CHAPTER VI.: COMMUNITY OF GOODS—ITS INCONVENIENCES. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 1 (Principles of Morals and Legislation, Fragment on Government, Civil Code, Penal Law) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 1.
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- Errata—vol. I.
- General Preface.
- Introduction to the Study of the Works of Jeremy Bentham;
- Section I.: Bentham’s Style and Method of Thinking.
- Section II.: The Greatest-happiness Principle and Its Application to Morals and Legislation.
- Section III.: The Pursuit of Truth.—fallacies.—principles of Evidence.
- Section IV.: System of Government.
- Section IV.: Law Reform.
- Section VI.: Principles of Punishment.
- Section VII.: Poor Laws, Education, and Other Institutions For National Amelioration.
- Section VIII.: International Law.
- Section IX.: Political Economy.
- Section X.: Logic and Metaphysics. †
- An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.
- Chapter I.: Of the Principle of Utility.
- Chapter II.: Of Principles Adverse to That of Utility.
- Chapter III.: Of the Four * Sanctions Or Sources of Pain and Pleasure.
- Chapter IV.: Value of a Lot of Pleasure Or Pain, How to Be Measured.
- Chapter V.: Pleasures and Pains, Their Kinds.
- Chapter VI.: Of Circumstances Influencing Sensibility.
- Chapter VII.: Of Human Actions In General.
- Chapter VIII.: Of Intentionality.
- Chapter IX.: Of Consciousness.
- Chapter X.: Of Motives.
- Chapter XI.: Of Human Dispositions In General.
- Chapter XII.: Of the Consequences of a Mischievous Act.
- Chapter XIII. *: of Circumstances Influencing the Degree of Alarm.
- Chapter XIV.: Reasons For Considering Certain Actions As Crimes. *
- Chapter XV.: § 1. General View of Cases Unmeet For Punishment.
- Chapter XVI.: Of the Proportion Between Punishments and Offences.
- Chapter XVII.: Of the Properties to Be Given to a Lot of Punishment.
- Chapter XVIII. § 1.: Classes of Offences.
- Chapter XIX.: § 1. Limits Between Private Ethics and the Art of Legislation.
- I. Essay On the Promulgation of Laws
- Essay On the Influence of Time and Place In Matters of Legislation.
- Introduction. *
- Chapter I.: Principles to Be Followed In Trans Planting Laws.
- Chapter II.: Regard to Be Paid to Subsisting Institutions.
- Chapter III.: Rules Respecting the Method of Transplanting Laws.
- Chapter IV.: Laws Appear the Worse For Being Transplanted.
- Chapter V.: Influence of Time.
- A Table of the Springs of Action:
- A Fragment On Government;
- Preface to the First Edition, Published In 1776.
- Historical Preface, Intended For the Second Edition.
- Three Letters On the Fragment On Governmen
- Letter the First. of an Examination Into the Merits of a Critique On Blackstone’s Commentaries, Lately Published Under the Title of a Fragment On Government.
- Letter the Second. of an Examination Into the Merits of a Critique On Blackstone’s Commentaries, Lately Published Under the Title of a Fragment On Government.
- Letter the Third. By John Lind, Esq. Afterwards Barrister At Law, to D., Author of Two Letters * On a Fragment On Government.
- Introduction. *
- Chapter I.: Formation of Government.
- Chapter II.: Forms of Government.
- Chapter III.: The British Constitution.
- Chapter IV.: Right of the Supreme Power to Make Laws.
- Chapter V.: Duty of the Supreme Power to Make Laws.
- Principles of the Civil Code.
- Part I.—: Objects of the Civil Law. *
- Chapter I.: Of Rights and Obligations.
- Chapter II.: Distinct Objects of the Civil Law.
- Chapter III.: Relation Between These Objects.
- Chapter IV.: Of Laws Relative to Subsistence.
- Chapter V.: Of Laws Relative to Abundance.
- Chapter VI.: Propositions of Pathology Upon Which the Advantage of Equality Is Founded.
- Chapter VII.: Of Security.
- Chapter VIII.: Of Property.
- Chapter IX.: Answer to an Objection.
- Chapter X.: Analysis of the Evils Resulting From Attacks Upon Property.
- Chapter XI.: Security and Equality—their Opposition.
- Chapter XII.: Security and Equality—means of Reconciliation.
- Chapter XIII.: Sacrifices of Security to Security.
- Chapter XIV.: Cases Subject to Dispute.
- Chapter XV.: Examples of Attacks Upon Security.
- Chapter XVI.: Of Forced Exchanges.
- Chapter XVII.: Power of the Laws Over Expectation.
- Part II.
- Chapter I.: Of Titles Which Confer a Right to Property. *
- Chapter II.: Another Mode of Acquisition—consent.
- Chapter III.: Another Means of Acquisition—succession.
- Chapter V.: Of Wills.
- Chapter V.: Of Rights Respecting Services—means of Acquiring Them.
- Chapter VI.: Community of Goods—its Inconveniences.
- Chapter VII.: Of Distribution of Loss.
- Part III.: Of the Rights and Obligations Attached to Different Private Conditions.
- Chapter I.: Of Master and Servant.
- Chapter II.: Of Slavery.
- Chapter III.: Of Guardian and Ward.
- Chapter IV.: Of Parent and Child.
- Chapter V.: Of Marriage.
- Appendix.: of the Levelling System. *
- Principles of Penal Law.
- Part I.: Political Remedies For the Evil of Offences.
- Chapter I.: Subject of This Book.
- Chapter II.: Of Direct Methods of Preventing Offences.
- Chapter III.: Of Chronic Offences.
- Chapter IV.: Of Suppressive Remedies For Chronic Offences.
- Chapter V.: Of Martial Law
- Chapter VI.: Of the Nature of Satisfaction.
- Chapter VII.: Reasons Upon Which the Obligation to Make Satisfaction Is Founded.
- Chapter VIII.: Of the Different Kinds of Satisfaction.
- Chapter IX.: Of the Quantity of Satisfaction to Be Granted.
- Chapter X.: Of the Certainty of Satisfaction.
- Chapter XI.: Of Pecuniary Satisfaction.
- Chapter XII.: Of Restitution In Kind.
- Chapter XIII.: Of Attestative Satisfaction.
- Chapter XIV.: Of Honorary Satisfaction.
- Chapter XV.: Remedies For Offences Against Honour.
- Chapter XVI.: Of Vindictive Satisfaction.
- Chapter XVII.: Of Substitutive Satisfaction, Or At the Expense of a Third Party.
- Chapter XVIII.: Of Subsidiary Satisfaction At the Expense of the Public Treasure.
- Part II.—: Rationale of Punishment.
- Book I.: General Principles.
- Chapter I.: Definitions and Distinctions.
- Chapter II.: Classification.
- Chapter III.: Of the Ends of Punishment.
- Chapter IV.: Cases Unmeet For Punishment.
- Chapter V.: Expense of Punishment.
- Chapter VI.: Measure of Punishment.
- Chapter VII.: Of the Properties to Be Given to a Lot of Punishment.
- Chapter VIII.: Of Analogy Between Crimes and Punishments.
- Chapter IX.: Of Retaliation.
- Chapter X.: Of Popularity.
- Book II.: Of Corporal Punishments.
- Chapter I.: Simple Afflictive Punishments. *
- Chapter II.: Of Complex Afflictive Punishments.
- Chapter III.: Of Restrictive Punishments—territorial Confinement.
- Chapter IV.: Imprisonment.
- Chapter V.: Imprisonment—fees.
- Chapter VI.: Imprisonment Examined.
- Chapter VII.: General Scheme of Imprisonment.
- Chapter VIII.: Of Other Species of Territorial Confinement—quasi Imprisonment—relegation—banishment.
- Chapter IX.: Of Simply Restrictive Punishments.
- Chapter X.: Of Active Or Laborious Punishment.
- Chapter XI.: Capital Punishment.
- Chapter XII.: Capital Punishment Examined. *
- Book III.: Of Privative Punishments, Or Forfeitures.
- Chapter I.: Punishment Analyzed.
- Chapter II.: Of the Punishments Belonging to the Moral Sanction.
- Chapter III.: Forfeiture of Reputation.
- Chapter IV.: Of Pecuniary Forfeitures.
- Chapter V.: Forfeiture of Condition.
- Chapter VI.: Forfeiture of the Protection of the Law.
- Book IV.: Of the Proper Seat of Punishment: Or Say, of Mis-seated Punishment.
- Book V.: Of Complex Punishments.
- Chapter I.: Inconveniences of Complex Punishments.
- Chapter II.: Of Transportation.
- Chapter III.: Panopticon Penitentiary.
- Chapter IV.: Felony.
- Chapter V.: Of PrÆmunire.
- Chapter VI.: Outlawry.
- Chapter VII.: Excommunication.
- Book VI.: Miscellaneous Topics.
- Chapter I.: Choice of Punishments—latitude to Be Allowed to the Judges.
- Chapter II.: Of Subsidiary Punishments.
- Chapter III.: Of Surety For Good Conduct.
- Chapter IV.: Defeazance of Punishment.
- Appendix—: On Death-punishment. ∥ Jeremy Bentham to His Fellow-citizens of France.
- Part III.: Of Indirect Means of Preventing Crimes.
- Chapter I.: Methods of Taking Away the Physical Power of Injuring.
- Chapter II.: Another Indirect Method—hinder the Acquisition of Knowledge Which May Be Rendered Injurious. †
- Chapter III.: Of Indirect Means of Preventing the Will to Commit Offences.
- Chapter IV.: Problem I. to Divert the Course of Dangerous Desires, and Direct the Inclination Towards Those Amusements Which Are Most Conformed to the Public Interest.
- Chapter V.: Problem II. to Make Such Arrangements, That a Given Desire May Be Satisfied Without Prejudice, Or With the Least Possible Prejudice.
- Chapter VI.: Problem III. to Avoid Furnishing Encouragement to Crimes.
- Chapter VII.: Problem IV. to Augment the Responsibility of Individuals, In Proportion As They Are More Exposed to Temptation to Do Wrong.
- Chapter VIII.: Problem V. to Diminish Sensibility With Regard to Temptation.
- Chapter IX.: Problem VI. to Strengthen the Impression of Punishments Upon the Imagination.
- Chapter X.: Problem VII. to Facilitate the Discovery of Offences Committed.
- Chapter XI.: Problem VIII. to Prevent Offences, By Giving to Many Persons an Interest In Preventing Them.
- Chapter XII.: Problem IX. to Facilitate the Recognition and the Finding of Individuals.
- Chapter XIII.: Problem X. to Increase the Difficulty of Escape For Delinquents.
- Chapter XIV.: Problem XI. to Diminish Uncertainty With Regard to Procedure and Punishment.
- Chapter XV.: Problem XII. to Prohibit Accessory Offences, In Order to Prevent Their Principals.
- Chapter XVI.: Of the Cultivation of Benevolence.
- Chapter XVII.: Employment of the Motive of Honour, Or of the Popular Sanction.
- Chapter XVIII.: Of the Employment of the Religious Sanction.
- Chapter XIX.: Uses to Be Drawn From the Power of Instruction.
- Chapter XX.: Use to Be Made of the Power of Education.
- Chapter XXI.: General Precautions Against the Abuse of Authority.
- Chapter XXII.: Measures to Be Taken Against the Ill Effects of an Offence Already Committed—conclusion of the Subject.
COMMUNITY OF GOODS—ITS INCONVENIENCES.
There is no arrangement more contrary to the principle of utility, than community of goods, especially that kind of indeterminate community in which the whole belongs to every one.
1. It is an inexhaustible source of discord: far from being a state of satisfaction and enjoyment, for all parties interested, it is one of discontent and disappointment.
2. This undivided property always loses a great part of its value to all the co-partners. Subject, on the one hand, to dilapidations of every kind, because it is not under the protection of personal interest; on the other hand, it receives no improvement. Why should I undertake an expense of which the burthen will be certain, and will fall altogether on myself, whilst the advantage will be precarious, and necessarily divided.
3. The apparent equality of this arrangement would only serve to hide a real inequality. The strongest would abuse his strength with impunity, the richest would enrich themselves at the expense of the poorest. Community of goods always recalls the idea of that kind of monster which is sometimes found to exist; that is, of twins attached by the back to one another—the stronger necessarily draws the weaker along.
Reference is not here made to the community of goods between husbands and wives: called to live together, to cultivate their own interests and those of their children together, they ought to enjoy together a fortune often acquired, and always preserved by their common cares. Besides, if their wills cross each other, the conflict will not be eternal, the law having confided to the man the right of decision.
Reference is also not made to this community between associates in commerce. This community has acquisition for its object, and does not extend to enjoyment. Now, when it refers to acquisition, the associates have only one and the same object, one and the same interest; when it refers to enjoyment and consumption, each becomes independent of the other: besides, the associates in commerce are few in number; they are freely chosen, and they can separate from each other. It is precisely otherwise in common property.
In England, one of the greatest and best understood improvements is the division of commons. When we pass over the lands which have undergone this happy change, we are enchanted as with the appearance of a new colony: harvests, flocks, and smiling habitations, have succeeded to the sadness and sterility of the desert. Happy conquests of peaceful industry! noble aggrandisements, which inspire no alarms and provoke no enemies! But who would believe it, that in this island, where agriculture is so well understood, and so much esteemed, that millions of acres of productive land are abandoned to this sad state of commonalty. It is not long since that the Government, desirous of knowing its territorial domains, has collected in each district all the facts which have made known this interesting truth, so well adapted to become fruitful.
The inconveniences of community are not experienced in the case of servitudes; that is to say, in the partial rights of property exercised over immovables (as a right of way, or right of water,) except by accident. These rights are in general limited; the value lost by the land serving is not equal to the value acquired by the land served; or in other words, the inconvenience to the one is not so great as the advantage to the other.
In England, freehold land which is worth thirty years purchase, would not be worth more than twenty years purchase if it were copyhold. This arises from there being in the latter case a lord of the manor possessing certain rights, which establish a kind of community between him and the principal proprietor. But it must not be thought that what is lost by the vassal is gained by the lord: the greater part falls into the hands of the lawyers, and is consumed in useless formalities or vexatious triflings. These are remains of the feudal system.
“It is a beautiful sight,” says Montesquieu, of the feudal law; and he afterwards compares it to an old and majestic oak. We may the rather compare it to that fatal tree, the manchineel tree, whose juices are poisons to man, and whose shade is destructive to vegetation. This unfortunate system has infused into the laws confusion and complexity, from which it is difficult to deliver them. As it is every where interwoven with property, it requires much management to destroy the one without injuring the other.