On Liberty

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A yellow-horn-bound paper book.
The writing is in Anglic, and reads:
   On Liberty
A simple yellow-horn-bound paper volume bearing an engraved title on the front cover.  It is closed.  It is closed.
You appraise it at seventy-two gold.  
It looks about a quarter of a dimin long, one and seventeen twentieths dimins wide, and two and nine twentieths dimins tall.
It weighs about eleven twentieths of a dekan.
The commands 'open <item>', 'close <item>', and 'turn page [in <item>] [to <number>]' may be used with it.  Keeping the yellow-horn
-bound paper book costs six keep points.  The yellow-horn-bound paper book was created by Lost Souls; the source code was last
updated Tue Mar 15 02:15:36 2016.  The material horn was created by Lost Souls; the source code was last updated Tue Mar 15 02:18:37
2016.  The material paper was created by Lost Souls; the source code was last updated Tue Mar 15 02:18:43 2016.
Spoiler warning: information below includes details, such as solutions to puzzles or quest procedures, that you may prefer to discover on your own.


                ON LIBERTY
              JOHN STUART MILL
  THE subject of this Essay is not the so-called Liberty
of the Will, so unfortunately opposed to the mis-
named doctrine of Philosophical Necessity; but Civil,
or Social Liberty: the nature and limits of the power which
can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual.
A question seldom stated, and hardly ever discussed, in gen-
eral terms, but which profoundly influences the practical
controversies of the age by its latent presence, and is likely
soon to make itself recognized as the vital question of the
future. It is so far from being new, that, in a certain sense,
it has divided mankind, almost from the remotest ages, but
in the stage of progress into which the more civilized por-
tions of the species have now entered, it presents itself
under new conditions, and requires a different and more fun-
damental treatment.
  The struggle between Liberty and Authority is the most
conspicuous feature in the portions of history with which
we are earliest familiar, particularly in that of Greece, Rome,
and England. But in old times this contest was between
subjects, or some classes of subjects, and the government.
By liberty, was meant protection against the tyranny of the
political rulers. The rulers were conceived (except in some
of the popular governments of Greece) as in a necessarily
antagonistic position to the people whom they ruled. They
consisted of a governing One, or a governing tribe or caste,
who derived their authority from inheritance or conquest;
who, at all events, did not hold it at the pleasure of the gov-
erned, and whose supremacy men did not venture, perhaps
did not desire, to contest, whatever precautions might be
taken against its oppressive exercise. Their power was re-
garded as necessary, but also as highly dangerous; as a
weapon which they would attempt to use against their sub-
jects, no less than against external enemies. To prevent
the weaker members of the community from being preyed
upon by innumerable vultures, it was needful that there
should be an animal of prey stronger than the rest, commis-
sioned to keep them down. But as the king of the vultures
would be no less bent upon preying upon the flock than any
of the minor harpies, it was indispensable to be in a per-
petual attitude of defence against his beak and claws. The
aim, therefore, of patriots, was to set limits to the power
which the ruler should be suffered to exercise over the
community; and this limitation was what they meant by
liberty. It was attempted in two ways. First, by obtaining
a recognition of certain immunities, called political liberties
or rights, which it was to be regarded as a breach of duty
in the ruler to infringe, and which, if he did infringe, specific
resistance, or general rebellion, was held to be justifiable. A
second, and generally a later expedient, was the establish-
ment of constitutional checks; by which the consent of the
community, or of a body of some sort supposed to represent
its interests, was made a necessary condition to some of the
more important acts of the governing power. To the first
of these modes of limitation, the ruling power, in most
European countries, was compelled, more or less, to submit.
It was not so with the second; and to attain this, or when
already in some degree possessed, to attain it more com-
pletely, became everywhere the principal object of the lovers
of liberty. And so long as mankind were content to combat
one enemy by another, and to be ruled by a master, on con-
dition of being guaranteed more or less efficaciously against
his tyranny, they did not carry their aspirations beyond this
  A time, however, came in the progress of human affairs,
when men ceased to think it a necessity of nature that their
governors should be an independent power, opposed in in-
terest to themselves. It appeared to them much better that
the various magistrates of the State should be their tenants
or delegates, revocable at their pleasure. In that way alone,
it seemed, could they have complete security that the powers
of government would never be abused to their disadvan-
tage. By degrees, this new demand for elective and tem-
porary rulers became the prominent object of the exertions
of the popular party, wherever any such party existed; and
superseded, to a considerable extent, the previous efforts to
limit the power of rulers. As the struggle proceeded for
making the ruling power emanate from the periodical choice
of the ruled, some persons began to think that too much im-
portance had been attached to the limitation of the power
itself. That (it might seem) was a resource against rulers
whose interests were habitually opposed to those of the peo-
ple. What was now wanted was, that the rulers should be
identified with the people; that their interest and will should
be the interest and will of the nation. The nation did not
need to be protected against its own will. There was no
fear of its tyrannizing over itself. Let the rulers be ef-
fectually responsible to it, promptly removable by it, and it
could afford to trust them with power of which it could itself
dictate the use to be made. Their power was but the nation's
own power, concentrated, and in a form convenient for ex-
ercise. This mode of thought, or rather perhaps of feeling,
was common among the last generation of European liberal-
ism, in the Continental section of which, it still apparently
predominates. Those who admit any limit to what a gov-
ernment may do, except in the case of such governments
as they think ought not to exist, stand out as brilliant ex-
ceptions among the political thinkers of the Continent. A
similar tone of sentiment might by this time have been
prevalent in our own country, if the circumstances which
for a time encouraged it had continued unaltered.
Total pages 227.

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