WEEKLY ESSAY CHALLENGES – 2015
There is but one kind of punishment, I think, which should be wholly excluded, and that is the loss of honour, the brand of infamy. For a man’s honour and the good opinion of his fellow-citizens, is something which lies wholly beyond the reach of the political power. At most, then, such a punishment must be reduced to this: that the State may deprive the criminal of the characteristic signs of its own esteem and confidence, and leave to others the option of doing this with impunity. However unquestionable its claim to such a right may be, and however duty may seem to demand its employing it, I nevertheless cannot but consider the general declaration of its intention to avail itself of such a privilege, as by no means advisable. For, firstly, it presupposes in the person punished in such a way, a certain persistency in wrong which is but rarely found in actual experience; and, secondly, even in its mildest expression (or if it went no further than to declare a just want of confidence on the part of the State), it is always too indefinite not to create much abuse, and, if merely for consistency’s sake, would often embrace more cases than might really be necessary. For the kinds of confidence that may be extended to a man are, according to different cases, so infinitely manifold in their nature, that I hardly know of any crime which would shut out the criminal from the whole of these at once. But there is always a general expression of mistrust in such cases, and the man of whom it would be remembered only on parallel occasions that he had transgressed any particular law, carries about with him at all times an air of suspicion. Now, how hard such a punishment must be, we know from the feeling so common to all, that without the confidence of one’s fellow-men life itself ceases to be desirable. Moreover, many other difficulties present themselves when we look more closely at the way in which such a punishment shall be applied. Mistrust of honesty will always follow where the want of it has been manifested. Now, to what an infinity of cases such a punishment would have to be extended requires nothing to show. No less difficult is the question, as to how long the punishment shall last. Every justly-thinking man would undoubtedly wish to confine its operation to a certain period. But will the judge be able to contrive that one who has so long borne the load of his fellow-citizens’ mistrust, may at once regain their confidence on the expiration of a certain day? Lastly, it does not agree with the principles which run through this essay, that the State should give a definite direction to the opinions of the citizens in any way whatever. According to my views, therefore, it would seem well for the State to confine itself to the exercise of this its incumbent duty, viz. to secure the citizens against persons open to suspicion; and hence, wherever such a step is necessary,—as, for instance, in official appointments, the acceptance of the testimony of witnesses as trustworthy, the approval of guardians, etc.,—to exclude those persons, by laws expressly enacted, who had committed certain crimes or subjected themselves to certain punishments: beyond this, the State should refrain from any general manifestation of mistrust or any deprivation of honour. In this case also it would be very easy to fix on some time beyond which such objections should cease to operate. For the rest, it is needless to show that the State always retains the right of acting on the sense of honour by degrading punishments. Neither is it necessary for me to repeat (now that I am treating of the general nature of punishments) that no punishment whatever must be inflicted which would extend beyond the person of the criminal to his children or relations. Justice and equity alike proclaim against such a course; and even the cautious expression observed in the otherwise excellent Prussian code, where such a punishment occurs, is not sufficient to lessen the severity necessarily inherent in the thing itself.
International Refereed Academic Social Sciences Journal
People of any particular country can live happily only if the country has all the resources, or simply say, country is rich in every aspect. Educated persons know pretty well that what is wrong and what is right. They do not need to follow the words of third person. Educated persons are well aware from their country’s rules and laws. They know pretty well about their duties and fundamental rights. They know the value of paying taxes, and thus pay their taxes on time. All these qualities of educated persons help them play a vital role in the progress of their country.
the principles I have hitherto endeavoured to establish in this essay, presuppose men to be in the full exercise of their ripened powers of understanding. For they are all grounded on the conviction, that the man who thinks and acts for himself should never be robbed of the power of voluntarily deciding on all that concerns himself, according to the results of his deliberations. Hence, then, they cannot be applied to persons such as lunatics and idiots, who are almost wholly deprived of reason, or to those in whom it has not reached that maturity which depends on the very growth and maturity of the body. For, however indefinite and, strictly speaking, incorrect, the latter standard may be, still there can be no other valid test to enable us to judge in general of others. Now, all these persons require, in the strictest sense, a positive solicitude for their physical and moral well-being, and the mere negative regard for their security is not enough to meet the wants of their peculiar position. But, to begin with children, who constitute the largest and most important class of such persons, it is evident that the care for their welfare, in virtue of the principles of right, peculiarly belongs to certain persons, that is, their parents. It is their duty to train up their offspring to perfect maturity; and from this duty, and as the necessary conditions of its exercise, flow all their rights with regard to them. The children, therefore, retain all their original rights as regards their life, their health, their fortune (if they already possess any), and should not be limited even in their freedom, except in so far as the parents may think necessary, partly for their own development, and partly to preserve the newly-arisen domestic relations, while such limitations should not extend beyond the time required for their training. Children must never be compelled to actions which extend in their immediate consequences beyond this period of development, or even over the whole life. Hence, for example, they cannot be bound in the matter of marriage, or be obliged to follow any particular career. With the age of maturity the power of the parents must necessarily cease altogether. The duty of the parents, then, may be thus generally defined,—to put their children in a condition (partly by personal care for their physical and moral well-being, and partly by providing them with the necessary means) to choose a plan of life for themselves, while they are only restricted in that choice by the circumstances of their individual position; the duty of the children, on the other hand, consists in doing all that is necessary for the sufficient performance of that duty on the part of the parents. I shall not pause here to enumerate and examine in detail all that these respective duties comprehend. Such an examination belongs rather to a theory of legislation, and even in such could hardly be fully presented, seeing that it depends in great measure on the special circumstances of individual positions.