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September 26, 2009

Interesting discussion of contributions and legacy of Jeremy Bentham

I just noticed on SSRN this posting of an interesting looking book chapter discussing the contributions and legacy of Jeremy Bentham. Here is the abstract:

Jeremy Bentham is associated in criminology with his invention of the 'Panopticon.' In many ways this appeared as the quintessential disciplinary institution, training subjects to be 'docile' and obedient. Yet Bentham's classical criminology also stressed that actors are rational choice optimisers, and are to be seen as inventive and enterprising rather than servile and mindless. In part, the overemphasis on the Panopticon leads modern criminologists ignore this side of his thinking and to see Bentham as narrowly punitive and disciplinary. But in his later years he turned toward 'pecuniary sanctions', fines and damages, that he regarded as the optimal liberal sanction. Bentham outlined many of the advantages of monetary justice, and advocated their use in relation to almost every crime, in place of the more usual punishments. This chapter suggests a need to reconsider the contribution of Bentham to criminology and penology in terms of such later works and ideas rather than his advocacy of the Panopticon alone.

September 26, 2009 at 03:13 PM | Permalink


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Monetary punishments are against the body as well. Not one cent of value has ever been generated without human labor. The taking of money is the taking of human life.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 26, 2009 4:48:20 PM

SC. I agree. And the logical conclusion is that the rich are spiritually superior to you and I; they simply have more money, more life.

Posted by: Daniel | Sep 26, 2009 8:17:43 PM

The buying public voted the rich as superior in providing a lawful service or lawful product, with their hard earned money. There is no more sincere valuation than cash. The buyers elected them superior, a hard earned dollar at a time.

There are people who choose to not take money for their valuable invention, such as the inventor of the internet. You and I agree, that person deserves to have become a billionaire for the value of his invention. That is profit seeking, even if the provider is a branch of government and provides a good service or product.

On the other hand, consider the lawyer client. He is most often a destroyer of value, a morally reprehensible, slime ball. We would all be better off killing him, at the youngest age palatable to save costs. The slime ball would be better off, himself, to end the misery in which he revels and which he causes his family, and the taxpayer. Every year a lawyer lives, he destroys a $million via the promotion and protection of the interests of his slimeball clients. At the point of a gun, the cult criminal collects the rent, and provides nothing back. The legal interest of the slime ball is just a pretext to jack the taxpayer.

Using Bentham's Calculus, there is every moral, intellectual, economic, and patriotic justification to get rid of this criminal cult enterprise by force, indeed there is a duty. You and I are like good Germans, watching, getting ours from the lawyer, bought off, as the economy is plundered by the cult criminal.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 26, 2009 8:35:06 PM

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