"Morals reformed - health preserved - industry invigorated, instruction diffused - public burthens lightened - Economy seated, as it were, upon a rock - the gordian knot of the Poor-Laws are not cut, but untied - all by a simple idea in Architecture!"
The Panopticon Writings
"A building circular... The prisoners in their cells, occupying the circumference—The officers in the centre. By blinds and other contrivances, the Inspectors concealed... from the observation of the prisoners: hence the sentiment of a sort of omnipresence—The whole circuit reviewable with little, or... without any, change of place. One station in the inspection part affording the most perfect view of every cell."
Proposal for a New and Less Expensive mode of Employing and Reforming Convicts (London, 1798)
The greatest happiness principle dictates the construction, not of prisons, but the secular equivalent of Heaven-on-Earth. When harnessed to biotechnology, this utopian-sounding vision is feasible - albeit implausible. Yet the ideological obstacles to global happiness may prove greater than the practical challenges: the
contemporary utilitarian project needs more visually compelling symbols than an image of discipline and punishment. On utilitarian grounds, the Panopticon is perhaps best forgotten.