Pannomial Fragments

Chapter I.


By a Pannomion, understand on this occasion an all-comprehensive collection of law,---that is to say, of rules expressive of the will or wills of some person or persons belonging to the community, or say society in question, with whose will in so far as known, or guessed at, all other members of that same community in question, whether from habit or otherwise, are regarded as disposed to act in compliance.

In tbe formation of such a work the sole proper all-comprehensive end should be the greatest happiness of the whole community governors and governed together,---the greatest happiness principle should be the fundamental principle.

The next specific principle is the happiness-numeration principle.

Rule: In case of collision and contest, happiness of each party being equal, prefer the happiness of the greater to that of the lesser number.

Maximizing universal security;---securing the existence of, and sufficiency of, the matter of subsistence for all the members of the community;---maximizing the quantity of the matter of abundance in all its shapes;---securing the nearest approximation to absolute equality in the distribution of the matter of abundance, and the other modifications of the matter of property; that is to say, the nearest approximation consistent with universal security, as above, for subsistence and maximization of the matter of abundance:---by these denominations, or for shortness, by the several words security, subsistence, abundance and equality, may be characterized the several specific ends, which in the character of means stand next in subordination to the all embracing end---the greatest happiness of the greatest number of the individuals belonging to the community in question.

The following are the branches of the pannomion, to which the ends immediately subordinate to the greatest-happiness principle respectively correspond:---

To constitutional law, the axioms and principles applying to equality.

To penal law, the axioms and principles applying to security; viz. as to---

  1. Person;
  2. Reputation;
  3. Property;
  4. Condition in life.

The principle presiding over that branch of the penal code, which is employed in the endeavour to arrest, or apply remedy to offences considered as being and being intended to be productive of suffering to one party, without producing enjoyment, otherwise than from the contemplation of such suffering, to the other, is the positive-pain-preventing principle.

Rule: Let not any one produce pain on the part of any other, for no other purpose than the pleasure derived from the contemplation of that same pain.

The persons for the regulation of whose conduct the positive-pain-preventing principle applies are---

  1. The subject citizens, taken at large.
  2. The sovereign, in respect of the quantity, and thence the quality of the subsequentially preventive, or say punitive, remedy applied by him against any offence.

To civil law, more particularly, apply the axioms relating to security as to property. Sole principle---the disappointment-preventing principle.

Rule applying to the aggregate, composed of the several sources of positive good or happiness, elements of prosperity, objects as they thus are of general desire: Among a number of persons, competitors actually or eventually possible, for the benefit or source of happiness in question, exceptions excepted, give it to that one in whose breast the greatest quantity of pain of disappointment will have place, in the event of his not having the thing thenceforward in his possession, or say, at his command.

The exception is when, by any different disposition, happiness in greater quantity, probability taken into account, will be produced.

Of any such exception the existence ought not to be assumed: if it exist, the proof of its existence lies upon him by whom its existence is asserted.

To political economy apply the axioms and principles relating to subsistence and abundance. To political economy---that is to say, to those portions of the penal and civil codes in the rationale of which considerations suggested by the art and science of political economy are applicable and have place: considerations over and above and independent of the sensations produced by loss and gain.

By axioms of moral and political pathology, understand so many general propositions, by each of which statement is made of the pleasure or pain (chiefly of the pain) produced by the several sorts of evils, which are the result of human agency on the part of the several individuals respectively affected by them; to wit, by means of the influence exercised by them on the quantity or degree in which the benefits expressed by the fore-mentioned all important words, are by the respective parties, agents and patients, enjoyed, or the opposite burthens constituted by the absence of them endured.

Of these propositions, it will be observed that they divide themselves into groups;---one group being relative to security, another to subsistence, a third to abundance, the fourth and last to equality: the first bringing to view the enjoyment derived from the undisturbed possession of security at large---security in the most comprehensive application made of the word, contrasted with the enjoyment producible by the breach of it,---the second group bringing to view the subject of subsistence;---the third group bringing to view the subject of abundance,---and the fourth group bringing to view the subject of equality, and stating the evil consequence of any legislative arrangement by which a defalcation from the maximum of practicable equality is effected.

In each of the axioms, the antagonizing, or say competing, interests of two parties are conjointly brought to view:---in those which relate to security, these parties are, the maleficent agent, or say wrongdoer, and the patient wronged:---in those which relate to subsistence, abundance, and equality, they are the parties whose interests stand in competition, no blame being supposed to have place on either side. By the legislator, preference should be given to that interest by preference to which the happiness of the greatest number will be most augmented.

To the first of the three stages of the progress made in society by the good or evil flowing from a human act, belong the effects of which indication is given in and announced by these same four groups of axioms.

The principles which form the ground. work of the here proposed system, correspond to the above-mentioned specific ends, immediately subordinate to the all-comprehensive end, expressed for shortness by the greatest-happiness principle,---and have their foundation in observations on the pathology of the human mind as expressed in the above-mentioned propositions, to which, in consideration of their supposed incontrovertibility and extensive applicability, have been given, for distinction sake, the name of axioms.

As to these principles, the names by which expression is given to them have for their object and purpose conciseness---the conveying, by means of these several compound substantives, a conception of the several groups of pathological effects in a manner more concise, and thence more commodious than by a repetition made each time of the several groups of axioms to which they correspond, and which they are employed to recall to mind.

Correspondent to the axioms having reference to security, will be found the principle following:---

I. Principle correspondent to security, the axioms thereto belonging, is the security-providing principle.

Of the security-providing principle, the following modifications may be brought to view, corresponding to the several objects respecting which security requires to be afforded:---

  1. The objects for, or say in respect of which, security is endeavoured, are these---
    1. Person: the person of individuals on the occasion of which body and mind require to be distinguished.
    2. Reputation: the reputation of individuals or classes, or say the degree of estimation in which they are respectively held.
    3. Property: the masses of the matter of wealth respectively belonging to them, and possessed by them in the shape of capital, or in the shape of income.
    4. Power: the portions of power respectively belonging to them, for whose sake soever, or say to whose benefit soever exercisable, whether for the sake and benefit of the individual power-holder himself---or for the sake of other persons, one or more, in any number; in which case the power is styled a trust, and the power-holder a trustee, and the person or persons for whose benefit it is exercised, or designed to be exercised, entitled benefitee, and the person or persons by whom the trust was created a trustor.
    5. Rank: or say factitious reputation or estimation,---the source of factitious reputation or estimation put into the possession of the individual by a series of delusions operating on the imagination.
    6. Condition in life, in so far as beneficial: the aggregate benefits included in it will be found composed of the above objects, two or more of them.

      N.B. The four last-mentioned objects may, for conciseness sake, be spoken of as so many modifications of the matter of prosperity.

    7. Miscellaneous rights: including exemptions from burthensome obligations.
  2. The maleficent acts, or say offences against which the endeavour is used to apply the appropriate punitive and other remedies.
  3. The contingently maleficent agents, against whose maleficent acts the endeavour will be used to employ the several remedial applications These may be---
    1. External, or say foreign governments and subjects, considered as liable to become adversaries. Code in which provision is made against evil from that source, the Constitutional. Ch. &c. Defensive Force---sub-departments of the administration department those of the army and the navy ministers.
    2. Internal, viz. fellow-citizens, as distinguished into---
      1. Fellow-citizens at large or say non-functionaries;
      2. Functionaries considered in respect of the evil producible by them in such their several capacities
  4. The several classes of persons to whom, by the several arrangements employed, the security is endeavoured to be afforded. These may be distinguished into---
    1. Citizens of the state in question; distinguished into---
      1. Persons considered in their individual capacities: correspondent offences---private offences.
      2. Persons considered in classes: correspondent offences---semi-public offences.
      3. Functionaries as such considered in the aggregate: correspondent offences---public offences such as are purely public in contradistinction to such as are privato-public; offences affecting their individual capacity, but constituted public offences by the indefinable multitude of the individuals liable to be affected.
    2. Foreigners with reference to the state in question;---governments and subjects as above included.

A modification of the security-providing principle, applying to security in respect of all modifications of the matter of property is the disappointment-preventing principle. The use of it is to convey intimation of the reason for whatever arrangements come to be made for affording security in respect of property and the other modifications of the matter of prosperity, considered with a view to the interest of the individual possessor. In the aggregate of these are contained all the security.requiring objects, as above, with the exception of person.

II. Subsistence-securing principle: correspondent subordinate end in view---subsistence. The use of it is to convey intimation of the reason for whatever arrangements come to be made for the purpose of securing, for the use of the community in question, a sufficient quantity of the matter of subsistence.

III. Abundance-maximizing principle: the use of it is to convey intimation of the reasons for whatever arrangements may come to be made in contemplation of their conduciveness to the accomplishment of that end.

IV. Equality maximizing, or say, more properly, inequality-minimizing principle: the use of it is to convey intimation of the reasons for whatever arrangements come to be made, in contemplation of their conduciveness to this end.

[Pannomial Fragments, Chapter II]