Front Page Titles (by Subject) CONCLUSION. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 3
CONCLUSION. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 3 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 3.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
- Errata—vol. III.
- Defence of Usury; Showing the Impolicy of the Present Legal Restraints On the Terms of Pecuniary Bargains; In Letters to a Friend.
- Letter I.: Introduction.
- Letter II.: Reasons For Restraint—prevention of Usury.
- Letter III.: Reasons For Restraint—prevention of Prodigality.
- Letter IV.: Reasons For Restraint—protection of Indigence.
- Letter V.: Reasons For Restraint—protection of Simplicity.
- Letter VI.: Mischiefs of the Anti-usurious Laws.
- Letter VII.: Efficacy of Anti-usurious Laws.
- Letter VIII.: Virtual Usury Allowed.
- Letter IX.: Blackstone Considered.
- Letter X.: Grounds of the Prejudices Against Usury.
- Letter XI.: Compound Interest.
- Letter XII.: Maintenance and Champerty.
- Letter XIII.: To Dr. Smith, On Projects In Arts, &c.
- A Manual of Political Economy: Now First Edited From the Mss. of Jeremy Bentham.
- Chapter I.: Introduction. *
- Chapter II.: Analytical Survey of the Field of Political Economy.
- Chapter III.: Of Wealth.
- Chapter IV.: Of Population.
- Chapter V.: Of Finance.
- Chapter VI.: Operation of a Sinking Fund On the Production of Wealth.
- Chapter VII.: Noscenda.
- Observations On the Restrictive and Prohibitory Commercial System; Especially With a Reference to the Decree of the Spanish Cortes of July 1820.
- Preface.: Observations, &c.
- Section I.: Nature of the Prohibitory System.
- Section II.: Mischiefs of the Prohibitory System.
- Section III.: Causes of the Prohibitory System.
- A Plan For Saving All Trouble and Expense In the Transfer of Stock, and For Enabling the Proprietors to Receive Their Dividends Without Powers of Attorney, Or Attendance At the Bank of England, By the Conversion of Stock Into Note Annuities.
- Chapter I.: Plan For the Creation, Emission, Payment, and Eventual Extension, of a Proposed New Species of Government Paper, Under the Name of Annuity Notes.
- Chapter II.: Form of an Annuity Note. (see Table II.)
- Chapter III.: Comparison of the Proposed, With the Existing Government Securities, &c.
- Chapter IV.: Grounds of Expectation, In Regard to the Proposed Measure.
- Chapter V.: Financial Advantages.
- Chapter VI.: Advantage By Addition to National Capital.
- Chapter VII.: Advantage By Addition to Commercial Security.
- Chapter VIII.: Particular Interests Concerned.
- Chapter IX.: Rise of Prices—how to Obviate.
- Chapter X.: Reduction of Interest—proposed Mode Compared With Mr. Pelham’s.
- Chapter XI.: Moral Advantages.
- Chapter XII.: Constitutional Advantages.
- Chapter XIII.: Recapitulation and Conclusion.
- Appendix A.: Government Ought to Have the Monopoly of Paper Money, As Well As of Metallic Money.
- Appendix B.: Paper Money—causes Why Not Circulated By Government Without Interest, As Well As By Individuals.
- General View of a Complete Code of Laws.
- Chapter I.: General Division.
- Chapter II.: Relations Between the Laws Concerning Offences, Rights, Obligations, and Services.
- Chapter III.: Relation Between the Penal and Civil Code.
- Chapter IV.: Of Method.
- Chapter V.: Plan of the Penal Code.
- Chapter VI.: Of the Division of Offences.
- Chapter VIII. Titles of the Penal Code.
- Chapter IX.: First General Title of the Civil Code, * of Things.
- Chapter X.: Second General Title of the Civil Code. of Places.
- Chapter XI.: Third General Title of the Civil Code. of Times.
- Chapter XII.: Fourth General Title of the Civil Code. of Services.
- Chapter XIII.: Fifth General Title of the Civil Code. of Obligations.
- Chapter XIV.: Sixth General Title of the Civil Code. of Rights.
- Chapter XV.: Seventh General Title of the Civil Code. of Collative and Ablative Events.
- Chapter XVI.: Eighth General Title of the Civil Code. of Contracts.
- Chapter XVII.: Ninth General Title of the Civil Code. of the Domestic and Civil States.
- Chapter XVIII.: Tenth General Title of the Civil Code. of Persons Capable of Acquiring and of Contracting.
- Chapter XIX.: Of the Particular Titles of the Civil Code.
- Chapter XX.: Of Elementary Political Powers.
- Chapter XXI.: Of Elementary Political Powers— Subject Continued.
- Chapter XXII.: Plan of the Political Code.
- Chapter XXIII.: Plan of the International Code.
- Chapter XXIV.: Plan of the Maritime Code.
- Chapter XXV.: Plan of the Military Code.
- Chapter XXVI.: Plan of the Ecclesiastical Code.
- Chapter XXVII.: Plan of Remuneratory Laws.
- Chapter XXVIII.: Of Political Economy.
- Chapter XXIX.: Plan of the Financial Code.
- Chapter XXX.: Plan of Procedure Code.
- Chapter XXXI.: Of the Integrality of the Code of Laws.
- Chapter XXXII.: Of Purity In the Composition of a Code of Laws.
- Chapter XXXIII.: Of the Style of the Laws.
- Chapter XXXIV.: Of the Interpretation, Conservation, and Improvement of a Code.
- Pannomial Fragments.
- Chapter I.: General Observations.
- Chapter II.: Consideranda.
- Chapter III.: Expositions.
- Chapter IV.: Axioms.
- Nomography; Or the Art of Inditing Laws: Now First Published From the Mss. of Jeremy Bentham.
- Chapter I.: The Subject Stated.
- Chapter II.: Relations.
- Chapter III.: Proper End In View.
- Chapter IV.: Imperfections Primary.
- Chapter V.: Explanations Relative to the Imperfections of the Second Order.
- Chapter VI.: Of Remedies. *
- Chapter VII.: Of Language.
- Chapter VIII.: Of the Perfections of Which the Legislative Style Is Susceptible.
- Chapter IX.: Of Forms of Enactment.
- Appendix. Logical Arrangements, Or Instruments of Invention and Discovery
- Equity Dispatch Court Proposal; Containing a Plan For the Speedy and Unexpensive Termination of the Suits Now Depending In Equity Courts. With the Form of a Petition, and Some Account of a Proposed Bill For That Purpose
- Section I.: Purpose Explained. Jeremy Bentham to the Honest and Afflicted Among Equity Suitors.
- Section II.: Equity Suitors’ Petition For Dispatch Court. to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, —
- Section III.: Dispatch Court Bill—some Account of It.
- Section IV.: Information Requisite From Petitioning Suitors.
- Equity Dispatch Court Bill: Being a Bill For the Institution of an Experimental Judicatory Under the Name of the Court of Dispatch, For Exemplifying In Practice the Manner In Which the Proposed Summary May Be Substituted to the So Called Regular Sy
- Editor’s Note.
- Part I.—: Judiciary.
- Section I.: Judge Located, How.
- Section II.: Remuneration.
- Section III.: Registrar, &c.
- Section IV.: Eleemosynary Advocate.
- Section V.: Judges’, &c. Deputes.
- Section VI.: Judge’s Powers—exemptions—checks.
- Section VII.: Prehensors and Messengers.
- Section VIII.: Consignees; * Or Say, In-trust-holders.
- Section IX.: Grounds of Decision For the Dispatch Court Judge.
- Section X. ‡: Suits’ Comparative Suitableness; and Order of Cognizance.
- Section XI.: Auxiliary Judges and Accountants.
- Section XII.: Sittings, Times Of.
- Part II.—: Procedure.
- Section XIII.: Definitions. *
- Section XIV.: Examination of Solicitors.
- Section XV.: Initiatory Examination of Parties, &c.
- Section XVI.: Appropriate Intercourse, Constant and Universal, Secured.
- Section XVII.: Mutual Security For Forthcomingness of Persons and Things. ‡
- Section XVIII.: Evidence-procuring Money, How Provided.
- Section XIX.: Subsequential Evidence, How Elicited.
- Section XX.: Execution, How Performed.
- Section XXI.: Equity Court Costs, How Disposed Of.
- Section XXII.: Dispatch Court Costs, How Disposed Of.
- Section XXIII.: Eventual Retrotransference of a Suit to the Equity Court.
- Section XXIV.: Expense of the Court, How Provided For.
- Supplemental Sections:—
- Section I. Or XXV.: Bankruptcy and Insolvency.
- Section II. Or XXVI.: Henceforward Dispatch Court.
- Schedules to the Bill.
- Plan of Parliamentary Reform, In the Form of a Catechism, With Reasons For Each Article: With an Introduction, Showing the Necessity of Radical, and the Inadequacy of Moderate, Reform.
- Section I.: History of the Ensuing Tract—alarming State of the Country and the Constitution.
- Section II.: Most Prominent Present Grievance, Gareisoning France.
- Section III.: Causes of the Above and All Other Mischiefs:—particular Interests Monarchical and Aristocratical, Adverse to the Universal—their Ascendency.
- Section IV.: Sole Remedy In Principle—democratic Ascendency.
- Section V.: Remedy In Detail: Radical Parliamentary Reform: Elementary Arrangements In This Edition of It—their Necessity.
- Section VI.: Differences Between This and the Original Editions of Radical Reform.
- Section VII.: Virtual Universality of Suffrage Further Considered.
- Section VIII.: Virtual Universality of Suffrage—its Undangerousness.
- Section IX.: Freedom of Suffrage Further Explained—seductive Influence—its Forms, Instruments, &c.
- Section X.: Bribery and Terrorism Compared.
- Section XI.: Purchase of Seats—in What Cases Mischievous—in What Beneficial.
- Section XII.: Secresy of Suffrage—its Importance Further Developed.
- Section XIII.: Exclusion of Placemen, &c. From the Right of Voting—mischievousness and Profligacy of the Opposite Arrangement.
- Section XIV.: Universal Constancy of Attendance—its Importance.
- Section XV.: Representatives—impermanence of Their Situation—its Importance:—objections—their Groundlessness.
- Section XVI.: Moderate Reform—its Arrangements—their Inadequacy.
- Section XVII.: Trienniality Inadequate;—annuality Necessary.
- Section XVIII.: Interests Adverse to Adequate Reform—support Given By Them to Moderate, to the Exclusion of Radical: Tories—whigs—people’s Men.
- Catechism of Parliamentary Reform; Or, Outline of a Plan of Parliamentary Reform; In the Form of Question and Answer; With Reasons to Each Article.
- Section I.: Ends to Be Aimed At On the Occasion of Parliamentary Reform.
- Section II.: Means, Conducive Towards These Ends.
- Section III.: Means—their Uses, With Reference to Their Respective Ends.
- Section IV.: Means Conducive to Aptitude In Members: I. Placemen Not to Vote, Nor to Be Seated By Election.
- Section V.: Means, &c. Continued.—ii. Placemen Seated By the King, With Speech and Motion, Without Vote.
- Section VI.: Means, &c. Continued.—iii. Elections Frequent—annual.
- Section VII.: Means, &c. Continued.—iv. Speeches Authentically and Promptly Published.
- Section VIII.: Means, &c. Continued.—v. Attendance, Punctual and General, Secured.
- Section IX.: Inconveniences Incident to Elections, and Election Judicature.
- Section X.: Election Inconveniences—means For Their Removal.
- Section XI.: Collateral Advantages, Referable to the Situations of Electors, Placemen, Lords, &c.
- A Sketch of the Various Proposals For a Constitutional Reform In the Representation of the People, Introduced Into the Parliament of Great Britain, From 1770 to 1812.
- Radical Reform Bill, With Extracts From the Reasons.
- Preliminary Explanations.
- Title of the Proposed Act.
- Section 1.—: Seats and Districts.
- Section 2.—: Electors, Who.
- Section 3.—: Eligible, Who.
- Section 4.—: Election Offices.
- Section 5.: Election Apparatus.
- Section 6.—: Promulgation of Recommendations In Favour of Proposed Members.
- Section 7.—: Voters’ Titles Pre-established.
- Section 8.—: Election, How.
- Section 9.: Election Districts and Polling Districts, How Marked Out.
- Section 10.—: Vote-making Habitations, How Defined.
- Section 11.—: Members’ Continuance.
- Section 12.—: Vacancies Supplied.
- Section 13.—: Security For the House Against Disturbance By Members. †
- Section 14.—: Indisposition of Speakers Obviated.
- Appendix, Including General Explanations.
- Radicalism Not Dangerous. Extracted From the Mss. of Jeremy Bentham. *
- Part I.—: Introduction.
- Section I.: Radical Reform Bill Recapitulated.
- Section II.: Persuasion of the Dangerousness of Radicalism—cause of It, and of the Vituperative Expression Given to It.
- Section III.: Terms of the Accusation,—speeches From the Throne, 16 Th July and 21 St November 1819.
- Section IV.: The Accusation In General Terms—counter-averment.
- Section V.: Plan of This Defence.
- Part II.—: Deference From the General Nature of the Case.
- Section I.: Conditions Necessary to a Man’s Embarking In Such a Design.
- Section VII.: Concurrence In Any Other Extensive Plan of Spoliation Impossible.
- Section VIII.: Concurrence of Any Constituted Authorities Impossible.
- Section IX.: Accomplishment Impossible—design Impossible.
- Section X.: The Talked-of Spunge No Proof of the Design.
- Part III.—: Defence From Experience In the Case of the United States.
- Part IV.: Defence From Particular Experience In the Case of Ireland: Years 1777 Or 1778, to 1783.
- Section I.: Analogy Between This and the Previous Case.
- Section II.: Democratic Ascendency, How Produced.
- Section III.: Fruit of Democratic Ascendency a Golden Age.
- Section IV.: Coincidence of Its Characters With Those of Radicalism.
- Section VI.: Extinction of Democratic Ascendency and Reform—restoration of Monarchico-aristocratical Ascendency, and Its Consequences.
A charge then has been made—a charge than which a more perfectly groundless, a more absurd one, never was or could be made. Myriads are its direct objects, and with them millions have been the victims of it. All this I have proved: and now that I have proved it, what am I or any one to be the better? Too probably, but so much the worse. The stronger the proof, the more intolerable the provocation—the provocation afforded to those against whom there is no security—whose will is their only law, and who, the more highly they are provoked, will be but the more likely to set upon me their legal black mastiffs, and drag me into a prison, there to finish what remains of life.
Subversion of the Constitution—enmity to English institutions—almost treason; what needs there more than a few such phrases—phrases completely void of all meaning other than that by which the disposition and designs of those by whom they are employed is manifested. Almost treason to-day, it may be quite treason to-morrow: Judges ready to decide this: Crown lawyers ready to call for this—all this is secured, and abundantly secured by the Constitution as it stands.
If to do this by the forms of the law would be too much trouble, what should hinder men in power, with or without the pretence of searching for treasonable or seditious matter, from sending a soldier or an armed yeoman to put me to death? The deed done, a pardon or a noli prosequi follows. This too is secured by the Constitution as it stands.
Not to speak of Constitution, for there is no such thing—if I love a government under which such things not only can be done, but are done, how can I do so without hating, or at least regarding with indifference, sixteen or seventeen millions of human beings whose misfortune it is to live under it? Can I do this? No; but I can say I do so: and after this declaration, if this will satisfy them, I am ready to do so at this time, and at all times.
The advocate of reason has drawn forth all his reasons—rendered demonstration complete, and disproof impossible. What is the consequence? Is conduct in anywise amended by it? Is any of the desired effect produced by it? No: either it is turned aside from, with a mixture of fear and scorn, or if noticed, noticed no otherwise than as a butt for ridicule. Look—did you ever see such a fool as this man! as if when we said he meant to strip us of our property, we, or any man of common sense, could believe it. No—let him go to Rome with his reasoning, and make the Pope turn Protestant: or to Constantinople, and make the Sublime Porte turn Christian. This is the radicalist who thought he should bring us over to radicalism, by showing that the principles of it had been professed to be acted upon in King’s speeches. You remember how Brougham quizzed him, and how good a laugh it made for us. A parliamentary ground? Yes: that every parliamentary measure must have of course,—not that the ground must have any truth in it: where has the man lived all this while?
Now, let any man who has ever thought it worth while to consider what Parliament is—let him say whether, if instead of the words about subversion of the rights of property, an equal number of words taken by lot out of Johnson’s Dictionary would not in that place have had the same effect; and whether if in addition to what has been done, the Bill of Rights had been repealed in form, and the mutiny act made perpetual, the majorities would have been less, or Whigs more numerous and constant in their attendance, or more active for the people’s interest in their counties?
Let not the substance of the charge brought against us by the destroyers of our liberties—by the subverters of our rights—be out of mind. The object we are charged with aiming at is, to their purpose at least, precise enough: it is, the subversion of the rights of property—the subversion, not the destruction:—the subversion by means of a new partition; for, without aiming at destruction, which as above is impossible, no other mode of subversion is there that can be aimed at. But we have seen how impossible it is that any plan for mere partition of property should be formed and acted upon. What they put into his speech—the men who put it there,—did they themselves believe it to be true, or did they not? If they did, think of their wisdom: if they did not, think of their honesty;—think of the task which that man has to perform, whose endeavour it is to expose the falsehood of those pretences on the ground of which, for the more effectual preservation it is said of “English Institutions,” English liberties have been destroyed. An absurd design is professed to be imputed—so palpably absurd, that the fact of its being really supposed to be entertained is impossible. Of this impossibility a manifestation has been made. What is the consequence—that the charge is retracted? Oh no: but some other design of equally palpable absurdity is then imputed. Confute the second imputation, then comes a third: and so on, out of the tyrant’s brain come chimeras after chimeras in any number. Now, if it were possible, suppose the last chimera destroyed, what would the accused—and if not all accused, the whole people of the country have been punished—what would the accused be the better for it? Not a whit. This power is still in hand: a power by which every oppression in every shape in which it is wished to be exercised, can be exercised at pleasure. The power is still in hand,—it can equally be exerted with a pretence as without a pretence. The pretences under which the subversion has been effected are all dissipated: but the subversion remains the same. The wolf and the lamb,—how often has that fable been—how often will it continue to be—converted into fact? The devourer’s pretences are all refuted, but the victim is not the less devoured.
The men in question—the accused—protest and declare in the face of day—thousands and ten thousands—that they have no such design—no design whatever by which the right of property could be touched. The state of the representation rendered what it is pretended to be—that is their aim: that, and nothing more. These protestations, what regard do they receive? Not any. Though the individuals are unknown, yet that they are radicalists is known, and this is sufficient to deprive them of all title to be believed. Men drenched in insincerity—men to whom no one who has ever been at the pains of making observations on them believe anything they assert the more for their asserting it,—these men—though even not these men individually and responsibly,—throw out an insinuation to this or that effect—an insinuation which means anything or nothing, just as they see convenient. This insinuation is acted upon,—the declarations of the thousands of witnesses are set down in the account as equal to 0; such in this case is the law of evidence.
How unequal is the contest between honesty and reason on the one part, and sinister interest in or out of office on the other!—how hard the lot of the advocate on the honest side! On the part of sinister interest, a short phrase composed of falsehood and nonsense is thrown out, and this is to be accepted as a reason—as a reason, and that of itself a conclusive one, on which the whole difference between good government and bad government in this country, and thence perhaps in every other—at this time, and thence perhaps at all times—is to depend.
The advocate of reason sets himself to work: he displays the nothingness, he detects and exposes the fallacies. What is he the better? The exposure is turned aside from: the compound of falsehood and nonsense continues to be delivered, with the same effrontery and the same intolerant arrogance as ever. Even were that abandoned, some other phrase of the like material would be employed instead of it: the same work would be to do over again, and with equal fruit.
Subversion of the Constitution: your aim is to subvert the Constitution. Behold in this phrase one of those compounds of falsehood and nonsense, equally useful to, and equally employed by Tories and Whigs. The Constitution—in which is implied the constitution of the state as in existence: herein lies the falsehood. This Constitution you are aiming to subvert: here is the nonsense. So applied, subversion means nothing: that which has no existence cannot be subverted.
Now, as to the existence of a constitution. For these forty years and more we have known what a constitution is, and so long every man who has chosen to know has known that we have no such thing. Look to United America. Behold there twenty-two states, each having a constitution of its own—a real constitution; and the Congressorial government, which has a constitution in which all these others are included. These constitutions were established each of them by a convention chosen by the great body of the population—by that body out of whose obedience all power is composed, and by the interests of which all power ought in its exercise, in so far as it is not tyranny, to direct itself. There we see so many real constitutions. In this country, what have we, to which we give that name? A mere fictitious entity—a creature of the imagination—a sham—an imposture. When the existence of a constitution is asserted or assumed, what is done? Out of his own head, to suit his own private or party purposes, in the form of words that presents itself as best adapted to these sinister purposes—some one says, “the Constitution is so and so”—“the constitution says so and so;” while the truth is, that the Constitution not being anything, is not so and so;—not being anything, it says nothing—neither so and so, nor anything else. Common sense being none—truth being none—reason being none—argument being none—on either side, these dissensions,—how are they to be made up? Within doors by effrontery, by arrogance, by violence, by intolerance:—without doors by sabres, by bayonets, by field-pieces.
Is it really among your wishes that we should possess the blessing? Give us then a Constitution, or let us give one to ourselves. This done, then, and for the first time, we shall have one. Let us first have a Constitution, and then the offence of aiming at the subversion of it will be a possible one.
The Constitution you figure to yourselves.—tyrants, what is it? A collection of the pretences under which, and the written formularies in and by which, you have been in the habit of carrying on the incessant war for the sacrifice of the universal to your own particular interest—the carrying on in the most regular and commodious manner the work of oppression and depredation on the largest scale. This is what in your eyes is the Constitution. This is everything you wish, and does for you everything that you wish of it.