Friday, December 31, 2010

John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty": A Summary

Let me start by saying that democracy is awesome.  We gave monarchy a try, and in theory it sounds like a good idea, but for some reason even when those bros started out with the best intentions, they always turn into huge assholes and get overthrown. And revolutions are a TON of work. Who wants to go through that kind of effort every single goddamn time some guy raises taxes too much? Not me. Fuck that. I value naps too much. So huge props to whoever came up with democracy. Bloodless revolutions, checks and balances, seriously, it's the tits.


Okay, but here's the problem. Yeah, I get it, the people rule themselves, but it's more like every person is ruled by all the people. And by "all the people", I mean "a majority of the people." And when shit gets out of control, how the fuck do you overthrow a majority?



Don't pretend it won't be an issue. Have you met the majority? People are judgmental of anyone or anything that acts or talks or thinks differently than they do. And when the bros-in-charge think they've found the best way to run shit, they want to run everyone's shit that way. When was the last time you heard someone say, "I think you'll go to Hell for doing drugs, but it's perfectly within your rights and I have no desire at all to stop you by any means necessary"? Oh, wait, that's right: fucking never. 


So, we're going to play a little game I like to call, "People can do whatever the fuck they want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else." I'm serious. Anything. Obviously kids don't count, because we all remember what royal little assholes we were when we were six, but when a grown-ass man wants to do something, we fucking let him.


And don't try to bitch out of this by making up some bullshit injury and complaining to everyone about how it 'hurts' you that pagans might go to hell because they don't believe in Jesus or baptism or whatever it is that your particular brand of religion demands, because you're so compassionate. "Oh, look at how compassionate I am! I weep at the mere thought of a damned soul!"  Seriously? If you think that counts as a harm, then you's a bitch. And don't tell me that hearing someone else discuss his beliefs or tell you why you might be wrong hurts your feelings. What if it's true, and you really are wrong? Hmm? There'e no way you think atheists are more wrong than Marcus Aurelius thought we were wrong about Christ, and that motherfucker was smart as shit. Way smarter than you. All I'm saying is, you might be wrong. If you really believe whatever it is you believe, you should be willing to listen to every single fucking challenger you can find, because that's how you learn. Even the fucking Catholics, who would burn you at the stake for pronouncing 'tomato' wrong, have a guy they call the 'Devil's Advocate'. Do you want to be less tolerant than them? It's not going to kill you to listen once in a while. And in exchange, you get to tell everyone what you think of their beliefs, too. And then, they learn! Win-Fucking-Win. 


Same thing with actions. Leave people the fuck alone, because, newsflash, you don't know better than them. Why the hell do you care if someone wants to drink themselves into a stupor and pass out every night? Sure, the moment that man hits another man or his children or his spouse, then it's fucking on like Donkey Kong and he should be thrown the fuck in jail. Otherwise, leave him alone and mind your own shit. And I don't just mean individual bros. If a group of bros wants to live a certain way or do a certain thing, let them. I can't fathom a single fucking reason why any dude would want to marry one bitch, let alone ten. It's the least bro thing I can think of. Mormons are crazy motherfuckers, but if all the hoes are chill and all the bros are chill, then whatever. Not my place, and it's not yours either.


In conclusion, live your life and let other people live theirs. When they start hurting you or anyone else, then we'll talk, but think long and hard about what really counts as 'hurt', because in a democracy the same rules should apply to everyone and one day when you're not in the majority, you're going to wish you hadn't been such an asshole to someone just for being different.


...
Want to read the original text? Good news! It's in the public domain on Bartleby.


If you just can't go without the feel of the book in your hands, try Amazon: On Liberty.

19 comments:

  1. "I can't fathom a single fucking reason why any dude would want to marry one bitch, let alone ten. It's the least bro thing I can think of. "

    No kidding, right?

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a very bro philosophy on life.

    ReplyDelete
  3. dude, how about doing Jeremy Bentham's Utilirtarianism first, so we can understand Mill easily. anyway, thanks for this!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is so much better than reading the original text.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I want to tattoo this blog entry on myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be brotastic

      Delete
  6. I'm going to pretend Mill wrote it like that.

    Man I wish I could write my essay like this.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Am I, basically, reading raw Libertarianism?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm writing an essay this very moment on this goddamned book and I had no idea what the hell it was about until i discovered your blog about 5 minutes ago. Thank goodness for you and your profound broness, I may now pass this class!

    yours sincerely, a new avid reader.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous (8:04)
    Nope, this is original Welfare Liberalism, which is distinct from modern Progressivism, which is an offshoot of original (pre-Marx) Socialism.

    ReplyDelete
  10. i think im in love with you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. good work..ur blog give high funda stuff in simple human language

    ReplyDelete
  12. You my friend, are a prodigy.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Seriously. Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  14. wish could write down our answers in the exam in the same language..it would be way too easy and interesting..! :)

    ReplyDelete