There are three different methods recorded in history to make choice from. One is the French law of partition of family property among all children alike—an expedient which deserves no higher commendation than that it is better than the feudal system of disinheriting all the children but one. A second method which suggests itself with higher reason on its side, is a limitation of the amount of land that any single individual shall take by inheritance. Such a measure, however shocking to present proprietary sentiments, not diminish the real happiness, it may safely be asserted, of one human being in the next generation; nor can it be confidently pronounced that the mischief resulting from the long retention of a restriction of a different kind upon the possession of land may not yet be found such that some such measure will be of necessity adopted, to make room for the natural increase of population. But it would be a remedy which only a violent revolution could at present accomplish. . . . . . And if neither the French system of partition nor the agrarian system of the Gracchi is to be our model, . . . . . we may yet find a model in the general tendency of English law reform since the system was established which first limited property in land to a particular line of descent in a particular number of families; for that end depriving each successive proprietor of the chief uses of property itself. The feudal landowner forfeited the right to sell his own land, to leave it by will, to let it securely, to provide for his family out of it, to subject it to the payment of his debts; he forfeited, therefore, the chief rights of property, taking only in exchange a right to confiscate the property of his tenants.
Here, then, are two theories of justice arrayed against each other in order of battle: theories differing in their first principles, markedly opposed in their conclusions, and both of them doctrines claiming to command assent by their own light—to be evident by simple intuition: a pretension which, as the two are perfectly inconsistent, must, in the case of one or other of them, be unfounded, and may be so in the case of both. Such conflicts in the domain of ethics are highly instructive, but their value is chiefly negative; the principal use of each of the contrary theories is to destroy the other. Those who cherish any one of the numerous systems of moral duty, may learn from such controversies how plausible a case may be made for other systems repugnant to their own; and the adepts of each may discover, that while the maxims or axioms from which they severally set out are all of them good, each in its proper place, yet what that proper place is, can only be decided, not by mental intuition, but by the thoroughly practical consideration of consequences; in other words, by the general interest of society and mankind, mental and bodily, intellectual, emotional, and physical, taken together. Mr. Thornton seems to admit the general happiness as the criterion of social virtue, but not of positive duty—not of justice and injustice in the strict sense: and he imagines that it is in making a distinction between these two ideas that his doctrine differs from that of utilitarian moralists. But this is not the case. Utilitarian morality fully recognises the distinction between the province of positive duty and that of virtue, but maintains that the standard and rule of both is the general interest. From the utilitarian point of view, the distinction between them is the following:—There are many acts, and a still greater number of forbearances, the perpetual practice of which by all is so necessary to the general well-being, that people must be held to it compulsorily, either by law, or by social pressure. These acts and forbearances constitute duty. Outside these bounds there is the innumerable variety of modes in which the acts of human beings are either a cause, or a hindrance, of good to their fellow-creatures, but in regard to which it is, on the whole, for the general interest that they should be left free; being merely encouraged, by praise and honour, to the performance of such beneficial actions as are not sufficiently stimulated by benefits flowing from them to the agent himself. This larger sphere is that of Merit or Virtue.
Shock Doctrines As The Capitalism Disaster Politics Essay
We have seen that even given the attribution of distinct functions to separate agencies there still arises the problem of personnel. Should the personnel of the agencies be quite distinct, or should a degree of overlapping be allowed, or does it not matter at all? Montesquieu is less clear on this point than on the other elements, although there are strong indications of his line of thought. When writing of monarchy he does not envisage a separation of legislative and executive functions in practice, so the question of personnel does not arise; however, he does express shock at the idea that royal ministers should also sit as judges. There is, he says, a sort of “contradiction” between the prince’s council and the courts of judicature. The former requires a certain passion in the conduct of its affairs by a few men who identify themselves with its business, whereas the courts demand a certain “sang-froid” and a measure of indifference on the part of the judges. Once again we have this emphasis upon the impartiality of the judiciary. In his discussion of the judiciary in Book XI, he is less explicit, but the nature of the selection of the judges, or rather juries, is such that the problem of whether or not they should simultaneously be legislators, or in the service of the king, hardly seems to arise. These ad hoc juries are so impermanent that the problem of the overlapping of membership with the more professional and permanent members of the other branches does not arise.