As the English philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806–1873) noted, there are several reasons for preferring democracy to other forms of government. One is that it enables individuals to speak up for—and thus protect—their own interests. But in addition to this “protectionist” argument, there is a second and perhaps more important educative argument to be made in favor of democracy: that it educates and improves citizens by providing them with “hands-on” experience of self-rule.