"False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction."
Cesare Beccaria
(1735-1794) [Bonesana, Marchese di] Italian nobleman, criminologist, and penal reformer
Dei delitti e delle pene, [On Crimes and Punishments] ch.38 (1764)
Translation is as quoted by Thomas Jefferson in his _Commonplace Book_, 314 (G. Chinard ed. 1926), which was "the source book and repertory of Jefferson's ideas on government." Id. at 4.
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Reader comments about this quote:
An astute in the obvious observation, but then what would all the socialist control freaks do without imaginary or trifling inconvenience.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 4
    Cars can run people over...so take away the cars. Knives stab people, better register those. Buses have been known to drive off the road...guess we should ban roads....and so goes "liberal" thinking... Yeah, Mike it's an obvious observation. So how come the hysterical left buries their collective heads in the sand in face of the ultra obvious?
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 4
    It is not just the left, Carlton. Under Bush Jr, the fascist police state got a huge boost. You would think that all the democrat voters would demand Obama roll back these draconian laws, but no, it seems that the Patriot Act and the Department of the Fatherland are just fine if there is a Democrat in office. And the Democratic Congress has shown that while they claim they are anti-war, they not only continue to wage war in the Middle East against nations that DID NOT DO ANYTHING to the US, they now support the Libyan rebels who are in fact listed as members of Al Qaeda! They just make it up as they go. The US invasion of Afghanistan is like China waging war on US soil because someone bombed a building in Bejing -- because America is 'harboring terrorists,' and China is going to find them, even if it means bombing the nation into dust. 7 of the 19 'terrorist' hijackers from 9-11 are in fact ALIVE and have NO connection to the events of that day. It is a lie, a false flag, and an undeniable fact that the official 9-11 story is a LIE used to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. Anyone who has spent 1 hour researching this can tell you this was an inside job -- who did it, we are not sure, but it wasn't Osama or 19 Saudi hijackers -- that is a provable fact. All evidence points to CIA black ops. Do your homework, if you dare. War is a Racket!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 4
    Archer, I'm all over it. And just an FYI...in my case, singling out the left for it's off the wall, undefinable, hysterical sense of morality isn't a defense of the corrupted right side of the aisle. The whole system needs a major fumigation to get the cockroaches out of the WH. Abolish the Federal Reserve and Restore the Republic. :)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 4
    good quote
     -- bob, asd     
  • 3
    Excellent quote! Do-gooder despots and control freaks would assuredly make sure to allegedly protect the public at large from getting burned or drowning ... by making sure that they (the despots) had complete overseer handling and ownership of both fire and water.
     -- Mary - MI     
    Mary-Mi , great reply.
     -- Jim K, Austin     
    Beautifully said! Unfortunately, there seems to be a self made movement towards the abyss. Fire and water will always exist, the question is, will we???

     -- Robert, Somewhere in the USA     
     -- Ronw13, ID      
    The boys and girls have done almost all the evils but we cannot destroy these creatures. We must recreate them. We must reinvent the children into men and women

     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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