John Stuart Mill; His Life and Works

Page 16 of 16

Perhaps, it might be urged, this comparison leaves out of account the very greatest work of Mr. Mill,—his 'Political Economy.' Locke lived too soon to be an Adam Smith; but, curiously enough, the parallel is not broken even at this point. In 1691 and again in 1695 he wrote, "Some considerations of the consequences of the lowering of interest, and raising the value of money," in which he propounded among other views, that, "taxes, however contrived, and out of whose hands soever immediately taken, do, in a country where the great fund is in land for the most part terminate upon land." There is of course no comparison between the two men on this head: nevertheless it is interesting to note in prototype the germs of the great work of Mr. Mill. It shows the remarkable and by no means accidental similarity between the men.

The parallel is already too much drawn out, otherwise it would be worth observing on the characters and lives of these two men. Enough, however, has been said to show that we may not unreasonably anticipate for Mr. Mill a future such as has fallen to Locke. His wisdom will be the commonplace of other times: his theories will be realized in political institutions; and we may hope and believe the working-class will rise to such a standard of wealth and culture and political power as to realize the generous aspirations of one of England's greatest sons.



Free Learning Resources