19 September 2007

The Right Honorable Ms. Jezebel DeLay

Jeremy Bentham, 1748 - 1832, was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He argued in favour of individual and economic freedom, including separation of church and state, freedom of expression, equal rights for women, etc. He was a quite a heavyweight in his day.

I recently had reason to be reading up on juries, and came across this fabulous quote from Mr. Bentham. I've adjusted the language to be a little more contemporary.

"Is appointing judges from bar associations not exactly the same as appointing school-mistresses and governesses from brothels?"


Anonymous said...

While I appreciate the humor of Mr. Bentham's analogy, I must point out that it has a fundamental flaw.
While it is true that both the prostitute in the brothel and the lawyer both screw their clients, usually the client in the brothel desires to get screwed and is happy about it.

Selecting a teacher from a brothel makes far more sense. Both are in "service" professions and work for the overall benefit of their clients.

Lawyers, on the other hand, are in it for their own financial and political benefit rather than that of their client. If they were, as Mr. Bentham seems to allude in the 1800s, the same kind of self-serving scalawags they are today it seems that his analogy falls apart.

And, to be frank, I am certain a large percentage of the adolescent male readers of your esteemed publication might be appalled by the idea of selecting judges from the depths of the bar, but see no problem at all with recruiting their teachers from a brothel!

Ty Griffin said...

I think Mr. Bentham's point, or at least how I interpreted it, was that the moral fiber and personal integrity of the two groups--bar associations and brothels--were comparable. But I suppose you're right in that seeing the screwing aspect as the essential component of the quote would be the most likely interpretation of our adolescent male readers.

Anonymous said...

After several recent news items about teacher-student romances, I think perhaps we could conclude that some teachers also have the moral fiber and personal integrity of lawyers and prostitutes since they, too, are screwing their clients"