Feidrich Hayek And John Stuart Mill Analysis

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This essay will compare and contrast two highly revered political philosophers, Freidrich Hayek and John Stuart Mill. Hayek and Mill are widely known for their work on the philosophy of liberty. It is important to compare and contrast these thinkers because of the impact they still have on society today. Hayek is a classic negative liberty thinker, basing his views on the importance of the lack of outside interference on a man pursuing his own will. Mill, however, is a positive liberty thinker, basing his opinions on a man being his own master and attaining his highest possible self. One can see differences in their views based on the fact they hold opposing methods of thought, however, they still hold some similar views. It will be proven …show more content…
Many individuals believe liberty is tied to democracy, and political choice is extremely important to Mill. Mill believes that the best form of government is Representative Government. In Representative Government, an individual has the ability to protect himself and his views. As Mill says, “Let a person have nothing to do for his country, and he will not care for it.” Meaning that if you do not let an individual have a choice, then he will have no motivation to be productive for society as a whole. Every citizen should have a voice and participate in the government through some public function. Individuals must be allowed to participate if they are to work positively for society as a whole. Mill asserts that there is no such thing as a good despotism because the ruler would have to be all seeing. Individuals must protect their own interests, and this is found in Representative Government. Hayek disagrees with Mill on the necessity of Representative Government. Hayek holds the bar lower for freedom and does not see the political choice as a necessary element in defining liberty. An individual should be free to do what he wants, to the extent, that it does not impede on other persons’ liberty. This means that liberty is not tied to political freedoms, the number of choices you have, or physical capabilities. Liberty, in Hayek’s view, is solely tied to being able to pursue your own will …show more content…
Hayek believes in little to no government interference in an individual’s life. Hayek argues strongly against coercion and does not even believe in the use of coercion to prevent greater coercion. Coercion cannot be prevented completely, however, in Hayek’s view it should be as limited as possible. Planned economies are a huge form of coercion, and an example Hayek explains in-depth. The individual in this system has no liberty to the extent that they are dependent on the state. All the economic and political power rests with one person or a body of persons. An individual in this system has a set role and must do what task he is given. To not accept your role or not perform your duty is to accept your death by starvation. While these socialist ideas want to create a utopia, in the end, they take away individuals’ liberty. Another example from Hayek of the negative impact of coercion. Mill, to an extent, agrees with Hayek. This is an example of the philosophers agreeing, but for different reasons. Mill believes there should be something similar to a private sphere for the individual. Private sphere, meaning an aspect of an individual’s life outside of government control. A person should be able to do what he wants without interference if it does not hurt or negatively affect another in a substantial way. In Mill’s view, individuals need to have

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