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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

SUBJECT-MATTER  OF LAW AND ADMINISTRATION.    431
licenses put a man under bonds ; he applies for a certain per-
mission, and comes under certain obligations when he receives
it; if he does what is not included in the license, he cannot
complain of the consequences; others who observe the law
will not sympathize with one who tried to increase his business
at their cost by his illegality; and so the license law will not
excite much ill-blood as being a violation of freedom. Nor
will the power of rejecting unsuitable candidates for a license
be a cause of much complaint either in society or among the
privileged dealers. Still it partakes of the nature of a mo-
nopoly which is odious under free institutions, and it may be
so difficult of enforcement and so much disrelished by a
portion of a community, that it will become in the hands of
the enforcing officers a dead letter.
3.  The sale of obscene books and pictures is generally and
justly prohibited.    Here there is only indirect harm to the
community from the evil wrought on the individual, and the
moral aim of this prohibition, especially the desire to keep
the young from corruption, is apparent.    The same is true
of indecent exhibitions of the person.    It might be asked why
immoral books also should not expose the publisher to a fine,
and with the more reason because immoral histories of guilty
passion, intended merely to please, may be made more seduc-
tive than obscene pictures ever can be.    Works of art repre-
sent the event of a moment; but a skilfully written book can
present the progress  of wrong desire in such colors,  with
such excuses, with such representations of the fatality of hu-
man beings under temptation, as to work corruption in the
soul for a lifetime.    But the difficulty of drawing lines here
would make legislation almost impossible.
4.   Cruelty to animals.    We have already had occasion to
speak of the laws against this class of acts, as dictated by hu-
manity, by the feeling which revolts against and condemns
all kinds of cruelty towards domestic animals, whether it be
that of overburdening their capacity to draw or carry, of pun-
ishing them savagely in anger, of withholding from them
necessary-subsistence, of heartlessly neglecting to provide for