A shy yet knowledgeable philosopher offering knowledge in a wide array of subjects with over thirty years of experience. Ideas are well known throughout Europe and have been endorsed by individuals such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Catherine the Great. Has a law degree but is also well versed in economics, criminology, mathematics, and science.
While shy, I do quite a good job of maintaining good relations with people of influence. After publishing On Crimes and Punishments, I did not initially credit myself with being the writer of the pamphlet because I felt that doing so might have caused European leaders to resent me. After seeing the positive response my pamphlet received, however, I chose to reveal myself and was able to, as a result, gain the admiration of powerful individuals such as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Catherine the Great. My cautious approach to public life allows me to to gain influence in public affairs when my ideas are received positively while also allowing me to avoid dangerous confrontations that might arise if my work is received negatively.
I have worked as part of a team in many projects throughout my life. Indeed, my good friends Pietro and Alessandro Verri worked with me a lot during the writing of On Crimes and Punishments, and I highly doubt that the pamphlet would not have been such a big success had it not been for their input.
I, along with my close friends Pietro and Alessandro Verri, founded the Academy of Fists in Milan in 1762. At the Academy I and many other Enlightenment thinkers discussed many subjects including economics, criminal justice, and governance. Indeed, our academy is dedicated to "waging relentless war against economic disorder, bureaucratic tyranny, religious narrow-mindedness, and intellectual pedantry." Had it not been for my friends and our enriching discussions at the academy I highly doubt I would have been able to accomplish as much as I have over the course of my life. As great as the academy is, I feel that my profile would be even greater if I had the nerve to go out and interact with the other great philosophes of Europe. I am, however, very shy and tend to falter when in the presence of a great number of people.
Though while in university I tended to be more interested in the subjects of math and science, after reading the works of men such as Montesquieu and Hume I began to also fall in love with economics. While it is not my best subject, through my reading on the subject and my discussions at the academy I was able to develop my own, fairly sophisticated views on economics. I feel that a country should do whatever it can to increase the welfare and happiness of its people, even if it means sacrificing some of said country's internal wealth. Indeed, mercantilism tends to limit a nation's well being more than it helps it. Tariffs, for example, when they are placed on goods that are highly valued by the people of a nation, are largely ineffective because they push individuals to being participating in smuggling in order to get said goods. Countries, therefore, would be better served if they were to either lower or eliminate tariffs altogether, since this would allow individuals to acquire the goods they want for the lowest price possible.
My best subject and the one I dedicate most of my energy to is criminology. Unfortunately, in Europe, most criminal justice systems are relics of a brutal, barbaric past that did not take into account the well being and nature of humans. Governments in the past and governments still today use the law and the tool of punishment as a means to crush dissent and to further strengthen their grips on power. Punishment is used not to facilitate societal improvement, rather it is used to take revenge on those who might have wronged society in some way. This in lies the main problem with most criminal justice systems: people are punished for acting on their own free will when they should instead be taught to and given the tools to avoid feeling the need to commit a crime in the first place. The primary goal of punishment should be to deter individuals from committing crimes, and the best way to do this is to ensure that the punishment is inflicted very soon after the crime is committed. If crime and punishment are close in proximity to one another, then this should lead one to more closely associate the two and, as a result, cause them to stop committing crimes. It is the swiftness rather than the severity of a punishment that causes the greatest amount of deterrence.
It is also very important for the punishments handed out by governments to match the severity of the crime they committed. The purpose of a law should be to benefit society and to promote virtue. Crimes that represent a breaking of the social contract such as treason, therefore, should be punished the most severely. Following treason on the list of crimes that should be punished harshly are acts of violence against other individuals since these crimes demand quite a significant amount of harsh punishment to be inflicted in order for the severity of the crime to be matched. Finally, crimes against property should be the the least severely punished since they are typically nonviolent and do not, therefore, usually threaten one's existence.
The most important part of a criminal justice system, though, lie not in the laws or punishments a government chooses to implement, rather it lies in the education and rewards a government gives its people. By educating and rewarding its people for good behavior, governments should find that people are less likely to commit crimes. An education should allow one to produce a good income, therefore, they should not be tempted to steal or to harm one's life or property. Rewards for good behavior, meanwhile, will, obviously, cause one to want to act virtuously rather than terribly since they know if they do that they will get be rewarded.
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