“The disposition of mankind, whether as rulers or as fellow-citizens, to impose their own opinions and inclinations as a rule of conduct on others, is so energetically supported by some of the best and by some of the worst feelings incident to human nature, that it is hardly ever kept under restraint by anything but want of power;and as the power is not declining, but growing, unless a strong barrier of moral conviction can be raised against the mischief, we must expect, in the present circumstances of the world, to see it increase.” J.St Mill-On Liberty. Sounds familiar? contemporary?
Interpreted in plain, contemporary English –
1.it is human nature to want to impose one’s own opinions on others . We do not do it as simple citizens because we need to fit in, as politicians and leaders because it can limit our power (i.e. ability to get elected, re-elected). However, in the present circumstances, when power is given to those who are actively imposing their opinion as general rule, there is a need for moral strength among citizens to oppose the movement.
2. at the individual level, if we are elected in a position of power, there is a need for moral strength to oppose our tendency to impose our opinion on others and reach political compromise, promote real bipartisanship.