"If all mankind minus one were of one 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."
by:
John Stuart Mill
(1806-1873) English philosopher and economist
Source:
On Liberty, 1859
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Reader comments about this quote:
A truly civil society would understand the importance of each individual's rights and guard those rights jealously. But for the moment we're stuck with corrupt mob rule and herd mentality.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Brilliant! But, so sad, we are so far from its truth. If you had a civil society that understood the importance of each individual's rights we would have no need to guard our rights - just listen to the words of John Lennon's "Imagine".
     -- RBESRQ     
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    There is more to freedom than the ability to speak differently than the masses, but it is a start.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    True for both the one and for the masses. I wish more folk were balanced in defending the rights of the masses as much as of the one.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, defending the rights of the individual defends the rights of ALL individuals. What rights should the masses have that the individual does not have?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    In a democracy the opinon of the majority holds sway, the individual has the right to join with other individuals in matters of public policy and to enoforce a majority position on the one. His opinion shall be heard but not hold sway.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    So in Waffler's democracy, the individual has no rights the majority hasn't given him... He's just proven the fallacy of democratic justice. Not everything is up for vote, Waffler. Your philosophy differs not one iota from that of a lynch mob.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I agree that not everything is up for vote. The things that are up for vote shall be decided by the majority that by the one. To do otherwise would mean the dictatorship of the one on those things that are up for vote. Why can you not get this?
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    No, Waffler, the 'group' does not decide for the 'one.' THAT is the essence of liberty and the responsibility that comes with it. The cause for which so many have fought and died is the cause of Liberty -- the assertion that rights do not come from others' permission, that rights are an inherent faculty of birth, that no one may be deprived of them unless as punishment for a crime, the verdict of which lies with a jury of one's peers -- if ONE person says not guilty, then not guilty. This is not majority rule -- America is founded upon these principles, not the arbitrary opinions of the majority. Why can't you get this?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- Mike, Norwalk      
    The innocent blood of "one" has justified many. " Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God." Through the faith of Christ and our faith on the finished work of Christ we receive the blessings of His Liberty. Seeing it is God who endows us with our sovereignty as individuals setting us Free from oppression in the physical realm. 
     -- Ronw13, OR     
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     -- jim k, Austin      
    "The things that are up for vote shall be decided by the majority..."  That means that a vote decides what can be voted on.  Might makes right, pure and simple.  American Independence is based on the premise that people have inherent rights that can not be voted away  ever.  The only things up for vote are established by agreement by representatives of the people.  They have no power greater than the people themselves, and cannot dictate to the people AT ALL.  It is the Commerce Clause that has subjected the people to government dictates treating them as commercial 'persons' thus subject to the Uniform Commercial Code.  The government can only command its employees and commercial entities.  The con job is that we the people are subject to the UCC and thus all the reams and reams of statutes that apply.  The limited 'jurisdiction' of our servant government is only limited by how much power they can take from the people.  The bureaucrats in DC were originally confined to their swamp  now they lay claim to every state and person in the US (and beyond).
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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