Those who have done me the honour of
reading my previous writings will probably receive no strong
impression of novelty from the present volume; for the principles are
those to which I have been working up during the greater part of my
life, and most of the practical suggestions have been anticipated by
others or by myself.
It seems there are these
days few who have done Mill "the honour of
reading my previous writings". For those who want to know more,
using the internet:
There is a complete text
of Mill's "On Liberty"
on my site with my
extensive notes; there is a good article on Mill in the
Encyclopedia of Philosophy;
and there are several sites with editions of quite a few of Mill's
books in html or pdf format: Here is
a site dedicated to Mill, and
dedicated to books concerning liberty, including Mill's.
And the "others"
Mill refers to in the quotation are presumably Jeremy Bentham and Mill's father James
Mill, both Englishmen who strongly influenced Mill, and Comte and
Tocqueville, two Frenchmen to whom the same applies, and possibly also, as
regards "practical suggestions", the
voting schema for representative voting thought up by Mr Hare and
outlined in a later chapter.
It seems to me, however, from various
indications, and from none more than the recent debates on Reform of
Parliament, that both Conservatives and Liberals (if I may continue to
call them what they still call themselves) have lost confidence in the
political creeds which they nominally profess, while neither side
appears to have made any progress in providing itself with a better.
Yet such a better doctrine must be possible (..)
As to "both
Conservatives and Liberals (if I may continue to call them what they
still call themselves)": Here there is room for considerable
confusions, and thus reason for some clarifications.