From the late 1840s Mill’s interest in state intervention was greatly strengthened by the compelling influence of events, the impoverished plight of Ireland in the famine years, its continuing and baffling land problem, the critical social issues of industrial Britain, the explosion of Chartism, and above all the French Revolution of 1848 and the emergence of the socialists with proposals for profound changes. The revolution in Paris struck Mill with the same forcible effect as the earlier events of 1830. Less than a week after the proclamation of the French Republic in February 1848 he writes to Henry S. Chapman: “I am hardly yet out of breath from reading and thinking about it. Nothing can possibly exceed the importance of it to the world or the immensity of the interests which are at stake on its success.”
Mr. Lewis has very properly, in our opinion, spared himself the ostentatious candour of mentioning the authors to whom he was indebted, they being mostly writers of established reputation. Such studious honesty in disclaiming any private right to truths which are the common property of mankind, generally implies either that the author cares, and expects the reader to care, more about the ownership of an idea than about its value, or else that he designs to pass himself off as the first promulgator of every thought which he does not expressly assign to the true discover. This is one of the thousand forms of that commonest of egotisms, egotism under a shew of modesty. The only obligations which Mr. Lewis with a just discrimination stops to acknowledge, are to a philosopher who is not yet so well known as he deserves to be, Mr. Austin, Professor of Jurisprudence in the University of London.
Blending Quotations by Colin Welch
The change which is thus in progress, and to a great extent consummated, is the greatest ever recorded in affairs; the most complete, the most fruitful in consequences, and the most irrevocable. Whoever can meditate on it, and not see that so great a revolution vitiates all existing rules of government and policy, and renders all practice and all predictions grounded only on prior experience worthless, is wanting in the very first and most elementary principle of statesmanship in these times.
Quoted in J. P. Mayer, (London: Dent, 1939), 20.
It becomes essentially requisite The simple expedient which meets this is to make the office of legislator dependent on the will of the people. If his power were irresponsible, if it were subject to no direct control, if the improper exercise of it were not followed by evil consequences to the possessor, it would be inevitably abused; the public good would be neglected, and his own habitually preferred; but by the simple expedient of Any sinister advantage which he might derive from the power intrusted to him would cease with the loss of the office, and he would have no inducement to pursue an advantage of that kind, if by so doing he unavoidably subjected himself to dismissal. Such is the general theory of political representation. An individual, under the title of a representative, is delegated by the people to do that which they cannot do in their own persons, and