Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/529

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JOHN STUART MILL.

question as to the source of duty or obligation, and meets the intuitionists point by point in a way that I need not particularize.

By far the best hostile criticism of the "Utilitarianism" that I am acquainted with is the posthumous volume of Professor John Grote. It will there be seen what havoc an acute, yet candid and respectful, opponent can make of his theories of happiness. Many of those strictures I consider unanswerable. Professor Grote also makes the most of Mill's somewhat exaggerated moral strain, and his affectation of holding happiness in contempt; "doing without it," if need be.

It was in 1860 that he wrote his volume on "Representative Government." The state of the Reform question, which led him to prepare his pamphlet on Reform, was the motive of the still larger undertaking, his principal contribution to a Philosophy of Politics. He says in the preface, that the chief novelty of the volume is the bringing together, in a connected form, the various political doctrines that he had at various times given expression to; but the mere fact of viewing them in connection necessarily improved their statement and bearings; and the six or eight months' additional elaboration in his fertile brain could not but infuse additional freshness into the subject.

In my estimate of Mill's genius, he was first of all a logician, and next a social philosopher or politician. The "Political Economy" and the "Representative Government" constitute his political outcome. People will differ as to his political conclusions, but certainly any man that wishes to judge of any matter within the scope of the "Representative Government" should first see what is there said upon it; and the work must long enter into the education of the higher class of politicians. The chapter on the "Criterion of a Good Form of Government" contains an exceedingly pertinent discussion of the relation between order and progress; and demonstrates that order can not be permanent without progress: a position in advance of Comte. The third chapter demolishes the fond theory entertained by many in the present day, that the best government is "absolute authority in good hands." Then comes a question that needs all the author's delicacy, tact, and resource, "Under what conditions is representative government applicable?" But his strongest point throughout is the exposition of the dangers and difficulties attending on democracy. This was one of his oldest themes in the "Westminster Review"; he has put it in every possible light, and discussed with apostolic ardor all the contrivances for withstanding the tyranny of the majority. He took up with avidity Mr. Hare's scheme of representation, and never ceased to urge it as the greatest known improvement that representative institutions are susceptible of. He dismisses second Chambers as wholly inadequate to the purpose in view, however useful otherwise. The discussions on the proper functions of the local governing bodies, on dependencies, and on federations, are all brimful of good political thinking. He passes by the subject of hereditary monarchy. Both