I'm just started writing a book of undermined length. I'm calling it The New Prince ("Novus Princeps" to separate it from the cynical Dick Morris book.) It of course is drawn from the thinker Machiavelli to a degree, but it's not about how to take and keep power, but how to do the right thing by people.
Pretty much its about becoming a better person, "A New Prince." Prince being defined in the Roman sense as "first in time or order; the first, chief, the most eminent, distinguished, or noble; the first man, first person." It's pretty much about how to do what you can to be the best person you can be. It's designed around the idea of being the benign dictator in your own life and to do the right thing and make the best decisions. It's written as though it's about being a leader of a country, but the knowledge is more broadly applicable (like Machiavelli's satire can be useful in may different fields.)
I'm writing a chapter on the use of punishment. I've defined Punishment as eight different classes of acts designed to create justice and then I pick apart at them to see what are moral, ethical, and can actually be used.
Shame: The embarassing of a person before society.
Fine: The siezure of property.
Exile: The removal of a person from a given society.
Imprisonment: The removal of a person from society in general.
Indenture: The act of making a person work for no gain.
Corporal Punishment: The infliction of pain without lasting physical consequences.
Severe Corporal Punishment: The infliction of pain with lasting physical consequences.
Capital Punishment: Execution.
I have my own opinions, and I won't share the stuff I'm putting in my book, but want to discuss the pros and cons of this stuff.