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16 May 1807

No (says somebody) the proper standard of rectitude is –
not the not the will of the sovereign simple-headed or many-headed but the welfare of the people.
I answer: it is both together; there is no opposition in the case.
No one will say in our days – in under the present monarchy, any
more than in the present democracy – that any other object
than the welfare of the people community – the greatest happiness of the
greatest number of the members ought to be regarded as the ultimate standard of
rectitude. But the question is not a question of theory regards not theory but or but
of practice: and for practice the only object that will serve
as in the character of a standard of rectitude is the will or wills of
some determinate person or persons – that is to say some
form assemblage of words containing the expression of such will or wills.

The question is – not what ought to be taken for the standard
of rectitude by a person thinking only sitting or lies about – thinking for himself
alone and by himself, but what ought to be taken for the
standard of rectitude by a the Judge sitting in the judgment not
thinking and acting for the public.

What then By the Judge then what is it that
ought to be taken for the standard of rectitude of decision? the will of the
sovereign, or the welfare of the people? The answer plainly
is – the will of the sovereign as far as it is known: otherwise he himself is sovereign
as well as judge. Shall it be the welfare of the people
i.e. what be shall his decision be that which in his own opinion
real or pretended, is most conducive to the welfare of the people,
no regard being at the same time paid to the will of the sovereign,
or of any other person than himself? Acting thus is acting
exactly as the sovereign does: this is not judicature, but

Identifier: | JB/106/194/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 106.



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jeremy bentham



jeremy bentham

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