The object of this Essay is to assert assert one very simple principle, as entitled to entitled to govern absolutely absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion compulsion and control, whether the means means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion coercion of public opinion. opinion. That principle is, that the sole sole end for which mankind are warranted, warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with interfering with the liberty liberty of action of any of their number, is self protection. protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient sufficient warrant. warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled compelled to do or forbear forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading persuading him, or entreating entreating him, but not for compelling compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, evil, in case he do otherwise. To justify justify that, the conduct conduct from which it is desired to deter deter him must be calculated to produce evil evil to someone else. The only part of the conduct conduct of any one, for which he is amenable amenable to society, is that which concerns concerns others. In the part which merely merely concerns concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign. sovereign.