This study of penal power reinforces the importance Scott places on the liberal mechanics of self-interest. However, it has sought to demonstrate through the evidence of the penal sphere that the colonial governmental project, at least as it was instantiated in India, was always a polyvalent enterprise, and perhaps distinctly more so than its metropolitan counterpart. The rule or principle at stake here was the British belief that the legitimacy of their tenure in India and of British power more generally rested upon the rule of law and all it would bring, from safety and security to development and prosperity. The brief attention given in this study to the legislative history of whipping illustrates also how complex that blending of modalities of power into a broader colonial governmentality was. The criminal tribes studied here continually frustrated British efforts to constitute them as economic subjects.