Jeremy Bentham

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
A monarch is at all times that of an enemy of the people," acting by force, fear, corruption, and delusion through his three human instruments, the soldier, the lawyer, and the priest, to produce in all times and at all places the greatest infelicity of the greatest number. Leaders & Leadership
A word or two I must trouble you with, concerning compound interest; for compound interest is discountenanced by the law. I suppose, as a sort of usury. That, without an express stipulation, the law never gives it. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
All government is a trust. Every branch of government is a trust, and immemorially acknowledged to be so. Leaders & Leadership
All inequality that has no special utility to justify it is injustice. Equality & Equal Opportunity
All men ... are born in subjection. In this subjection he continues for years ... and the existence of the individual and the species depends upon his so doing. Freedom & Liberty
Almost all men are born under it, all men are used to it, few men are used to anything else; till of late years nobody ever dispraised it, ... men were reconciled to mixed monarchy in England by the same causes by which they were reconciled to pure monarchy in Morocco, Turkey, and Hindustan. Human Nature
Among the several cloudy appellatives which have been commonly employed as cloaks for misgovernment, there is none more conspicuous ... than the word, 'order.' Miscellaneous
Among the several cloudy appellatives which have been commonly employed as cloaks for misgovernment, there is none more conspicuous in this atmosphere of illusion than the word Order. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Among the various species or modifications of liberty, of which on different occasions we have heard so much in England, I do not recollect ever seeing any thing yet offered in behalf of the liberty of making one's own terms in money-bargains. From so general and universal a neglect, it is an old notion of mine, as you well know, that this meek and unassuming species of liberty has been suffering much injustice Freedom & Liberty
Aristotle: that celebrated heathen, who, in all matters wherein heathenism did not destroy his competence, had established a despotic empire over the Christian world. Religion & God
As to the evil which results from censorship, it is impossible to measure it, because it is impossible to tell where it ends. Freedom & Liberty
Bestow rewards, erect statues, confer even titles so that they be personal alone; but never bind the crown of merit on the brow of sloth. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Boards are screens. What “the Board” does is the act of nobody; and nobody can be made to answer for it. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Every law is an evil for every law is an infraction of liberty. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
If the legal rate of interest in Great Britain, for example, was fixed so high as eight or ten per cent. the greater part of the money which was to be lent, would be lent to prodigals and projectors, who alone would be willing to give this high interest. Sober people, who will give for the use of money no more than a part of what they are likely to make by the use of it, would not venture into the competition. A great part of the capital of the country would thus be kept out of the hands which were most likely to make a profitable and advantageous use of it, and thrown into those which were most likely to waste and destroy it. Where the legal interest, on the contrary, is fixed but a very little above the lowest market rate, sober people are universally preferred as borrowers, to prodigals and projectors. The person who lends money, gets nearly as much interest from the former, as he dares to take from the latter, and his money is much safer in the hands of the one set of people than in those of the other. Money, Coins & Minting
International Law Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
It is the greatest good to the greatest number which is the measure of right and wrong. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
It is vain to talk of the interest of the community, without understanding what is the interest of the individual. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Liberty of public association; or the security with which malcontents may communicate their sentiments, concert their plans, and practice every mode of opposition short of actual revolt, before the executive power can be legally justified in disturbing them Freedom & Liberty
No power of government ought to be employed in the endeavor to establish any system or article of belief on the subject of religion. Power ;Religion & God ;Government
Publicity is the soul of justice. Without publicity, all other checks are insufficient: in comparison of publicity, all other checks are of small account. Public Relations & Image
Regulating the prices of goods in general would be an endless task, and no legislator has ever been weak enough to think of attempting it. Regulation & Deregulation
Representative democracy has for its characteristic object and effect…securing its members against oppression and depredation at the hands of those functionaries which it employs for its defense. Democracies & Republics
Secrecy is an instrument of conspiracy; it ought not, therefore, to be the system of a regular government Secrecy & Transparency
so long as it promises to exclude some greater possible evils. Legislating & Legislative Process
The age we live in is a busy age; in which knowledge is rapidly advancing towards perfection Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation. Happiness & Unhappiness ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
There can be no such thing as usury: for what rate of interest is there that can naturally be more proper than another? what natural fixed price can there be for the use of money more than for the use of any other thing? Were it not then for custom, usury, considered in a moral view, would not then so much as admit of a definition…. Putting money out at interest, is exchanging present money for future: but why a policy, which, as applied to exchanges in general, would be generally deemed absurd and mischievous, should be deemed necessary in the instance of this particular kind of exchange, mankind are as yet to learn. Money, Coins & Minting
There is no pestilence in a state like a zeal for religion, independent of morality. Religion & God
When security and equality are in conflict, it will not do to hesitate a moment. Equality must yield. Equality & Equal Opportunity
Without publicity, no good is permanent; under the auspices of publicity, no evil can continue. Secrecy & Transparency
All punishment is mischief; all punishment in itself is evil.
As to the evil which results from a censorship, it is impossible to measure it, for it is impossible to tell where it ends.
Every law is an infraction of liberty.
He who thinks and thinks for himself, will always have a claim to thanks; it is no matter whether it be right or wrong, so as it be explicit. If it is right, it will serve as a guide to direct; if wrong, as a beacon to warn.
It is the greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right and wrong.
Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. Nature
Secrecy, being an instrument of conspiracy, ought never to be the system of a regular government. Government
Stretching his hand up to reach the stars, too often man forgets the flowers at his feet.
The age we live in is a busy age; in which knowledge is rapidly advancing towards perfection. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The power of the lawyer is in the uncertainty of the law. Power
The principle of asceticism never was, nor ever can be, consistently pursued by any living creature. Let but one tenth part of the inhabitants of the earth pursue it consistently, and in a day's time they will have turned it into a Hell. Time
The question is not, 'Can they reason?' nor, 'Can they talk?' but rather, 'Can they suffer?'
The said truth is that it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong. Truth ;Happiness & Unhappiness
Tyranny and anarchy are never far apart.