This chapter presents the English translation of Section 6 of Fukuzawa Yukichi’s text Gakumon no susume (An Encouragement of Learning). Here Fuukuzawa talks about the importance of national laws. He says that since the people have contracted to entrust the authority of the law to the government, they must not violate the terms of that contract by disobeying the law. It is the right of the government to arrest and execute a murderer, to arrest and put a robber in prison, as well as to settle lawsuits, to prevent violence and disputes. The people must not interfere with these prerogatives to any degree. If, in ignorance of this principle, a person should take it upon himself privately to execute a murderer or to arrest and lash a robber, it would be rendering a private decision on the other person’s crime as well as violating the law of the land. This is called a private punishment, the crime of which is unpardonable.
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