Polsci Final Essay - Arthur Peschansky Polsci 101 Paper Two...

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Arthur Peschansky Polsci 101 Paper Two Meaningful Political Change Meaningful political change is accomplished through a set of actions that alter the existing customs with which the people of a nation live. These customs, whether they are social or economic, constantly affect the lifestyle and principles of the people. Two theorists, John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx, argue two very different approaches to accomplishing meaningful political change. Mill argues to change our social customs and allow free discussion and thought in order to advocate change, while Marx argues to radically change our economic customs which will in turn effect change in everything else. In his work On Liberty , John Stuart Mill makes arguments supporting free discussion and thought that lead to valuable change for the people. Mill begins his argument by emphasizing the value of opinion. “[…] The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race […]” Silencing a right opinion robs them the ability to “exchange error for truth”. Silencing a wrong opinion robs them of a “clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error” ( On Liberty 614). Mill advocates opinions as extremely important expressions of thought that should not be suppressed. Building on the importance of opinion, Mill argues that people should pursue their own experiments of living and value individuality. From different opinions will arise different experiments of living and “[…] free scope should be given to varieties of character, short of injury to others; and that the worth of different modes of life should be 1
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proved practically, when any one thinks fit to try them” ( On Liberty 637). People are free to do what they chose with life and attempt to achieve happiness in their own way. The experiments of these people will serve as advice and knowledge to others who may want to pursue similar lifestyles. Thus over time, people will have gained a wealth of knowledge as to which experiments of living are good and which are bad. Mill therefore
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