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"A principal source of errors and injustice are false ideas of utility. For example: that legislator has false ideas of utility who considers particular more than general conveniencies, who had rather command the sentiments of mankind than excite them, who dares say to reason, 'Be thou a slave;' who would sacrifice a thousand real advantages to the fear of an imaginary or trifling inconvenience; who would deprive men of the use of fire for fear of their being burnt, and of water for fear of their being drowned; and who knows of no means of preventing evil but by destroying it."
Cesare Beccaria (more quotes by Cesare Beccaria or books by/about 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_, 1809 Edition, which was "the source book and repertory of Jefferson's ideas on government."
Courage, Crime, Justice, Knowledge, Politics, Power, Propaganda, Reason, Responsibility, Rights, Security, Terrorism, Truth, Tyranny