …
It's not nuclear physics — freedom is a fairly simple thing to get. …

(Baby Its Cold Outside, The Power of Nightmares, BBC Two, 20 October 2004)

American Exceptionalism: The Indispensable Nation

Peter Kuznick: Historian

In 1941, Henry Luce, the head of the Time-Life empire, said that the 20th century [would] be the American Century.
The United States will dominate the world in every way.
[Henry Wallace (Vice President to FDR, 1941-1945), countered by saying that] the 20th century must be the century of the Common Man. …
[He had a] radical progressive world view that spoke for the underdogs everywhere.
[He said] America's fascists [were] those people who believe Wall Street comes first, and their nation second.
If Wallace had been president instead of Truman, there would have been no atomic bombing in 1945 …
[There] would have been no Cold War — or if there was any kind of a Cold War, it would certainly not have taken the virulent form that it did.
Henry Wallace (1888 – 1965):
The source of all our mistakes is fear.
Russia fears Anglo-Saxon encirclement.
We fear Communist penetration.
If these fears continue, the day will come when our sons will pay for these fears with rivers of blood.
(12 April 1946)

(Untold history of the United States, Late Night Live, ABC Radio National, 1 July 2013)

Cultural Authoritarianism

Andrew Bolt

Seeking power and reassurance in a racial identity is not just weak — [it is] a surrendering of your individuality, and a borrowing of other people's glories. …

The noble ideal of Australia, that we judge each other by our character and deeds, and not our faith, fortune or fatherland, is breaking down.
We're not yet a nation of tribes, but that's sure the way we're heading.

I've never before seen so many Australian-born people identify themselves by their ethnicity, whether by joining ethnic gangs, living in ethnic enclaves, forming ethnic clubs, demanding ethnic television, playing in ethnic sports clubs, or grabbing ethnic prizes and grants.

[People] who feel they owe most to their tribe tend to feel they owe less to the rest.
At its worst, it's them against us. …

So when even academics and artists now spurn the chance to be people of our better future … how much is there left to hold us together?
(emphasis added)

(White fellas in the black, Herald-Sun, 21 August 2009)

Ignorance Is Strength

David Folkenflik

[Conservative activist James] O'Keefe's tapes show [NPR's chief fundraising official] Ron Schiller and his deputy, Betsy Liley, at an upscale cafe in Georgetown for lunch in February.
They meet with two men posing as officials with an Islamic trust.
The men are actually O'Keefe's associates — citizen journalists, he calls them.

[An] 11½-minute version of O'Keefe's hidden camera video [subsequently] ricocheted around the blogosphere …

O'Keefe also posted a two-hour tape that he said was the "largely raw" audio and video from the incident so people can judge the credibility of his work. …

But by analyzing time stamps, Menz [digital forensics consultant] concluded that many of Schiller's remarks in that shorter video are presented out of sequence from the questions that were posed.

In the shorter video, Schiller appears to be saying that NPR would do just fine without federal dollars, though some stations would go dark.
On the longer tape, it's clear Schiller says it would be disastrous in the short term.

… Schiller is also presented as saying the GOP has been "hijacked" by Tea Partyers and xenophobes.
In the longer tape, it's evident Schiller is not giving his own views but instead quoting two influential Republicans — one an ambassador, another a senior Republican donor. …

[O'Keefe] told CNN's Howard Kurtz that his use of hidden cameras is …
"… a form of investigative reporting that you use to seek and find the truth."
O'Keefe said on CNN's Reliable Sources that his sting was inspired by NPR's decision to drop longtime news analyst Juan Williams last October after Williams made comments on Fox News about Muslims.
The tape is very honest.
The tape cuts to the core of who these people are.
[O'Keefe's] takedown of the community organizing group ACORN relied on undercover videos that the California state attorney general's office concluded significantly distorted what occurred.
Last May, O'Keefe pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after an attempted video sting at the offices of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). …

[Al] Tompkins [who teaches ethics at the Poynter Institute, a journalism school in St Petersburg,] said O'Keefe's editing is repeatedly and blatantly unfair.
Except for a couple of unfortunate forays for political opinion, I think that Ron Schiller actually did a fairly remarkably good job of explaining how NPR works and what you can and cannot expect if you contribute money to the NPR Foundation …
Blaze [conservative news aggregation site] editor Baker said he emerged from analyzing the tapes with a surprising degree of respect for the professionalism of the two NPR executives, Ron Schiller and Betsy Liley.
I think if you look at two hours in total, you largely get an impression that these are pretty — they seem to be fairly balanced people, trying to do a fairly good job …

Dana Davis Rehm [Senior Vice President, NPR]:
[The] video was heavily edited with the intention of discrediting NPR …
[Nevertheless,] egregious comments were made that were not distorted, doctored or fundamentally misrepresented.

Josh Smith and Dan Friedman:
Republican efforts to cut off federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and NPR are unlikely to advance past the House, as both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, and the White House are weighing in with their opposition. …
(House Debate on NPR Likely a Dead End, National Journal, 17 March 2011)

(Elements Of NPR Gotcha Video Taken Out Of Context, National Public Radio, March 14 2011)

John Stuart Mill (1806 – 73)

Utilitarianism (1861)

To those who have neither public or private affections, the excitements of life are much curtailed …
Next to selfishness, the principal cause which makes life unsatisfactory is want of mental cultivation.
A cultivated mind … finds sources of inexhaustible interest in all that surrounds it: in
  • the objects of nature
  • the achievements of art,
  • the imaginations of poetry,
  • the incidents of history,
  • the ways of mankind, past and present, and their prospects in the future. …
Now there is absolutely no reason in the nature of things why an amount of mental culture sufficient to give an intelligent interest in these objects of contemplation should not be the inheritance of everyone born in a civilized country.
As little is there an inherent necessity that any human being should be a selfish egotist, devoid of every feeling or care but those which center in his own miserable individuality. …

All the grand sources … of human suffering are in great degree … conquerable by human care and effort … though a long succession of generations will perish in the breach before the conquest is completed …

(Fraser's Magazine)

On Liberty (1859)

[If society] issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practises a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.
Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough: there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling …
There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence: and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs, as protection against political despotism. …

All that makes existence valuable to any one, depends on the enforcement of restraints upon the actions of other people.
Some rules of conduct, therefore, must be imposed,
  • by law in the first place, and
  • by opinion on many things which are not fit subjects for the operation of law.
What these rules should be is the principal question in human affairs …

Wherever there is an ascendant class, a large portion of the morality of the country emanates from its class interests, and its feelings of class superiority.
The morality
  • between Spartans and Helots,
  • between planters and negroes,
  • between princes and subjects,
  • between nobles and roturiers,
  • between men and women,
has been for the most part the creation of these class interests and feelings …

[The] sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection.
The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.
His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.
He cannot rightfully be compelled to do, or forbear,
  • because it will be better for him to do so,
  • because it will make him happier,
  • because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right.
These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise.
To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to someone else.
The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others.
In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute.
Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign. …

Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, provided the end be their improvement, and the means justified by actually effecting that end. …

But as soon as mankind have attained the capacity of being guided to their own improvement by conviction or persuasion [compulsion] is no longer admissible as a means to their own good, and justifiable only for the security of others. …

I regard utility as the ultimate appeal on all ethical questions …
[But] it must be utility in the largest sense, grounded on the permanent interests of a man as a progressive being. …

The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. …

Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. …

In politics … a party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life …
[And] it is in a great measure the opposition of the other that keeps each within the limits of reason and sanity. …

The Catholic Church … makes a broad separation between those who can be permitted to receive its doctrines on conviction, and those who must accept them on trust.
Neither, indeed, are allowed any choice as to what they will accept; but the clergy, such at least as can be fully confided in, may … make themselves acquainted with the arguments of opponents, in order to answer them, and may, therefore, read heretical books; the laity, not unless by special permission …
This discipline recognises a knowledge of the enemy's case as beneficial to the teachers, but finds means, consistent with this, of denying it to the rest of the world: thus giving to the elite more mental culture, though not more mental freedom, than it allows to the mass.
By this device it succeeds in obtaining the kind of mental superiority which its purposes require; for though culture without freedom [can] never made a large and liberal mind, it can make a clever advocate of a cause. …

[A] large portion of the noblest and most valuable moral teaching has been the work, not only of men who did not know, but of men who knew and rejected, the Christian faith. …

We have now recognised the necessity … of freedom of opinion, and freedom of the expression of opinion, on four distinct grounds …
  • First, if any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true.
    To deny this is to assume our own infallibility.
  • Secondly, though the silenced opinion be an error, it may … contain a portion of truth; and since the general or prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied.
  • Thirdly, even if the received opinion be not only true, but the whole truth; unless it is suffered to be, and actually is, vigorously and earnestly contested, it will, by most of those who receive it, be held in the manner of a prejudice, with little comprehension or feeling of its rational grounds.
  • And … fourthly, the meaning of the doctrine itself will be in danger of being lost, or enfeebled, and deprived of its vital effect on the character and conduct: the dogma becoming a mere formal profession, inefficacious for good [and an obstacle to] the growth of any real and heartfelt conviction, from reason or personal experience. …

Among the works of man, which human life is rightly employed in perfecting and beautifying, the first in importance surely is man himself.
Supposing it were possible to get houses built, corn grown, battles fought, causes tried, and even churches erected and prayers said, by machinery — by automatons in human form — it would be a considerable loss to exchange for these automatons even the men and women who at present inhabit the more civilised parts of the world, and who assuredly are but starved specimens of what nature can and will produce.
Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing. …

As much compression as is necessary to prevent the stronger specimens of human nature from encroaching on the rights of others cannot be dispensed with; but for this there is ample compensation even in the point of view of human development.
The means of development which the individual loses by being prevented from gratifying his inclinations to the injury of others, are chiefly obtained at the expense of the development of other people.
And even to himself there is a full equivalent in the better development of the social part of his nature, rendered possible by the restraint put upon the selfish part.
To be held to rigid rules of justice for the sake of others, develops the feelings and capacities which have the good of others for their object. …

What has made the European family of nations an improving, instead of a stationary portion of mankind?
Not any [inherent] excellence in them … but their remarkable diversity of character and culture.

Of the Limits to the Authority of Society over the Individual

It would be a great misunderstanding of this doctrine [of individual freedom] to suppose that it is one of selfish indifference, which pretends that human beings have no business with each other's conduct in life, and that they should not concern themselves about the well-doing or well-being of one another, unless their own interest is involved.
Instead of any diminution, there is need of a great increase of disinterested exertion to promote the good of others.

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