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John Stuart Mill's On Liberty as applied to an issue of modern times - Essay Example
Were John Stuart Mill to witness American modern mass media he would no doubt be appalled and frightened. That American mass media is constructed and carried out as a corporate enterprise, beholden to both political and economic stakeholders, would no doubt strike Mill as the sort of tyranny of the majority which makes notions such as liberty and freedom illusory and disingenuous goals…
He was concerned that this majority would stamp out diversity, repress individuals whom failed to conform to herdlike values, and stifle dissenting views.
The mass media presents a complex study because it involves an interplay between a tightly controlled corporate elite and masses of citizens whom too often turn to and rely upon the mass media for facts and information. How the mass media presents events is critical to American citizens attaining the intellectual and physical sovereignty to which Mill referred as constititing the foundations of their liberty and freedom. This essay will argue that, viewed through the principles articulated by Mill, today's oligopolistic mass media undermines and stifles the ideals to which he aspired for American citiens; as a result, notions such as the legitimacy of diversity and the sanctity of variety have been dealt a critical blow.
As a preliminary matter, before discussing Mill more particularly, it is necessary to place modern American mass media in context. ...