Arseniy Kumankov 1, Dar'ya Chaganova 1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Safety, Humanism, and Barbarism: J. S. Mill on the Principle of Non-Intervention

2020, vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 267–280 [issue contents]
The paper considers the Russian translation of the article “A Few Words on Non-Intervention” written by British political philosopher and logician John Stuart Mill, and whose article, published in 1859, transforms the criteria restricting the principle of non-interference. Thus, in the essay “On Freedom”, the rule of non-interference into private life is described, but in “A Few Words on Non-Intervention”, Mill expands the principle to the international level, taking into consideration those situations allowing for intervention. The authors highlight the features of war contemporary to Mill, and articulate his military reflection in connection with the phenomenon of national liberation movements and revolts. They analyze Mill’s question if it is legitimate for one government to somehow intervene in the affairs of another. The logic of just military intervention for Mill in the cases described opens up the possibility for the use of force, but only for the civilized States. The philosopher divides the civilized nations from barbarians, where the latter are characterized as incapable of striving for freedom and therefore needing intervention from civilized countries. In this regard, the logic of the article leads to a strategy of humanitarian war caused by rhetoric of the “responsibility to protect”. The first Russian translation of “A Few Words on Non-Intervention” is proposed as a relevant source for the philosophy of war, raising the issue of sovereignty. It is stated that modern military practice poses the question of humanitarian intervention: is it worth neglecting sovereignty if we face a “scandal to humanity”?
Citation: Kumankov A., Chaganova D. (2020) Bezopasnost', gumanizm i varvarstvo: Dzh. St. Mill' o printsipe nevmeshatel'stva [Safety, Humanism, and Barbarism: J. S. Mill on the Principle of Non-Intervention]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 19, no 3, pp. 267-280 (in Russian)
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