Jeremy Bentham, The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number: Section II. First Principles Enumerated — The Proper End of Government

The right and proper end of government in every political community, is the greatest happiness of all the individuals of which it is composed, say, in other words, the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

In speaking of the correspondent first principle, call it the greatest-happiness principle.

In speaking of this end of government, call it the right and proper end of government.

The actual end of government is, in every political community, the greatest happiness of those, whether one or many, by whom the powers of government are exercised.

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Jeremy Bentham (1748 to 1832) was a British philosopher and jurist. He is regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism, an ethical philosophy. He is also known for a prison design called the Panopticon, and a passionate defense of usury.