The first of these themes, which he had earlier explored in articles, emphasizes his distinction between true and false democracy. True democracy represents all, and not merely the majority. In it the different interests, opinions, and grades of intellect are heard, and by weight of character and strength of argument influence the rest. This democracy is achieved by reforming the electoral system according to the proposals of Thomas Hare, by ensuring that everyone, male and female alike, has a voice (although not an equal voice) in the voting process, and by fostering education from infancy through life. Mill believes that the expansion of democratic rights in itself exerts a pervasive educational influence. He accepts Tocqueville’s belief that American democracy fostered both a robust patriotism and an active intelligence. “No such wide diffusion of the ideas, tastes, and sentiments of educated minds,” he writes, “has ever been seen elsewhere, or even conceived as attainable” (468). He strongly holds this view, although in earlier essays on the United States he also acknowledged in the American electorate a narrow and intolerant mentality. Although Mill at times fluctuates between trust and distrust of democracy, he always believes in its potentiality to improve men. Active citizenship can usually nourish the qualities that good citizenship demands, draw out human resources otherwise dormant, and advance the lot of mankind.
Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment. And thisis one of the most important lessons of this outgoing century's wide-rangingexperiments in good and evil.
Essay on Perils of Indifference - Homework Geaks
Looking at only the last of these characteristics, one may say, in justification of republication, that our view of utility includes an opportunity to assess the development of the views expressed in the “more mature writings” here included. At the very least, these essays were important to Mill when they were written and reveal some of his attitudes towards contemporary opinions, and also towards the purposes of a radical review. For example, in a letter of 15 April, 1835, Mill asked Joseph Blanco White to tell James Martineau, who had offered to review Bailey’s that “after a good deal of deliberation among the three or four persons who take most share in the conduct of the review, it has appeared to us that a subject involving so directly and comprehensively all the political principles of the review, should be retained in the hands of the conductors themselves . . .” ( XII, 258; cf. 263).