Front Page Titles (by Subject) Section 10.: The greatest happiness of the greatest number requires, that, for the drawing of the original draught, all foreigners be admitted into the competition: and that, in so far as applicable, unless it be in all particulars taken together decid - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 4
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Section 10.: The greatest happiness of the greatest number requires, that, for the drawing of the original draught, all foreigners be admitted into the competition: and that, in so far as applicable, unless it be in all particulars taken together decid - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 4 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 4.
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The greatest happiness of the greatest number requires, that, for the drawing of the original draught, all foreigners be admitted into the competition: and that, in so far as applicable, unless it be in all particulars taken together decidedly inferior, the draught of a foreigner be employed in preference. Hand, a foreigner’s preferable.
That, on this occasion, admission should be given to all foreigners has been shown already: for all foreigners are men.
What remains here to be shown is—that, for the original draught, aptitude in other points equal, the hand of a foreigner is even preferable to that of a native; and, on that account, to bespeak attention for any such draughts, as chance may have drawn from any such hands. Nor is the position altogether superfluous: only in proportion as attention is bestowed upon the work, can any admission given to it be of use.
On this occasion, again, as on every other, if a solution be desired of the question concerning the probability, absolute or comparative, of appropriate aptitude, it must be considered separately and successively, with reference to the several elements of which such aptitude is composed.
I. As to appropriate moral aptitude. Note on this point, how superior the ground is on which the nature of the case has placed the expectation of pure service at the hands of a foreigner as such. In both situations, the obligation, of including in the work a perpetually interwoven rationale, will have been a most substantial security. In both situations, with or even without a rationale, the principle of universal admission and that of singleness in workmanship, will have been two additional securities. Still, however, in the case of the native, there will be the swarm—the unascertainable and incalculable swarm—of personal connexions; thence of particular and sinister interests and affections; from the irresistibly-tempting and seductive influence of which, the situation of the foreigner bespeaks him free.
For giving effect to these same sinister interests and affections, the native would, in those same connexions, find a support more or less extensive and efficient: the foreigner, no such support.
Supposing him employed,—the foreigner will naturally, if any attention at all be paid to his draught, be an object of more notice than the native, and thence of proportionable jealousy:—he will be more closely watched: of any sinister interest or affection, supposing him under any such dominion, any bad effects will, in a corresponding degree, be more likely to be held up to view and obviated.
II. Next, as to appropriate intellectual aptitude. On the present occasion, this element of appropriate aptitude will require to be further decomposed: decomposed into appropriate judgment and appropriate knowledge.
1. As to appropriate judgment. In regard to this branch of appropriate intellectual aptitude, on the occasion of the question as between a single hand and divers hands, mention came to be made of the erroneous tracks into which the pen of every such draughtsman stands exposed to be led, by prejudice in different shapes: thence, the probability of correspondent aberiations, on the part of the work, from the all-comprehensive end so often mentioned. These prejudices will, to a large extent, be of a local nature: peculiar, in degree of strength at least, if not in kind, to the country in question. From the influence of these causes of error, while the native labours under it, the foreigner stands free.
The foreigner will, indeed, have his prejudices to contend against, and in particular his local prejudices. But here, as in the case of interests and affections, while those of the native will find support in the prejudices of all around him,—for those of the foreigner, not only will there be no such support, but there will be opposition: opposition, by the supposition, from reason,—and moreover from counter prejudices.
2. Next remains to be considered, appropriate knowledge.
In relation to this branch of appropriate intellectual aptitude, the native, it is true, in the ordinary state of things, possesses an advantage: an advantage alike obvious and unquestionable. On his part, extent of acquaintance with the local and other peculiar circumstances of the country in question, is at its maximum: on the part of the foreigner, at its minimum.
Supposing appropriate aptitude in all its other elements exactly equal on both sides, the advantage of the native under this head would therefore, obviously and unquestionably, be sufficient to turn the scale in his favour, and put an exclusion upon the foreigner altogether.
But, for the reason already brought to view, it will have been seen—whether, individuals out of the question, and situation being compared with situation, in the several articles of appropriate moral aptitude, and appropriate judgment, the superiority be not, and in no inconsiderable degree likely to be, on the side of the foreigner.
From his inferiority in the scale of appropriate knowledge, as above particularized, no objection whatever to the placing the business in his hands will be found to result. For, in the first place, the importance of the deficiency in his case is not so great as it will be apt to appear: in the next place, be it what it may, a complete supply to it stands assured—assured, from the authority, to which his draught will of course be referred.
1. In the first place, the deficiency is not so great as it will be apt to appear.
Of the circumstances on which the demand for legislation, and the nature of the course required to be taken by legislation, depends,—some are common to all countries, to all races of men, and all times: say, in a word, universally applying circumstances: others are, in different countries, in the case of different races of men, and in different times, more or less different; say, exclusively applying circumstances.
In comparison of the universally-applying, the extent of the exclusively applying circumstances will be found very inconsiderable. Moreover, throughout the whole of the field, the exclusively applying circumstances will be found to be circumscribed as it were by, and included in, the universally applying circumstances. The great outlines, which require to be drawn, will be found to be the same for every territory, for every race, and for every time: only in this or that territory, only for this or that race, only for this or that time, as distinguished from this or that other, will the filling up of those lines be found to require to be, on this or that point, more or less different. In every country, and for every race, at every time,—of the all-comprehensive and only defensible end—the greatest happiness of the greatest number—of the four most comprehensive particular and subordinate ends, viz. subsistence, abundance, security, and equality—with their several divisions and subdivisions, will the description be found the same: only of the means best adapted to the accomplishment of those great ends, in this or that country, or for this or that race, at this or that time, will the description, in this or that particular, be found, in a greater or less degree, different.
On pursuing the inquiry further and further into the region of particulars, the result will still be found the same. The same, in every country, for every race, and at every time, will be found the misdeeds by which security is liable to be affected; the classes and genera, of the names of which the list of those misdeeds will require to be composed; and the definitions, by which the points of agreement and difference as between one genus of misdeed and another, as well as between each of them and innocence, or (what will come to much the same thing) unpunishableness, will require to be determined and expressed. In this or that country, in the case of this or that race, at this or that point of time,—circumstances may indeed afford room for producing injury, in this or that particular shape, in which, in this or that other country, in the case of this or that other race, at this or that other time, man is not exposed to it. True. But the species of mischievous act to which the mischief, when in this particular shape, may be said to belong, is a species, which, upon observation, will be found comprehended in a genus of injury, to which, in every country, men of every race stand at all times exposed.
Thus, a corporal injury will be an injury everywhere, and to every human being. But, in Hindoostan, for example, to the feelings of a certain race, corporal injury is produced, by a species of contact, by which no injury would be produced in any part of Europe.
So again in regard to simple mental injuries: including so many various forms of as yet undenominated injury, which have their seat nowhere but in the mind. By a portion of audible discourse, or by a visible exhibition, by which contempt is expressed, for opinions, to this or that effect, entertained in relation to religion,—pain of mind is liable to be produced. According to the amount of it, in the case of pain produced from this source, as in the case of pain produced from any other,—the act, by which it is produced, may, under certain circumstances, be with propriety regarded and dealt with as injurious everywhere: but, in some countries, and in the case of some persuasions on matters of religion, the description of the thus injurious discourse, or exhibition, will be of one sort; in others, of another.
Of the distinction between those universally applying and these exclusively applying circumstances, the above examples will, it is hoped, be found to afford a conception sufficient for the purpose. The distinction is capable of being carried, and in the proposed code will of course be carried, throughout the whole field of legislation. In this place, to pursue it further, would be to force so much of the matter belonging to the proposed code, into a slight preliminary sketch extraneous to it.
Such being the distinction, now for the application of it to the case in hand. Of whatsoever country the draughtsman be a native, these circumstances, which are of universal occurrence and applicability, may be equally and perfectly present to his notice. For those shades of difference, which are peculiar to his own country, the native, as compared with the foreigner, will be—if not exclusively, at least preferably, qualified. But, suppose two men, the one a foreigner, the other a native, and the foreigner more fully conversant with the circumstances of universal occurrence than the native,—and in all other particulars better qualified for making, throughout the whole field of legislation, that provision which those same circumstances require,—this supposed, that which without much difficulty may happen is—that, even in regard to these same particular circumstances, it may be in his power to afford to the work a degree of aptitude, such as, but for him, could not have been possessed by it.
For though, by the supposition, so far as depends on particular arrangements conceived in terminis, he is not competent to the filling up of the outline;—yet, by virtue of his comparatively greater command over the whole field, it might be in his power, by means of instructions furnished by him in general terms, to afford, to any natives, on whom the task devolved, superior assistance: assistance, of such sort, as should enable them to give a more apt execution to it, than without him it would have been in their power to give to it. In their power—not to speak of their inclination: for, considering the atmosphere of sinister interest and prejudice, in which (as hath been seen) all native functionaries, as such, have to live and move,—this is a distinction which should never be out of mind.
II. In the next place, to the deficiency, be it what it may, a complete supply stands assured.
The hands from which, of course, it will in the first place be received, are those of the legislation committee.
To the aptitude of the supply from this quarter, one moment may present an objection, but another will dispel it.
By the supposition (it may be said) these natives will be labouring under those causes of inaptitude—those sinister interests and affections, as well as prejudices—by which their appropriate aptitude, as well in point of moral aptitude, as in point of appropriate judgment, is, according to you, placed so much below that of the foreigner. True: but, by that same supposition, the draught—the groundwork, which they will have to work upon—is a draught, not drawn by their own hands, nor by those of any other native, but by the foreigner: and it is by him that it has been furnished with its rationale. In the outline, then, of his drawing,—with or without the inspection above spoken of, will they find a check to, and a security against, the effective predominance of those same sinister interests, and other causes of inaptitude.
In a word, in section 5, under the head of universality of admission, it has been shown—with how promising a degree of efficiency the proposed open mode, with its string of rationales, will apply to the mouth of the man in power, the only bridle which the nature of his situation admits of: in the case of the foreign draughtsman, this bridle will afford the same security as in the case of the native.
Now as to all elements of appropriate aptitude taken together.
For the direct and appropriate use made of it,—the work, whatsoever be the workman, will depend altogether upon the constituted authorities, and in particular on the legislative body. But, in regard to this use, two things may be stated as altogether certain: 1. That they will not give adoption to it, unless in their own judgment it be decidedly more apt than any draught sent in by a native workman; 2. That neither will they thus make it their own, unless, in their own expectation, the like opinion will be entertained of it by the people at large. For, on their own part, what other inducement could they find for giving to it any such acceptance? If, in their view, though equal, it were no more than barely equal, to the most apt work produced by a native hand—in this case, interest, prejudice, affection in all manner of shapes, would concur in urging them to give the preference to the work of their fellow-countryman: and if, in their minds, any serious apprehension should have place, lest, after obtaining acceptance at their hands it should fail of being generally acceptable to the people,—by what adequate inducement could they be brought to hazard the good opinion of their constituents, by fastening upon their necks any such work?—a work which, in the nature of the case, could not be contributory to the greatest happiness of the people in question, any further than it were thought by them to be so.
How intimate the connexion is between the two questions—between that concerning admission and this concerning preference,—is sufficiently manifest. The truth is—that it is rather for the sake of the question concerning admission, than for its own sake, that the question concerning preference is here argued. What is meant to be said to the reader is to this effect:—“Fear not to give admission to the foreigner’s draught: for if, in its proposed character of a basis for the sanctioned code, a draught, having a foreigner for its author, and having, as here proposed, been admitted, comes to be adopted,—the probability is—that, so far from being in the scale of aptitude inferior to the most apt draught sent in by a native, it is, in a high degree, superior.”
So again in regard to preference. If (says somebody)—if, as you have said, it is only in case of its being regarded as considerably superior in the scale of aptitude that it is likely to be preferred, and if at the same time it is in that case likely to be preferred,—to what use plead for the position, that if it be but equal in aptitude to the most apt of those sent in by natives, it is entitled to the preference? The answer is—the observations here may be considered as made to each reader individually: and on that supposition I say to each—If among the several draughts there be one which, being a foreigner’s, is in your eyes equal in aptitude to the most apt of all such as are sent in by natives,—fear not to give your suffrage in favour of it. Why? Because, unless in the legislative body a general persuasion has place—not only that it is more apt than that of any native, but that it is likely to be regarded as such by a majority of the people,—it will not be adopted:—therefore, supposing the draught ever so unapt, there is no likelihood, that any vote you can give in support of it will be attended with any pernicious consequence.*
[* ]In situations, in which the choice of operative rulers depends upon the people, the jealousy of foreigners has, for want of reflection, been copied, from situations in which the choice does not depend upon the people. For want of reflection: for, on reflection, nothing (it will be seen) could be more groundless, than any such apprehension, as that a set of men, be they who they may, will be imprudently partial to a foreigner in preference to themselves, or even to one another. Nothing can be more contrary to theory derived from the universal nature of man: nothing more completely unsupported by particular experience.