24/10/2010 · ESSAY ON CAUSES OF CORRUPTION AND ITS ..
Mankind can hardly be too often reminded, that there was once a man named Socrates, between whom and the legal authorities and public opinion of his time, there took place a memorable collision. Born in an age and country abounding in individual greatness, this man has been handed down to us by those who best knew both him and the age, as the most virtuous man in it; while know him as the head and prototype of all subsequent teachers of virtue, the source equally of the lofty inspiration of Plato and the judicious utilitarianism of Aristotle, “” the two headsprings of ethical as of all other philosophy. This acknowledged master of all the eminent thinkers who have since lived—whose fame, still growing after more than two thousand years, all but outweighs the whole remainder of the names which make his native city illustrious—was put to death by his countrymen, after a judicial conviction, for impiety and immorality. Impiety, in denying the gods recognised by the State; indeed his accuser asserted (see the ) that he believed in no gods at all. Immorality, in being, by his doctrines and instructions, a “corrupter of youth.” Of these charges the tribunal, there is every ground for believing, honestly found him guilty, and condemned the man who probably of all then born had deserved best of mankind, to be put to death as a criminal.
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When the enemies of democracy affirm that a single person does better what he undertakes, than the government of All, they seem to me to be in the right. The government of One, if we suppose on both sides equality of instruction, has more in its undertakings than the multitude, it shows more perseverance, a more comprehensive plan, more perfection in the details, a juster discernment in the selection of individuals. Those who deny these things have never seen a democratic republic, or have judged of it from a small number of examples. Democracy, even where local circumstances and the state of the people’s minds permit it to subsist, does not present a spectacle of administrative regularity and methodical order in the government—that is true. Democratic freedom does not execute each of its enterprises with the same perfection as an intelligent despotism. It often abandons them without having reaped their fruit, or undertakes such as are perilous. But in the long run it produces greater results, it does less well each particular thing, but it does a greater number of things. Under its empire, what is truly great is, not what the public administration does, but what is done without it, and independently of its aid. Democracy does not give to the people the most skilful government, but it does what the most skilful government is often unable to do,—it diffuses through all society a restless activity, a superabundance of force, an energy, which never exist where democracy is not, and which, wherever circumstances are at all favourable, may give birth to prodigies. Therein consist its true advantages.
I admit that, in a democratic state thus constituted, society will not be stationary; but the impulses of the social body may be duly regulated, and directed towards improvement. If there be less splendour than in the halls of an aristocracy, the contrast of misery will be less frequent also, enjoyments may be less intense, but comfort will be more general; the sciences may be less highly cultivated, but ignorance will be less common; the impetuosity of the feelings will be repressed, and the habits of the nation softened, there will be more vices, and fewer crimes.
Essay/Term paper: The police and corruption - Dream Essays
Mill viewed government as primarily an instrument to further the improvement of mankind, and to this end representative institutions are ideally the best, although hitherto human progress has often been served by efficient regimes that did not represent the people. An autocracy which successfully curbs a lawless and turbulent populace may for an interval provide an essential prerequisite for the order and progress of civilization: the ingrained habits and spirit of obedience to law. At critical times enlightened despots can achieve concrete social advances that may be less feasible under representative institutions, which permit powerful vested interests to block reform.
8 Effects of Corruption| On People, Society & Economy
brings together many of Mill’s views expressed in earlier writings, especially those on the domination of majorities, the proposals of Thomas Hare, the folly of extracting pledges from parliamentarians, the superiority of public voting, the equity of female suffrage, and the desirability of plural votes for the educated. But the book is more than a résumé of previous opinions. It contains some of the author’s most effective arguments on political liberalism and it assesses the liabilities no less than the assets of what for Mill was the best form of government. It has usually been rated as one of the most influential appraisals of the subject written in Victorian England, though to a modern political analyst it has some deficiencies. It says little about the social and economic environment in which the institutions are expected to operate, although Mill was well aware of social forces and class struggles. Another work of the same decade, the by Walter Bagehot, has perhaps since received more profuse acclaim, especially for elegance of style, but, except on the subject of Crown and parliament, Bagehot’s range was narrower and his probing of problems less profound and original.