Front Page Titles (by Subject) Objections to the making experiment of Mr Bentham's Panopticon Plan obviated—viz., partly by Answers, partly by fresh Offers. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 11 (Memoirs of Bentham Part II and Analytical Index)
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“ Objections to the making experiment of Mr Bentham’s Panopticon Plan obviated—viz., partly by Answers, partly by fresh Offers. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 11 (Memoirs of Bentham Part II and Analytical Index) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 11.
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“Objections to the making experiment of Mr Bentham’s Panopticon Plan obviated—viz., partly by Answers, partly by fresh Offers.
“Objection I.—You will overwork them, (it has been said;)—you will underfeed them, (those by the underfeeding of whom there is anything to be gained;)—you will overfeed them, (those by the overfeeding of whom there is anything to be gained;)—you will pamper them with luxuries;—you will work them, so that you will not leave time for their receiving any sufficient religious and moral instruction.
“Answer 1.—No tolerably intelligent man, howsoever selfishly disposed, would do so in my place. This is what I had pleased myself with the thoughts of having made tolerably clear, and used to be considered as having done so—viz., in and by the Panopticon Book, here with submitted to your Lordship, Part II., sect. 2, entituled, ‘Management, why by Contract:’ from which place honourable gentlemen have taken all their objections, forgetting to say anything about the answers.
“Answer 2.—As to underfeeding them, by terms of the contract I stand bound to give to each man as much as he can eat.
“As to luxuries, I really do not understand what it is that can, so it be paid for, be stated as a pernicious luxury, unless it be fermented liquors, which by the contract, at my own solicitation, I stand precluded from giving admittance to, and with such securities against contravention as had never before been so much as imagined.
“Offer.—But if any honourable gentleman in whose view of the matter an Index expurgatorius of meats and drinks would, in the situation in question, be an article seriously subservient either to religion or morality, will be pleased to frame one, and obtain the requisite orders, I am ready to pledge myself for its being inviolably observed.
“Answer 3.—As to the neglecting their religious and moral instruction, I should forfeit all my pledges, I should incur reproach, by such neglect, and I could never get anything by it: for I could not work them on a Sunday without a positive breach of the law of the land, such as to persons in abundance besides the prisoners themselves could not but be of the utmost notoriety.
“Answer 4.—I would humbly entreat your Lordship’s perusal for at least that section, together with the antecedent one, entituled, Leading Positions: the rather as being applicable to Poor-house as well as Prisoner management.
“Answer 5.—May brother and I had a favourite Sunday plan for the combining religions edification with public inspection, and the most perfect and universal facility of complaint: and the architectural design was in a most striking manner adapted to it, as shown in the models, which were seen by members of the Upper House by dozens, and by those of the Lower House by scores.
“Ere I could have suffered that feature of the management to fall into neglect, my character must have been completely forfeited.
“Offer 2.—Answer 6.—Taking an unknown—taking an average man, were I to give it as my opinion that he would conduct the business as much for the advantage either of the public or the prisoner, for a salary, or without any pecuniary remuneration, as upon the terms of the contract proposed by me, I should utter a gross untruth. But after the perusal of these two sections, should this matter present itself to your Lordship’s mind in a different light, to cut up all such objections by the roots, there shall be an end of the contract; I would conduct the management on account of the public purse without a farthing’s-worth of pecuniary profit in any shape, direct or indirect;—keeping and regularly delivering in accounts upon the plan indicated in my work, intituled, Pauper Management, (herewith submitted,) with any additions or other amendments that may be prescribed to me.
“Objection II.—Under your contract you were to have had no fewer than 1000 prisoners: all worked under your direction and for your advantage. This is too great a power to be trusted in any individual hand.
“Answer 1.—It is no greater nor other power than what by the law of the land every master has over his apprentice.
“As to the number, so far from being increased, the power, as to all purposes of abuse, is lessened by it. Except his own particular relatives or other friends, when he is fortunate enough to have any, an apprentice has no person engaged by any special tie or interest to look to him with a protecting eye. My prisoners would, by the common and most obvious tie of interest, as well as bond of sympathy, stand engaged to afford to one another this as well as whatsoever other assistance could be afforded against oppression in every shape, at the hands of the common master; and as to persons without doors, each would accordingly have so many friends in the friends of every other.
“Answer 2.—In so far as concerns sinister profit, this objection would, together with the preceding ones, be cut up by the roots by the giving up of the contracts as above.
“Answer 3.—Independently of all consideration of sinister profit, and danger of abuse on that score, can it be that the magnitude of the power, merely in respect of the number of persons subjected to it, is considered as being so great as to constitute of itself an objection, and that a peremptory one? A colonel of a regiment has as much or more.
“Answer 4.—If, numbers being the same, this objection, taken from a supposed excess of power, were conclusive against the Panopticon plan, how much more ought it to be against the new proposed Non-Panopticon plan!
“Under the Panopticon plan, behold the management in the hand of an unseated, unofficed, unconnected, insulated individual, whose blameless life, known to have been for little less than half-a-century devoted to a course of unpaid, yet unremitted, howsoever fruitless, toil, in the service of mankind, has not been able to preserve his rights from being an object of neglect, and himself an object of silent oppression to every Administration for these last eighteen years.
“Under the non-Panopticon plan, the management in the hands of a detachment of the Ministry, rendering no account but to their assured protectors—the body from which they have been detached. Who is there who does not know, or will think it worth while to affect not to know, that in all these cases the whole power is in the hands of some one individual, in whom the confidence is reposed, and those of an assortment of colleagues, who to each other are a tower of defence: the use in this respect is, by dividing, and by dividing, and dissipating the responsibility, to increase that power which in demonstration they are employed to reduce?
“What is very true, is, that if the prison were a den of devils, so that no mischief that were done in it for the benefit of the tyrant, could be known, the security afforded by his being liable to be dismissed for it if known, could not be very effective.
“But that this should be urged as an objection against the only plan which ever had for its declared object the maximum of publicity, and in proof of the superior wisdom of a plan in which neither in that nor indeed in any degree publicity is so much as professed, seems not very consistent.
“In the one case, one tyrant devil working in impenetrable darkness; in the other a company of guardian angels,—such is the supposition on which, though not declared, everything in the non-Panopticon plan is all along grounded.
“Objection III.—You may profess to desire inspection, and to court gratuitous inspectors; but in these professions of yours, either you are not sincere, or if you are, you will not long be so; and though you should be ever so much so, you might as well be otherwise, for nobody will come.
“Answer 1.—On this head at least, as to my sincerity, present, and future probable, after what I have said in my Panopticon book, (to compare minute with great, obscure with illustrious,) with submission, it would be less unreasonable to impute to your Lordship a desire to see Protestantism extirpated and Catholicism towering in its place, than to impute to me the possibility of harbouring any such idea as that of shrinking from inspection. Your Lordship has not professed any such invention as that of an engine for the universalising of Protestantism in the Christian world. My brother and I have, for these twenty years and more, professed to have invented an engine for the universalising of inspection in a Penitentiary house.
“Answer 2: Offer 3.—True it is, that if, in numbers sufficient for the purpose, after all that were done to invite them, people would not come,—let this be supposed, all my sincerity and all the exertions of which it can be productive, would be to no purpose. Well, then, my lord, if my schemes for making people come should all fail, insomuch that, after all, people do not come,—in short, if, in the opinion of the appropriate judges (say the king in council) although no abuse actually appears, yet, for anything that appears to the contrary, there may have been abuse,—then under this case let the experiment, howsoever free from blame on any part, be pronounced to have failed; and on that ground let me be dismissed, and if such be the pleasure of the said judges, let my said supposed inspection plan be put aside; and for remedy, let the plan in which general inspection is not aimed at or so much as professed, be set up in its stead.
“Objection IV.—Well, Sir, if you please, you yourself shall be a well-meaning man; and not only for a moment, but as long as you live: and for the purpose of the argument, even under so corruptive a plan as yours is, an honest manager: all this will not make your plan a good one. You live to commence, and, for a time, carry on the management: be it so. Sooner or later however, there is an end of you: and then, whatsoever be the security afforded by your personal character, there is an end of it.
“Answer 1.—If, before the building is finished, I die, there is my brother, on whose plan, if for me and in my lifetime, it will be built: if before that time he dies also, there are others in this town under whose direction a building on this same plan was lately completed, viz. at Petersburg, and the management of a correspondent establishment conducted, and to whom the advantages of it are accordingly well known by experience: nor for the management would there be any want of persons, to whom the principles of management detailed in the Panopticon book, and in the book entitled Pauper Management, (herewith submitted,) are already familiar, and who are perfectly competent to the purpose of applying them to practice.
Answer 2.—If for a moment any such supposition be endurable, as that in my management there can be anything worth copying and preserving, the nature of the case affords as good a security as can be reasonably desired, for its being accordingly copied and preserved.
“Yes, my lord, if I am what I ought to be, such as I am, such will my successors be. My rules, my practice according to these rules, will be public: public as I, and the press and open doors can make them. Being public, what there is good in them will be as so many laws to my successors: or, if they are not so, the fault will lie not in me and my successors, but in your lordship and your successors; whenever to any successor of mine, it happens to swerve from these (by the supposition) good laws, out with him.
“True it is, that, by wearing out so many years as have been worn out of a life of which four and sixty are already past, honourable gentlemen have given to this argument of theirs a degree of force, as well as to some other of their arguments and expedients, beyond what I could have wished; and seconded by such treatment as it has been my lot to experience at their hands, and to which, unless stayed by the intrepidity of your lordship’s justice, this last measure will have given the crowning stroke, the chances of life and death were certainly in favour of the plan so perseveringly pursued for ridding the powers of high-seated darkness of the incumbrance, for already (as may be seen by the calculation printed in Report 28th of the Finance Committee of 1797-8) it has been my lot to live several years more than according to the Tables I ought to have lived. Yet still, considering the counter-consideration above submitted, this argument will not, I hope, be found to have so far accomplished its purpose, as to be in your lordship’s account a conclusive one.
“Offer 4.—On the non-Panopticon plan, what the space is that is deemed requisite for the 600 prisoners, I do not know. On the Panopticon plan, in case of necessity, I could make less than half what there is serve for the experiment. On that supposition, should there be also a sufficiency for the non-Panopticon system, the two could be carried on together.
“Here, then, if the honour of honourable gentlemen could be reconciled to the idea, the benefit of competition and emulation, a benefit to which, in some cases, (for example, that of the highest courts of ordinary justice,) no small value has been ascribed, might be given to the service.
“For my own part, in so far as all consideration of the public and the prisoners being put out of the question, I myself am alone concerned, were I to choose my competitors, I know not of any whom I would more gladly choose than the honourable gentlemen with whose company in that quality I should in that case be likely to be honoured. Their desire to be rid of me can scarce be stronger than mine would be to possess in that shape the benefit of their assistance; and though my general character were as noted for insincerity as it may perhaps be for the opposite failing in the present instance, my sincerity would be put sufficiently out of dispute by the observations which, in case of necessity, I should have to make on their Report, and the plan of management which it has served to introduce.”
By the Act founded on the Report of the Committee, (see above, p. 106,) the compensation to Bentham was to be fixed by two arbiters, the one chosen by the Treasury, the other by Bentham. On this subject, I find the following from