Posted by Brad V at 9:24 AM
Brad V: I think the central concern of the book, as announced in the opening - "the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual" - is just as relevant today as when Mill penned it in 1859. He was right to think that the question would soon "make itself recognized as the vital question of the future," for it remains, here in the future, a pivotal concern of American life. Or at least it should.
Thus far, I've only read portions of the book, so I'm looking forward to reading the entire thing.
At this point, our rough idea is to check in periodically to chat about the book as we go. We anticipate that we'll wrap up reading on about Sunday, October 25. Enjoy!
Steve S: Having read the book for a Poli Sci class back in Madison, I remember it being tremendously worthwhile; indeed, this book was really what solidified my libertarian outlook in the first place. Mill's assertion that "Those who admit any limit to what a government may do, except in the case of governments as they think ought not to exist, stand out as brilliant exceptions among the political thinkers of the Continent," strikes me as having unpleasant but relevant echoes today. I've broken out my already well-underlined copy from college, and am eagerly looking forward to the conversation we get out of it here. As they say, "Forward!"