On Liberty for Very Special People

“Toqueville wanted human beings to be and to remain creatures of freedom. [John Stuart] Mill’s interest was really quite different…Mill, first and foremost, regarded human beings as creatures capable under certain conditions of progress and improvement. To ensure progress, Mill was only partially concerned with protecting liberty in general. Rather, he was primarily interested in protecting the liberty of one very special kind of person – the genius in society. Mill believed that humanity was improved only by great men and women, and his argument for liberty was an argument designed to protect their freedom so that, through their activity, humanity might progress.” 

From European History from Rousseau to Nietzsche by Frank M. Turner, p. 49, emphasis added


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