Of the different philosophers that have influenced world political thought, John Stuart Mill’s contribution in the field was very significant and his political ideas have been frequently referred to regarding debates on equality and freedom. His most important work On Liberty is widely recognized as a remarkable and classic contribution to political thought which stressed the single truth of the Harm Principle which implied that the most justified reason for the intervention of the state is to check the deeds of adult people of healthy minds in preventing harm to others. He strongly believed that paternalistic intercessions cannot be justified for the sake of adult people themselves. Mill’s philosophy held that the entire knowledge of humans including logic and math were derived from generalizations emanating from sensory experience. Mill defended his liberalism by advocating freedom of speech as also freedom of individual experiments of living. His utilitarian theory became the basis of his moral philosophy. He had developed a theory that propagated that the right actions of people are those that bring about maximum happiness for the largest number of people. In advocating this theory, Mill had stressed the role of the principle of utility in enforcing the principle of justice.
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His work titled The Subjection of Women is a stirring attack on those who believed in discriminating against women and denying them equal rights with men. Most of the controversial practices and laws that were opposed by Mill have been modified and reformed in most capitalistic countries and his brilliant arguments directed against the malpractices in society are still debated in several forums. His greatest contribution is considered to be his political theory which propagates the widest possible freedom of expression and thought is given to individuals. He was of the firm belief that the state can successfully interfere in bringing relief to a set of individuals only if such actions do not harm the interest of others. Mills also spoke at length regarding social issues in his books and was an eloquent supporter of women’s rights. His philosophy influenced the modern world to a very great extent and most of the present principles of democratic and social structures of society are based on his ideologies.
The philosophy of Karl Marx is entirely different as compared to that of John Stuart Mill. The key ideas of Marxism which are to this day very significant in some economic and political systems of the world relate to being alienated from a hostile capitalistic world, more specifically from a world that believes in a private property. Marx wanted the falsehood of capitalism to be removed given the motive of profit that was considered of prime importance in such systems. Marx believed that capitalist society must be replaced with a political system by way of social and economic reforms since it smells of intense feudalism in encouraging inequality amongst the masses. Marx believed that the capitalist system will be replaced by communism which is a better system that enables equality in society and guarantees that the wealth of the nation is shared equally for the welfare of all citizens instead of the same being concentrated in just a few hands. This way each individual gets as much as he needs for his normal living requirements. Hence it can be seen that the philosophy of Karl Marx is entirely different as compared to Mill, but communism had come to become highly popular in countries such as the erstwhile USSR and is still very strong in China and other Western European countries. But the concept of communism does not seem to be further catching on and more and more communist countries are shifting the political systems as the public opinion shifts towards reaping individual rewards based on capabilities and entrepreneurship. The erstwhile USSR had disintegrated primarily for this reason and China to is on the fast track in gaining world supremacy only after having considerably diluted its communist principles to bring about a liberalized business environment.