No. 126

Crimes of Theorists

   T. R. Young
The Red Feather Institute




This paper has the same title as an article co-authored with Bruce Arrigo; that article is very different in that it focuses upon the contributions of new theories.


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In the 21st Century

     An overview of a social democratic approach to crime and
     justice is set forth.  The paper offers a brief critique of
     theory in American criminology in Part I as well as a
     critique of the distorted ways in which American criminology
     permits crime to be defined in Part II.  Part III sets forth
     several theses and propositions on the origins of crime in a
     variety of modes of production emphasizing the social
     sources of crime in capitalist systems.  This section also
     lays out the parallel justice systems which protect sectors
     of the capitalist economy from the criminal justice system. 
     The final section reviews some features of low crime
     societies and suggests radical changes in social policy
     which might be helpful as policy guides in the 21st Century. 


     There are several theoretical perspectives, each with
variable validity which are used in American criminology to
explain to the student and the citizen how to understand the
dynamics of  crime.  Most of these theories are conservative in
that they locate the dynamics of crime in personal or
interpersonal characteristics and, thus, exclude dominant social
institutions from critical investigation and policy
considerations.  Some of the major theories in American
criminology are not at all theories of crime as such but rather
philosophies of socialization and of social interaction.  They
may well give insight into both prosocial and antisocial
behavior; they are valid under most social conditions found in
everyday life but, even so are not theories of crime.  Some,
including those which have some truth value are criminal in a
structural sort of way; they institutionalize the conditions
which drive men, women and children into crime as a way to cope
with the great dislocations of racism, of gender inequality and
of class inequality.

Differential Association Theory    Of the major theories of crime
differential association theory (D.A.T.) is, perhaps, the most
commonly used perspective.  D.A.T. adumbrates both criminal
behavior and prosocial behavior...it reveals how social power
arises and is deployed but it does not explain why some behavior
is criminal and other behavior prosocial.  D.A.T. cannot be a
theory of crime since it is also a theory of all kinds of
socialization, learning and mutual influence in role
     Physicians differentially associate with medical school
professors, residents, interns, nurses and ill people. 
Physicians are constructed by and organize their behavior as if
they were physicians through and only through such interaction.
One cannot be a "physician outside such a social life world.
D.A.T. is a theory of socialization generally. 
     D.A.T. avoids the question of why other young men and women
with whom the criminal is associating are engaging in crime in
the first place.  Still less does it tell us why the total
population of criminals increases and decreases in a given
society or vary greatly in size across societies.  So while it is
true that D.A.T. is important to the organization of criminal
behavior it may not be used in a special theory of crime.  That
which is a constant across human behavior generally may not be
adduced as a theory special to one form of human behavior. 

Labelling and Societal Reaction Theories     The same is true for
labelling theory and societal reaction theory.  Both are valid
theories of social interaction.  People labelled as thieves,
prostitutes and criminals usually are, in reaction to such
labels, more like to behave in ways compatible with those labels. 
But the same is true for doctors, police as well as
     Oliver North and his accomplices were not labelled
murderers, assassins or thugs.  They were labelled heros and
officers.  They did not become thugs by reacting to societal
pressures...they tried their best to keep their crimes hidden
from the public since they knew that the social pressure would
prevent them from committing crime.
     There are additional disqualifiers of labelling theory as a
special theory of crime.  Many people who routinely commit crime
are never so labelled, never associate differentially with such
criminals and still do crime.  Political criminals, corporate
criminals and white criminals are not so labelled and still
systematically engage in crime over their careers.  Yet again
many people do not accept labels nor do they organize their
behavior in ways consonant with labels even under the most
difficult circumstances.  I have in mind ethnic groups some
members of which resist labelling -- "jews, niggers, wops,
polacks, and japs."  Such people try to maintain their dignity in
spite of such labelling practices.

Control Theory      Control theory cannot be a theory of crime
since, in terms of the research design theory, it does not
predict, uniquely, upon criminal behavior.  In the political
crime of F.B.I. agents, C.I.A. agents, the military as well as
corporate officers and organized crime employees, there are
goals, rules, sanctions, hearings, adjudications, rewards,
promotions: in a word, all the elements of social control exist!!
     When Oliver North broke the laws of several countries
including those of the USA, he was not out of control.  He was
under the control of William Casey, the Director of the C.I.A. 
Casey himself was in constant contact with Mr. Reagan.  Both
North and Casey worked out of a set of shared values both knew
clearly and both enacted in order to advance the policy of Mr.
Reagan.  That policy required the violation of several kinds of
     People in political crime, organized crime, white collar
crime or in most street crime are not left loose on their own and
drift into crime because social controls have broken down. 
Certainly corporate criminals are firmly under the control of the
top executive officers.  If one does not commit corporate crime,
one replaced as soon as possible.  Control theory is doubly a
mystification since the theory is used as an apology for a police
state in which the crimes of the poor are policed differentially. 
This policing is at the expense of the collective interest in a
society safe from the predations of the powerful and oriented to
democratic processes and the civil rights necessary to democracy. 

Culture of Poverty
     Poverty cannot be adduced as a cause of crime in as much as
there are many very poor societies with very little crime. 
People in China, in the Muslim societies, as well as most poor
people in the U.S. do not commit crime.  On the other hand rich
people routinely commit crime in both rich and poor societies. 
Studies of corporate crime and white collar crime find such
behavior endemic.  Where there is poverty and where community or
social solidarity is strongly supported, as in religious or
socialist societies, the relationship between poverty and crime
     The biggest crimes are committed by the rich.  Doctors
overcut and overbill in order to increase their portfolio. 
Corporations pollution, bribe, violate labor laws, safety laws
and money exchange laws in order to increase profits.  Some 30 to
50% of us middle class professionals will cheat on our income tax
reports as we file them this year. 

Cross Cultural Comparisons    There are low-crime societies with
all the same factors currently used to explain high crime rates. 
Switzerland and China are cases in point; they are low crime
societies.  Differential association, labelling processes,
controls, ethnic diversity occur both in high crime and in low
crime societies.  The U.S.A. and India are cases in point; one is
a high crime society with differential associations, labelling
processes, a lot of control and ethnic diversity.  India has much
lower crime rates with the same processes at work...and
incredibly poor to boot.
     A good theory of crime must have "causes" which vary with
criminal behavior, must be uniquely associated with the form of
crime under examination and must be useful to lower crime rates
as social policy is based on them.  We will return to this point
                    If criminology is to develop better theory,
                    it must first develop a better conceptual
                    apparatus and a better research process with
                    which to apprehend crime. 

RESEARCH DESIGN FOR THE 21st CENTURY    The research capacity for
generating the forms of information essential to a rational and
decent society is lacking.  In this paper, by research I mean the
whole process by which knowledge is generated, distributed, and
integrated into a public opinion policy process.  By research, I
mean a knowledge process that reaches across time and across
cultures to provide the fullest possible picture of how a social
unit is operating.  By research, I mean the macro-theoretical
structure into which the data best fit.  By research, I mean the
actual integration of findings about crime into the very fabric
of society through experimental programs and the continuous
evaluation of how those programs mediate crime rates.
     Every society needs three generic kinds of knowledge with
which to reflect upon its own behavior and to come into 
democratic control of that behavior.  Presently, we pick out
fragments of data, fragments of insight about crime and justice
while we pass by most kinds of crime and neglect the larger
context in which crime occurs.  I suggest a research agenda for
the 21st Century in the last section of this paper.

PART II. THE CONCEPT OF CRIME.     There are major problems with
the present concept of crime as the intentional violation of a
legal specification carrying a penalty.  A better concept with
which to grasp the harm done to the human project is essential to
criminology in the 21st Century.  I will suggest a standard
against which such definitions of crime are measured.
Some of the more pressing defects in conceptualizations are:
     1.   The absence of a trans-societal, trans-political base
          for conceptualizing crime.  
          A value full definition of crime would include those
          acts harmful to the human process.  The radical
          liberalism of bourgeois criminology must be reviewed.     
          Racism, sexism, authoritarianism as well as the
          distortions of class privilege become crime under this
          approach.  Prostitution, pornography and abusive drug
          use are crimes that impair the human project.
     2.   A second major failing of contemporary criminology is
          the practice of defining the individual person as the
          unit of theoretical analysis.  
          A sociological approach to crime sets social relations,
          social practices, social organizations as the unit of
          theoretical concern.  There is, here, an assumption
          that the unit of criminal action is as much a social
          relationship or a social institution as it is a given
          discrete individual person. 
          The single individual, acting alone, creating crime
          alone is unknown in the real world.  If D.A.T. teaches
          anything, it teaches us that the behavior of people
          arises within social forms.
     3.   A third major problem with current definitions of crime
          are their political distortions.
          Whoever controls the law-making apparatus controls the
          defining process.  Slave masters, feudal lords,
          capitalist stockholders, nationalists, as well as
          racists, sexists, and bureaucratic elites all distort
          the concept of crime and justice to reproduce and
          extend their own special advantages at the terrible
          expense of workers, women, minorities and colonial
     4.   A fourth failing of the conventional definition of
          crime is that it tends to prohibit emancipatory action. 
          Acts labelled presently as crime may be emancipatory.  
          Most rebellions and revolutions have been labelled as
          crime until they were won...then they were relabelled
          as emancipatory acts...whether so or not.
     One must use more than legal specifications of crime and
only legal prohibitions of activity as the basis of theories and
concepts of crime else one blind oneself to much injustice.  I
will end this section by suggesting a standard against which to
measure the adequacy of definitions.
A Standard:    All definitions of crime must be oriented to those
               human rights and human obligations which work to
               create a rational and decent society.  Praxis as
               well as respect for the physical and cultural
               environment are the heart and soul of prosocial
               behavior; crime, its antithesis.

PART III.  THEORY FOR THE 21st CENTURY       The theses and
propositions set out below encompass the dynamics of crime from
the perspective of democratic socialism.  The most general thesis
is that crime is a result of unjust conditions in society. 
Political crime, corporate crime, and some street crime are
committed to create and maintain injustice.  Most street crime,
white collar crime as well as some organized crime are committed
to accommodate to the dynamics of capitalism.  Some political
crime is committed to oppose injustice.  
[Note: this article was written before the new sciences of Chaos and
Complexity reached my attention.  Since then, I have done a great deal
of work on the non-linear dynamics of crime.  Those are presented else
where in the journal].
THESIS 1. Crime Rates and Forms of crime vary with Mode of       
     This is the central organizing principle of Democratic
     socialist theory. Ways of thinking, acting and creating
     culture vary with the mode of production of a society. 
     Crime is but one way to create culture; it is also shaped,
     in general terms, by the prevailing mode of
     production...especially the relations which people have to
     the means of production.
     In egalitarian, collectivized societies everyone has a
secure and significant relationship to the means of production as
well as to the means of distribution.  One's material wants are
determined, in part, by the kind of culture produced in that
society and one is provided the resources needed for the role
allotted one in that production of culture.  One's relationship
to the means of production of culture is set by the logics of
that mode--not by genes or individual purpose.  In societies
where the mode of production is organized to exclude persons from
either the production of material and ideological culture or from
the means of distribution of essential cultural resources, one
can expect crime rates to increase.  
     There have been five generic modes of production in human
history each of which has had its own forms of crime and its own
rates of crime.  The mode of production most common in human time
and space has been a primitive communism. 
A.   Primitive Communism.     The means of production are
     collectively owned therefore there is no concept of theft. 
     Most tribes and bands hold themselves to be part of nature
     rather than the owners of trees, lands, animals, or waters.  
     Each person is expected to produce on the basis of full
ability (although ability often is limited by gender and caste
divisions and thus alienating).  The notion of privileged usage
of personal items exists.  Clothing, adornments, tools and space
may be, temporarily or primarily, used by one person, but the
notion of private owner- ship with its exclusionary conditions:
the right to use, the right to abuse and the sole right to the
fruits of production are nonsense notions in this social
     Tribes do claim territory from which other tribes may be
excluded.  In such societies, one cannot steal fruits from trees,
steal food from family or take insects from another.  The notion
of theft is a nonsense notion in communal society.  The sky, land
and water belong to no one person.  
     There is occasional murder and violation of sexual rules as
well as blasphemy but organized, career criminality is unknown. 
Political crime, and white collar or organized crime are unknown. 
Communal societies are low crime societies.   To the extent that
other tribes ar viewed as nonhuman, there is predatory theft,
murder and rape against outsiders but only rarely within the
structure of community.  
B.   Feudalism.  Feudality begins with violence and survives by
     violence.  It is a system of political and predatory crime
     in which an elite claims ownership to whole towns, provinces
     and peoples.  A predatory band imposes its hegemony upon
     communal society and extracts surplus value from communities
     for a privileged life style.  Whoever says feudality says
     political and economic crime.  
     A law-making apparatus and a law-enforcing apparatus is
needed to preserve such exploitative relations.  The law-making
apparatus is personal and the law enforcing apparatus is private
to the feudal lords but both are necessary and both are held in
contempt by the subjects of feudal or colonial rule.  
     In feudality, formal law arises to displace folkways
controlling the distribution of surplus value.  The kinds of
crime defined by feudal lords include withholding of feudal fees
and services, leaving the land or hiding animals and crops from
the "shire reeve" or hunting animals in the feudal domain.  Such
laws separate people from the means of production on the one hand
and lock them into a forced labor system on the other.  
     Crime also encompasses deviations from deference patterns in
speech, body or clothing conventions.  One may be legally beaten
for insolent looks or words in that they challenge the hegemony
of the aristocracy.  One must bow and scrape, salute and look
away in such a society.  One must accept degradations, pass them
on to one's children and accept a religious ideology which
sanctifies such degradation.  That is the law.  The nature, focus
and incident of crime as well as law are shaped by this mode of
C.    Slavery.  Throughout history, predatory economics has
     appropriated the labor of one tribe to use of another. 
     Sometimes this entails raiding parties as in the case of the
     Vikings and sometimes it entails the taking of slaves as in
     the case of Turks, Greeks, Spaniards, Arabs as well as
     Jewish tribes.  
     Both slave and slavemaster have secure and significant
relationships to the means of production of material culture with
a great inequality in the distribution of resources.  However
from birth 'until death the slave is, in principle, assured of
the necessities for the reproduction of its labor power.  In the
production of ideological culture, the slavemaster reigns. 
Therein lies the greater crime.  The potentialities of human
beings are alienated to a iniquitous mode of production.  
     The slave master cannot steal the means of production. 
Land, tools, clothing, buildings, livestock and artifacts are the
property of the slave master even as they are used by the slave. 
The slavemaster takes what he wishes as he wishes.  Some petty
theft, some flight from slavery as well as occasional violence
within the slave population occurs but the kind of crime found in
capitalist societies is inconceivable.  In slavery the mode of
production is the central criminal process.  All else is
D.  Capitalism.     A capitalist mode of production exists when
the means of production are owned by private persons or parties. 
If there is a claim to ownership of land, tools, or labor...to
the factors of production; and if that ownership claim is
effective by law, custom, or force, then capitalism exists.  
Capitalism defines a relationship to the means of production that
is very different for other modes of production as you will see.
               Capitalism is, arguably, the most progressive mode
               of production found in human history to date.  Its
               many positivities include remarkable productivity,
               creativity, liberality, flexibility, its energy
               and vigor.  But it does have negativities which
               lead directly to crime.
Capitalism is the only mode of production that separates people
from production and distribution.  Profit is the wedge that
splits the economy into two sectors.  Goods are produced but not
distributed to a "consumer" unless the "owner" can make a profit. 
In all other modes of production, resources are produced for the
sole reason of distribution and redistribution to members of a
social unit.  One produces food in order that one's family and
friends may eat.  One produces housing for the immediate use of a
family or a solidarity.  
     There is no other mode of production which systematically
excludes people from productive labor.  There is no other
economic system which withholds food, housing, clothing or health
care from those who need it when there is abundance.  Much crime
is committed by rich and poor alike in the attempt to reunite
production and distribution with the least cost or effort to the
individual.  There are other features of capitalism which promote
different kinds of crime.  These are treated in the propositions
E.   Socialism.  In socialist formations, the state holds title
     to the means of production and guarantees the distribution
     of those supplies necessary to the production and
     reproduction of cultural life.  
     The accomplishments of socialist modes of production since
1917 are impressive when those societies are left in peace to
develop.  Housing, health care, education, transport, child care
and a slow deterioration of the ancient inequalities of gender,
ethnicity and class are among the indisputable achievements of
socialist formations.    
     There are serious flaws in socialist formulations, however. 
There is the tendency of state functionaries to control the means
of production and to repress the production of ideological
culture, especially politically significant culture.  If the
relations of distribution are better than in the capitalist
system, relations of production are greatly distorted.  If the
bureaucrats are incompetent, everyone suffers.  If they are
dishonest, everyone suffers.  If they have priorities for the
distribution of surplus value that endangers workers, the whole
system may collapse.
     Elite control of political life is a gross violation of the
need of people to produce their own, historically located
politics.  The imposition of laws, policies, programs, projects,
and institutions from a remote governing agency is a substantive
crime.  People are alienated from the production of institutions,
roles, relationships, and from significant sectors of similarly
situated others with whom they well might learn, might respond
and might cooperate in some of the most fundamentally human labor
to be done.  In art, science, religion, literature, music and
work, there is a pervasive deadening of the spirit by a
centralized bureaucracy...apart from the competence or intentions
of the bureaucratic elites.
     With small exception whoever says socialism says bureaucracy
with its concentrations of power and its politics of exclusion. 
Whatever the justifications for bureaucratic socialism (and there
are justifications) still the human project suffers.  
THESIS 2  The Ordinary Day to Day Operations of Capitalism tends
          to Produce Crime.  
The five kinds of crime promoted by capitalist relations are,
arguably, in ascending order of social harm:
          *Political Crime
          *Corporate Crime
          *Organized Crime
          *Street Crime
          *white collar crime
The dynamics of capitalism which tend to promote these kinds of
crime are set forth in the propositions below.  Not all of the
criminogenic features of capitalism are included, but the major
sources of crime are set forth and explained a bit.  Here are the
major features of capitalism which promote crime set forth in the
form of propositions:
A.  Capitalism Tends to Disemploy People.    
     The tendency to disemploy people derives from the fact that
profit objectives determine employment policy.  Profit requires a
reduction of the costs of production.  One way is disemployment. 
This tends to fuel corporate crime as well as street crime.
     Of all the major cost factors at the point of production,
only labor costs can be reduced without immediate threat to other
capitalist sectors.  Supplies and raw materials are owned by
other capitalists who resist reduction of their own profits.  It
is the labor force which offers the greatest potential for
reduction of costs and thus increase in profits as long as there
is a reserve army of the disemployed.  There is a built in
tendency in capitalism to replace workers, to lay them off, or to
get more productivity out of the existing workforce.  
     This tendency fuels the quest for a better means  of
production but it wreaks havoc on the relations of production for
those disemployed by technology.  In response to the drive to
reduce labor costs, the long range tendency is to increase
productivity with machinery and thus evade labor costs.     Other
tactics to reduce labor cost include:
     1.   Replacement of workers who demand jobs at equitable pay
          and humane working conditions.  Children, women,
          Blacks, and other minority groups have been used to
          drive down wages.  Any form of discrimination which
          justifies lower pay creates, in the same instance, a
          reserve labor force to compete with the established
          work force.  
     2.   Depressions involve the reduction of production until
          demand builds up.  In a depression, the labor pool
          increases and wages drop.  There are two economic
          cycles to watch in the dynamics of crime:  minicycles
          lasting from 3 to 5 years and kondratieff waves which
          come about 30 to 50 years apart.  
     3.   Migrations of capital and of people can be used to get
          lower wages.  Millions of poor people pour into the USA
          to get work.  They increase the labor pool.  Capital is
          invested where labor costs are lower.
     At present, in a population of 240 million, only 110 million
people work at paid labor.  Some 130 million must reunite
production and distribution by some other method.  There are
several important parallel systems of distribution; Crime is one.
B.   Capitalism Requires Parallel, 
     Non-capitalist Systems of Redistribution.  
     When one does not own the means of production or when one is
disemployed one must find some means to reunite production and
distribution.  There are several generic solutions all of which
require one to establish a relationship to a non-capitalist
system of distribution.  Capitalism could not survive without the
non-capitalist economic systems below:
          *the family
          *the welfare state
          *private charity
Family.   A great deal of production and distribution in all
societies is within the communal economics of family life:
Production for use rather than profit; use on the basis of need
rather than profit.  But many families cannot supply all its
members with all their wants and needs especially if the adult
members are out of work.  
The Welfare State   In a politically responsive capitalist
society, the state itself taxes those who can find work and
redistributes basic resources on the basis of need.  That
redistribution is often meager and mean-spirited but is important
to the millions of women, children and elderly people who must
survive on the margins of the capitalist economy.  
Private Charity     Private charity also provides for
redistribution outside capitalist dynamics of profit and market
exchange.  Church groups, public agencies and nonprofit
organizations solicit funds and donations.  These are
redistributed on the basis of need after overhead expenses are
met.  United Way, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army and
thousands of other groups give away billions.  Without the
family, the state and private charity, capitalism could not
survive its legitimacy problems.  
Crime     Finally, there is crime as a parallel, non-capitalist
system of redistribution.  Estimates vary but some say 8 to 25%
of the gross national product involves crime.  Robbery, burglary,
theft, mugging and extortion constitute the forcible
reunification of production and distribution.  White collar
crime, organized crime and corporate crime abuse economic power
and social power while they exploit the alienated sexuality and
the alienated politics of a poorly organized society.
     In crime, there is little exchange, small pretence at
reciprocity, and only the most superficial of social
relationships.  The means of production include weapons, violence
and coercion.  
     In brief, the tendency of capitalism to disemploy people
creates several parallel economic systems.  One such system is
street crime defined as the forcible reunification of production
and distribution for those for whom the economy does not work
well enough to meet real and false needs.  
C.   Capitalism Separates Capitalists 
     from the Means of Production.  
     Both capitalism and feudality are organized in such a way as
     to encourage perpetual warfare: large producers tend to
     eliminate small producers.  The process is not well known
     nor widely used in a theory of crime.  Much crime is
     generated in the effort to eliminate competition; more is
     generated in the effort to stay in business.
     Much corporate crime and petty bourgeois crime is oriented
to the reunification of production and distribution on terms
favorable to profit.  Unable to use or sell 100% of the wealth
produced, the capitalists must generate demand and generate
profits.  They do so by several criminal tactics:
     1.   They take markets from other capitalists by bribery, 
	  by  import quotas or by law.  Corporations which build
          airplanes and tanks in the U.S. bribe foreign and
          domestic buyers.  In Belgium, Japan, and in the
          Pentagon, government officials have been bribed to buy
          Lockheed, Boeing and General Dynamics products.  Fair
          trade laws eliminate competition.
     2.   Wars.  Wars are used also to dominate foreign markets
          at the expense of other foreign capitalist firms.  War
          is the crime of last resort for capitalism.  Wars of
          colonial domination and of colonial liberation arise as
          one nation tries to monopolize the markets, raw
          materials and cheap labor of another country for the
          benefit of its capitalists and workers.
     3.   Political Subversion.  Multinational corporations,
          including American, must pervert the political process
          in other countries in order to buy, sell and repatriate
     4.   Fraud.  Many small businesses routinely cheat
          customers, suppliers, government agencies, and workers
          in the effort to stay in business in the face of
          competition from larger firms.
     5.   Multinational corporations produce and sell high profit
          goods in the poorest countries in the world thus
          distorting the local economies and extracting surplus
          value to be repatriated to the richest countries in the
          world.  In the Democratic socialist concept of crime,
          this is criminal.   
     This is the nature of the capitalist system that produces
more than workers as a class can buy back.  Corporate crime
arises, in part, in the effort to sell surplus production and
thus realize profits.  Capitalist corporations disobey worker
safety laws, product safety laws, environmental protection laws,
tax laws, and import quotas to avoid bankruptcy.  Capitalists use
and discard workers, cheat customers and abandon communities to
survive.  They fix prices, bribe legislators and use fraudulent
D.   Capitalism Must Create False Needs in order to create demand
     and thus, realize Profits.  
     Disemployed workers cannot buy surplus production. 
     Underpaid workers can't buy all the surplus product.  Many
     retired workers have little discretionary income with which
     to absorb the surplus food, housing, health care, transport,
     or clothing produced.  People in other economic niches do
     have surplus income to spend.  Many capitalists absorb great
     amounts of resources.  Many workers have discretionary
     income.  They could absorb a lot more than they need.   Some
     criminals have discretionary income.
     Layer upon layer of false needs are created by a
multi-billion dollar advertising industry.  In addition to the
distortions of the economy created by advertising, in addition to
the creation of hundreds of thousands of unproductive workers, in
addition to the misuse of the media or the debasement of art
forms, the creation of false needs increases crime.  
     Children, the disemployed, the marginally employed as well
as the staid middle class professional are exhorted to consume on
the basis of psychological want rather than on the basis of
interpersonal and social need.  The children of the lower
classes, the excluded minorities as well as the disemployed young
males who internalize these false needs and do what needs to be
done to satisfy them.  
     Young urban underclass males rob, mug, steal and hustle to
generate income to purchase the goods advertised.  Young urban
underclass girls, mostly minority girls, prostitute themselves,
shoplift, write bad checks and join their male counterparts in
mugging, hustling, and stealing.   Part of the proceeds from
street crime go to purchase the basics of life and part of the
proceeds go to purchase the falsities of advertising campaigns.  
     The middle class also internalizes the false needs of
advertising.  Middle class professionals steal from the
corporation for which they work in order to consume high profit,
high energy, capital intensive, high status goods and services. 
Doctors, lawyers, brokers, accountants, executives steal far more
individually and collectively by a factor of ten than do street
criminals.  White collar criminals steal to sustain a lifestyle. 
Automobiles, appliances, vacation packages, investment schemes as
well as luxury items are advertised in a thousand exclusive
magazines, catalogs, and newspapers.   Yuppies have the
discretionary income.  A childless professional couple with
combined incomes of $70, 80, 100 thousand can get by in their
lifestyle without resorting to white collar crime if they work
for one of the few thousand firms which pay well, provide health
benefits, vacation and generous retirement packages.  Still they
     Corporations lie in its ads, default on its guarantees,
bribe its customers, cheat on its taxes, violate worker safety
laws, pollution laws, and consumer protection laws in order to
provide its stockholders and upper management with the salaries
and dividends they need in order to meet their false needs. 
                                                      The fuckers are rich,
                                                they don't need more money,
                                                       they make the laws, 
                                         the laws redound to their benefit,
                                                   still they violate them.
                                                          ...Larry Reynolds
     Street crime, white collar crime and corporate crime are
stimulated by spurious demand created by advertising as the paid
servant of capitalist enterprise.  All parts of a population are
targets of the advertising industry; not just those 30-40% of the
workers with some discretionary income.  
     That these are false needs can be known by evaluating the
life styles of Buddhists, Hutterites, or American Indian tribes
which live in simple harmony with self, others and with nature. 
E.   Capitalism Requires Private Resources for Social Security.  
     In an economic system in which social security is geared to
     individual profit, individual welfare and private estate,
     the private accumulation of wealth is necessary for each
     since social accumulation is haphazard.  
     In the USA, the welfare state offers social security
payments to women at age 60; and to men at age 65.  The highest
monthly social security payment at this writing was about $750. 
This puts a family below the poverty level [about $13,000] and
far below the level for a decent life style [about $25,000].  In
order to build a portfolio with which to support an upper middle
class lifestyle...and meet false needs, doctors turn into crafty
business persons, prescribe unnecessary therapeutic regimes,
perform unnecessary operations and unnecessary pharmaceutical
regimes.  Physicians get together and form an effective and
profitable monopoly over the production and distribution of
health services.  
     The same imperatives of financial security that lead poor
families to produce children for their social security in old age
operate among those who own auto repair shops, legal practices,
real estate construction and investment, rentals, and
speculation, in local banking, in stock brokerage, in bars,
restaurants and other service business.  In small stores, shops,
and offices from Chicago to Chico, owners use and discard
employees, deceive customers, bribe local inspectors, purchase
the town council and bend the legal system to one's own private
needs.  IRAs and CDs replace children in advanced monopoly
capitalism as the source of social security.
     It is the foolish doctor or insurance broker indeed, given
the compulsion for the standard middle class life style, who
fails to create a million dollar portfolio comprised of tax
exempt bonds, high yield certificates of deposit, stable real
estate rentals or mortgages.  Lawyers must do the same. 
Dentists, stockbrokers, accountants, and developers as well must
look to themselves and to their own futures in the one-sidedly
individualistic society.  
     Such a prospect is the source of much white collar crime. 
Solid middle class citizens, regular church goers, concerned
parents and responsible citizens as they are, daily must deal
with their prospects for the future.   They must protect that
future for themselves, their spouses and their children's
     The necessity to supplement social security also fuels much
corporate crime.  Not only do stockholders depend upon and demand
growth of profits and assets but top managers too must protect
the position of the corporation in an increasing hostile world. 
Foreign competitors, organized workers, consumer interest groups,
environmental protection groups, third-world suppliers as well as
tax hungry legislatures all try to use the legal system or the
market system to their individual advantage.  
     The corporate officer on the make must engineer growth or
else be replaced by another more ruthless, cunning, unscrupulous
and effective manager.  Such an officer must increase market
share, manipulate price levels, increase income and reduce costs
as a percentage of gross proceeds.  To grow in such a savage
environment is to control the law making process.  To fail to
grow is to die in the corporate world.  Violations of the law
forfend against failure.  
     In the pursuit of profit and growth, the corporation
routinely violates labor laws, worker safety laws, consumer
protection laws, tax laws, currency regulations, campaign
contribution laws, environmental protection laws, trade laws,
price fixing laws, and conflict of interest laws.  The capitalist
corporation is a habitual, hardened criminal.  
     The corporation houses and protects professional thieves,
scofflaws and cheats.  Corporate crime is a product of a specific
mode of production.  The modern corporation is a device by which
those who benefit from its illegal activities may escape justice. 
     The most successful corporations, those which accumulate the
most are those which are the most criminal and the most adept at
becoming above the law.  One cannot explain corporate crime on
the basis of genetics, molecular biochemistry, differential
association or control theory.  It is the logics of capitalism
which compel white collar and corporate crime.  The drive to
accumulate a private estate compels the rich to commit crime on
an everyday basis. 
     It is in the capitalist system that one finds the dynamics
of white collar crime or corporate crime; not in the genes, the
race, the childhood trauma, or in interaction with pathological
criminals.  These are decent people who steal from their workers,
clients and customers.  They went to college, they worked hard,
they have lives of regular habit and are thoroughly ordinary.  
They commit crime.  
F.   Capitalism Destroys Community.     
     It is not industrialization or poverty or population density
     which produces high crime rates in an urban area.  It is
     industry without community, poverty without community,
     physical proximity without community which promotes crime.  
     Capitalist dynamics funnel resources to high profit lines of
production and distribution.  Low profit lines of production or
nonprofit lines of production are neglected.  Low energy, low
tech, labor intensive lines of production are starved for
resources.  It is just those kinds of labor which produce social
relations, which produce community and collective well being and
which are neglected in thoroughly capitalist systems.  
     Child care and socialization, nursing and holistic healing,
public transport and recreation, pastoral counselling and student
centered education are all displaced by high profit mass
production models of child care, health care, education,
religion, and recreation.  The individual and the community both
get lost in such a cost-efficient system.  
     One can see that high profit, high tech, high energy systems
of transport, therapy, warfare, banking, recreation or lodging
garner the resources of a society.  Developers build large,
energy inefficient separated single family dwellings away from
the crime, squalor, and pollution of the city.  The rich don't
care to live face to face with social problems they create.  
     The private sector caters to the 30 or 40 percent of the
population who have discretionary income while the information
needs, the transportation needs or the health needs of the poor
are given over to mass production tactics at school, play, or
hospital where the interpersonal histories as well as social
needs of the patient are inconvenient to the hustling physician,
the harassed teacher or the competitive coaching staff.  
     Capitalism destroys community as industry and commerce
desert towns and villages all over the USA for lower wages, fewer
controls on pollution, market access or for the security of
military dictatorships.
G.  Capitalism Commodifies all Sacred Supplies.   
     Sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, violence as well as special
     kinds and forms of food are used as solidarity supplies in
     all societies to elicit and sustain community.  When one or
     more of these solidarity supplies are used collectively,
     they help the persons assembled to transform profane,
     everyday life into a sacred gathering.  Such supplies in
     conjunction with music, dancing, costume and ritual
     constitute a sort of social magic by which members of the
     natural world elevate themselves into a supra-natural
     world...that of a human community.  
     In capitalist economies, these solidarity supplies become
transformed into privatized commodities.  Organized crime
develops to produce and distribute such socially important
resources for private use and private profit.  The logics of
capitalism do not stop at the boundaries of sacred social space
-- they intrude everywhere.  
          The profanation of life is the natural consequence of
          the commodification of production and distribution. 
     Capitalism and other elitist formations also use solidarity
supplies for political and economic reasons rather than for
social and cultural reason.   Patriotism, holidays, athletic
spectacles such as the Olympics, the World Series and the N.F.L. 
play-offs generate a thin, short-term solidarity which scarcely
lasts beyond the game's end.  
     The whole social process is subverted by market and by
managerial usages of solidarity supplies.  The alienated use of
such supplies, again, can bring a thin solidarity to a limited
number of persons.  The privatized use of food, drugs, alcohol,
sex or risk and offer escape from a hostile workplace, a
deadening classroom or a spiritless marriage.  A few young males
can find short term solidarity in drinking or in a visit to a
brothel.  Sports and sports violence can bring a city together
for a while on Sunday afternoon on a sort of spurious solidarity. 
Drugs can create a destructive solidarity among young people. 
The appeal of violence to alienated workers, students, men as
well as women can be found in the alienation of power in politics
and in the workplace.
     Organized crime parasitizes on the remnants of and needs for
solidarity in a mass society.  Organized crime is the underground
cousin of capitalist corporation.  It produces drugs, gambling,
violence and pornography for private use whether collective
values suffer or not.  
H.  Capitalism Tends Toward Fascism.    
     There are several features of a capitalist society which
     encourage the growth of the state.  These features require
     the capitalist state to control more and more of the private
     lives of its citizens.  The boundary between public life and
     private life is obscured while the public sphere is
     displaced by state policy.  
     These fascist imperatives include: 
     1)   the need to manage the surplus population; 
     2)   the need to protect the social base of the capitalist
     3)   the need to coordinate among sectors of production;
     4)   the need to provide neglected services
     5)   the need to regulate the worst excesses of big business
          and industry; 
     6)   the need to protect national capitalists from foreign
    7)   the need to control dissent and protest at inequality
          among the political intelligentsia.  
     The general rule is that the 20 rich capitalist countries
are liberal when times are good.  Most of the routine repression
is done by managers, bosses, supervisors, deans and colleagues in
anticipation of reward or wrath from higher management.  When
times are bad, the state steps in, activates the militia and uses
it on behalf of class, race and national privilege.  
THESIS 3.  Capitalism requires Parallel Justice Systems.
In order to maintain the dramaturgical facsimile of equality, Capitalist and other
elitist societies have parallel systems of justice:  one for the rich and powerful;
one for the poor and oppressed.
In the USA, other interest groups have managed to institute parallel justice 
systems over which they have control...of what is defined as crime and what
is adjudged as guilt as well as the nature of any penalty.  In brief, justice systems
for the rich are gentle; for the poor and oppressed, cruel and unusually punitive.
There are at least eight major systems of social control in
place in the United States.  The eight include: 
A.   The criminal justice system.  
     The C.J.S. is comprised of police, prisoners, lawyers,
     judges, wardens, and probation officers as well as a wide
     array of auxiliary personnel such as teachers, psycho-
     logists, doctors, parole officers and social workers.  It
     deals mostly with street crime.
B.   The Military Justice system.
     The Military Justice System deals mostly with street crime
     committed by those in the armed forces.  It reproduces the
     logics of the criminal justice system without most of the
     Constitutional protections of it.  It control the young men
     from the surplus population who, in one way or another,
     found themselves subject to the discipline of military life. 
     Many young men, and now women, go through the military
     experience, learn and profit from it and return to civilian
     life to become decent and productive citizens.  Many don't.
C.   The Administrative Justice System
     The administrative justice system includes the F.T.C., the
     I.R.S., E.E.O.C., O.S.H.A., F.D.A., S.E.C., E.P.A. and a
     hundred other state, federal and local agencies. Instead of
     police and weapons as the technology of social control, the
     A.J.S. employs lawyers, accountants, economists and other
     highly skilled functionaries.
     The A.J.S. is the result of all the laws emerging from
     social protest movements in the past which had, as their
     objective, the control of the worst excesses of business. 
     It is the legacy of 150 years of class struggle.  Whatever
     its faults, the limited democracy of America has worked on
     behalf of social justice in the marketplace.
     The A.J.S. attempts to control corporate crime.  The various
     federal, state, and local agencies monitor some 16 millions
     small and large businesses to determine whether they obey
     the law.  The policing is very loose, the benefit of the
     doubt goes to the companies, and punishments are
     extraordinarily gentle for very serious criminal offenses.
D.  The Peer Review system.
     The Peer Review System deals with the delicts of
     professionals.  It is a semi-formal process in which
     complaints or grievances are adjudicated according to a set
     of ethics or 'professional' standards.
     Professors, lawyers, priests, doctors, accountants, real
     estate agents, dentists, stock brokers and other
     quasi-autonomous groups are excluded from policing by the
     various law-enforcing bodies.  Law making bodies exempt
     professionals from public policing and accept in-house
     policing and adjudicating procedures.  One is policed and
     tried by one's peers, who are also one's colleagues,
     partners, schoolmates, friends and references.  
     The P.R.S. is located in the solid upper middle sector of
     society.  Part of the justification for excluding
     professionals from such policing is that these people deal
     in esoteric matters.  To judge whether there has been a
     wrong requires a jury of their peers.  Since only other
     stockbrokers, lawyers, or academics have the same esoteric
     knowledge, only they can judge fairly.
E.  The Private Justice System.
     The Private Justice System involves one private party
     monitoring the behavior of other private parties.
     The capitalist state may escape criticism if repression is
     in the private sector rather than in the hands of the
     police.  In the effort to maintain the structure of power
     and privilege, parallel justice systems have developed in
     the private sector to complement those in the public sector. 
     We shall look at these briefly.
     The Private Justice System is large and growing.  There are
     about 870,000 police who staff the C.J.S. but there are over
     a million private security officers.  For the most part, the
     P.J.S. is owned and operated by private corporations which
     hire or lease security services.  The private security
     system also includes Neighborhood Watch associations, semi-
     secret citizen groups such as the KKK, and off duty police
     officers who moon-light their security services to small
     business; bars, fraternal orders, stores and such.
F.   The Religious justice system.
     The Religious Justice System involves the monitoring and
     sanctioning of behavior within a community of worshipers by
     a religious functionary or religious body.
     The functionary calls forth people in the religious
     community to account for their behavior and insist upon
     renunciation of sin and temptation.  The power to judge,
     punish and rehabilitate is sometimes distributed more
     broadly in the religious community and is vested in all
     adults.  On occasion there is a ceremony of disengagement in
     which the offender is publicly judged and separated from the
     community--in some rare cases the offender is treated as if
     dead by shunning or by funeral service.  
     The form of sanction is usually guilt or shame in which one
     is lowered in the esteem of significant members of the
     community often for life.  Sometimes small penance or open
     confession is required.  
     Those who take religion seriously submit themselves to the
     judgment of religious functionaries and insist that their
     sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and husbands do so as
     well.  They present themselves for private judgment to their
     priests confessing to a wide variety of delicts from
     adultery, alcoholism, theft, incest, battery and homicide. 
     They rise before a congregation, admit guilt, ask for help
     and prayer, testify to the help already received and promise
     to do better.  They bring their children to the priest and
     force confession, seek guidance and accept a judgment over
     weeks, months and years.  
     Generally religious justice is oriented to the integrity of
     a cultural way of life.  It brings back substantive social
     justice into the whole system and does not exclude the rich
     and the powerful.
G.  The Medical justice system.
     This system judges and controls the behavior of those who
     are said to be ill rather than criminal.  
     Drug use, child abuse, gambling, homosexuality, adultery,
     abortion, alcoholism, shoplifting and drunk driving as well
     as wife beating, rape and occasionally murder by the upper
     classes have been claimed by the medical and allied
     professions as within their purview.  
     The Medical Justice System has gradually taken over from the
     C.J.S. a wide variety of behaviors formerly labelled as
     crime.  The logics of bourgeois liberalism works against the
     logics of solidarity and the realm of the sacred.  The
     medical justice system is the unhappy compromise between
     these contradictory logics.
H.  The Social Welfare system
     In addition to the systems of justice ordinarily conceived
     to be involved in social control, there is also a welfare
     system which tacitly recognizes the harm done to people by
     the existing structure of social relations and economic
     processes and makes some effort to redress that harm by
     allocating public resources to those so harmed.  
     The state welfare system, social security, unemployment com-
     pensation, V.A. benefits, hot lunch programs, Medicaid and
     Medicare, loans and grants to college students as well as to
     farmers, small businesses and others comprise the social
     justice system.  
     It is for two reasons the Social Welfare system is called a
     justice system.  It does have a body of rules, impartially
     applied with a judging routine as well as a weak appeals
     system.  It does try to repair the harm done by exploitative
     As with most other systems of justice, there are few
     constitutional safeguards and judging can be highly
     Among the 20 rich capitalist nations, the U.S., provides the
     most meager resources for housing, health care, food, work
     and other necessities of life.  It is not a coincidence that
     the USA has the highest crime rate and the most mean-
     spirited welfare system among the 'developed' nations. 
     Never the less, the state welfare system transcends the thin
     rationality of the other justice systems and embodies the
     principle of mercy rather than punishment.  
     One would think that this panoply of control systems working
openly and under the aegis of criminal, corporate, administrative
or canon law would be sufficient to control people but the
conflicts which beset a class society with racial/ethnic, gender,
age, and regional differences are so great that parallel but
underground control systems develop in democratic capitalist
THESIS 4. Underground Control Structures develop 
		in democratic Capitalist societies to protect elites.
     A wide variety of underground structures and practices are
     used to manage resistance by the government in the
     democratic state.  These range from blacklisting by private
     groups to the burglaries and character assassinations of the
     Cointel programs to the illegal use of violence by local
     police agencies against organized social protest. 
     In a wealthy capitalist state, there is a thin and variable
democracy.  These politics arose as workers, consumers, the
disemployed and the elderly used economic, moral and social power
to democratize capitalism.  This access to political power
results in the use of the state against the worst excesses of
capitalism.  However, the dynamics of representative government
means that most of those elected tend to accept the logics of
capitalism.  Political response by the government to the demands
for social justice is severely limited.  
     Out of the alienated politics of capitalism grow the street
politics of civil rights, labor unrest, women's liberation, anti
war movements, radical environmentalists, and student power.                      
          The democratic state goes underground in order to
          destabilize those movements which would radically
          transform the relations of production and distribution.
     It is the dysjunction between the real and important
democratic potential of electoral politics and the unfreedom at
work, market, and resources which call forth the underground
structures of the democratic state.  In the authoritarian state
(and most capitalist economies are authoritarian states), there
is very little state effort to regulate capitalism.  Control of
workers and peasants is done openly.  There are few underground
structures.  The state does not pretend to democratic
representation.  Its clients are the elites.  These are the
liberal authoritarian states which Jean Kirkpatrick prefers. 
     In addition to the underground activity of the democratic
state, and apart from the day to day control of workers by the
private sector, there are quasi-political control activities by
the KKK, the White Citizens' groups, the Nazi parties, and the
various right wing religious organizations which police and
punish those whom they dislike outside the protections of the
Techno-fascism and Underground Policing Today, in the U.S.A.,
there are more than 35 federal agencies using a wide variety of
new cheap electronic devices to snoop, monitor, bug and spy on
citizens without probable cause.   According to the Office of
Technology Assessment Twenty-one government agencies say they are
now using night vision systems, 19 say they are using miniature
transmitters and radio scanners, while 13 said they use
vehicle-tracking beepers.  Twelve agencies said they use
electromagnetic or acoustic sensors to monitor movements, seven
said they monitor telephone transmissions, one reported
intercepting electronic mail, and one said it was using a
satellite for surveillance.  The Border Patrol is using infrared
night-vision devices and sensors to track illegal aliens crossing
the border.  The agency using the widest number of new monitoring
technologies is the FBI, followed by federal agency Inspector
General offices rooting out fraud, waste and abuse in government
programs.  Other agencies are using state-of-the-art
eavesdropping machines that monitor computerized mailings,
satellite transmissions and conversations over radio phones.  
     The survey of federal agencies excluded activities by the
CIA and super secret National Security Agency (Scripps Howard
News Service, 25 Oct.  85).  The F.B.I. is reported once again,
in 1988, to collect information of those citizens using their
constitutional rights of peaceful assembly and protest in pursuit
of grievance.  Thousands of opponents to the illegal actions of
the Reagan administration have been the subject of investigation
in the past five years according to recent news reports.  The
illegal F.B.I. investigation of CISPES resulted in 17 volumes of
official reports without one indictment.
     For the most part, the democratic state does not use force
or suppression in controlling thought.  Most of the time, in the
democratic state, repression occurs in the private sector.  
Reporters, professors, union officers and clergy who criticize
the class, race, gender or national chauvinism of a society are
fired or not hired.       
          Most of the intelligentsia benefit greatly from their
          favored position in the world capitalist system and
          defend capitalism.  Most critics practice self-
          censorship knowing job, tenure and promotion depend
          upon it.  
     But there have been many waves of heavy handed police state
tactics in the U.S.  After the revolutionary War, those loyal to
the Crown were repressed.  After the Civil War, the South was
repressed.  In the 1880's union organizers and the I.W.W.  were
heavily repressed.  In the 1920's workers' organizers were
repressed as were their publications.  In the 1950's we saw the
Mccarthy era.  In the 1960's, the F.B.I.  illegally repressed
socialist movements, civil rights movements, anti-war movements
as well as women's liberation activists in its illegal Cointel
programs.  Al Syzmanski (1980), late professor of Sociology at
the University of Oregon has provided an overview of repression
in the USSR and the USA in his theory of Civil Rights.               
          Generally, in times of crisis, the capitalist state
          represses...all other times repression is left to the
          private sector which freely represses dissent in
          factory, shop, and store.
     American criminology has an obligation derived from the
     special position we occupy in the knowledge process
     entrusted to us by those who provide us with the necessary
     resources and the necessary time for sustained thought. 
     That obligation is to do the research and to formulate the
     policy ideas by which a low crime society may be
     A transformative methodology for such an obligation requires
better data gathering and better analyses than has so far been
made available to those who support the knowledge process.  I
recommend several changes in our current knowledge system in
American criminology with which better to respond to that trust.
A.   There are three kinds of information we must generate if we
     are to contribute to good theory and good policy about the
     sources and solutions to crime.  They are:
     1.  Information about existing crime.   Not just street
     crime and organized crime but data on all five kinds of
     crime are required for a rational and decent society.  Such
     data permit an immanent critique measuring the claims of a
     society against its performance.
     Data on corporate crime are very hard to obtain since rich
     and powerful corporations spend considerable time concealing
     the information.  Data on political crime are equally hard
     to come by since so much is done in secret and so much risk
     is entailed in reporting in by the news media.  
     Data on white collar crime are hard to come by since white
     collar criminals are seldom policed.  When a corporate
     officer is found to have embezzled, the use of private
     security permits the brokerage, the bank or the retail store
     to deal with the offender privately and avoid bad publicity.
     2.  Comparative information.  Data from all societies permit
     comparisons and contrasts.  Such data facilitate the
     transcendent critique so necessary to the human interest in
     change and renewal.  Such data expand the boundaries of the
     social formation in which crime occurs.  By such data, crime
     is placed in its larger social and historical context.  We
     can stand back and see the entirety of the machine which
     generates crime.
     There are very few good texts in American criminology which
     report, systematically, the variations in crime rates.  Data
     from Japan, England and some of the European countries are
     available but data from socialist formations and from poor
     capitalist countries are seldom found.  Data from muslim or
     Buddhist societies are usually absent.
     3.   Emancipatory Knowledge   Information about alternative
          ways of dealing with crime; alternative methods of
          community corrections, carefully controlled and fully
          funded field experiments in policing, corrections and
          prosocial behavior are not part of national policy in
     Data about how to make peaceful and constitutional changes
     are important to the human project.  How one might deal with
     the vast criminal underground in Florida, New Jersey, Nevada
     and in such cities as Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia
     will take much wisdom and patience.
     All these forms of knowledge are needed for an effective
beginning to transform American society...from Canada to Mexico
...into more praxical and humane social relations as we
facilitate the move toward a low-crime society in the 21st
B.   A definition of crime which is oriented to a theory of human
     rights.  Antisocial behavior, interpersonal as well as
     institutional and international, necessarily must be
     repressed.  Below are some suggestions which are based upon
     the features of existing low-crime societies and upon a
     theory of Human Rights and Human Obligations (Young: 1981a)
     which might be helpful in such a task.  
C.   A national research project to collect and to distribute the
     kinds of data above.
     The priorities of a nation define its values.  We spend far
far more for the social control systems listed above than do we
spend for the kind of knowledge system that permits us to
incorporate rationality in our crime policy.  If we are to build
a rational and decent society oriented to social justice in the
21st Century, good research must be produced and distributed. 
The spirit of democracy must inform both phases in the knowledge
process else politics get bent to the control needs of state and
TOWARD A LOW CRIME SOCIETY    Features of concretely existing low
crime societies taken in some coherent and serious political
project can serve the U.S. and other high crime societies well. 
In the passages which follow, I have abstracted some of those
features and put them together with some policy suggestions
unique to crime in capitalist systems in the attempt to move
America into the 21st Century and at the same time, move toward a
low crime society.
     Among the more important changes, I would include these: 
     1.   A national effort to end the ancient oppressions based
     upon race, gender, ethnicity and national pride.
     2.   A secure and significant relationship to the means of
     production for every person in the society.  This means jobs
     for those who can work and resources for those who are too
     young or too old.  
     3.   Production and distribution must be oriented to enhance
     community.  Social order in egalitarian societies provide
     such a model for high conflict and criminal societies.  
     The low crime rates of homogenous societies may be due more
     to the fact that every one is treated as a full adult with
     few excluded from the important realms of life more so than
     the fact that their genetic heritage is similar.  
     There are homogenous societies such as those in Karamajoa,
     Uganda, where theft, prostitution, and violence is now a way
     of life after the Ugandan government ended their rights to
     hunt the animals of the district.
     Tribal societies such as the Semai of Malaysia and the
     Bushmen of southern Africa offer dramatic evidence that
     egalitarian societies oriented to sharing and mutual aid
     have little conflict.
     This means that communal accumulation preempts private
     accumulation.  Private accumulation based on merit should be
     continued but not accumulation based upon position in the
     flow of wealth or based upon exploitation.  
     Societies which use food, drink and psychogens for sacred
     instead of the private use have little substance abuse. 
     These are low crime societies.  They are either inspired by
     holy teachers or by socialist teachings.  They have in
     common an emphasis on community and self-discipline.  
     Organized crime has no place in such societies.
     4.   Production and distribution must be oriented to low
     energy, low polluting authentic needs.  The collective
     production of the essential forms of culture: art, science,
     religion, family and recreational life for each of the many
     and varied cultures on the face of the earth set the limits
     of growth here.  
     Societies which exclude advertising and the expansion of
     false needs such as Muslim and Buddhist societies and most
     socialist societies have low crime rates. The life style of
     Hutterites, Buddhists, Muslims, and others establish that a
     rich and rewarding social world can be created without
     endangering the biosphere.
     Societies changing to a community oriented economy such as
     China, Cuba and Nicaragua have significantly lowered crime
     False needs and the advertising to generate false needs are
     inimical to a decent and rational political economy.  
     5.   The top priority in a low crime society must go to the
     socialization of the young people of a society.  In
     comparison, military expenditures, elite life styles and
     surplus production are low priority.  In a society oriented
     to social justice, national defense is redundant...the
     people will protect it.  
     The highest priority must be our children...children
     understood collectively.  
     Emphases upon moral development is essential but essential
     also are the opportunities for young people to act upon
     moral impulse by providing them with prosocial opportunity
     at school, in work, in recreation and in their peer group
     life.  The dialectics of morality require both a strong,
     prosocial self system and a praxis society.
     6.   Democratic participation and authentic political
     participation of all sectors of the population is necessary
     to a society which aims for reduction in political crime. 
     Authoritarian societies with heavy emphasis on religion can
     lower crime rates but probably cannot free itself from
     political crime.  It certainly cannot end the alienation of
     tribal, racial, gender, class and international relations.
     The strong democracy of democratic socialism must replace
     the weak democracy of congressional or parliamentary
     democracy (see Barber's book, Strong Democracy).  
     Electronic media are better used for interactively rich and
     informationally rich politics than for the colonization of
     desire by the marketplace.
     7.   Policing needs to be located in the community at large
     with minimal division of labor.  The suggestions of Peter
     Iadicola are helpful here.  
     He argues for a change oriented community crime control
     program.  Rehabilitation oriented programs are necessary
     transitional programs.  Repressive policing won't work.  The
     better solution is a society that combines control with
     progressive change.
     Societies with adequate policing together with programs of
     social justice such as Sweden, England and Switzerland are
     low crime societies.  
     8.   The dialectic between the individual and community must
     vary in such a way as to promote solidarity, enable
     creativity, embrace autonomy and discourage parasitism.  
     The Hutterites, the Muslim societies, as well as many other
     religious societies, are low crime societies but the
     necessary freedom of the individual to create and transcend
     existing inequities is diminished.  
     9.   Prevention of crime through social justice programs is
     preferable to a criminal justice proceedings.  Jobs, low
     cost health care, housing, education, mass transit as well
     as non-competitive recreation should be promoted over
     efforts to imprison and punish.  
     The sure and certain harsh punishment in muslim societies
     also may contribute to low crime rates.  However, the
     teachings of the prophet Mohammed on charity and sharing may
     be more central to low crime rates.
     10.  Corrections activity should be oriented to productive
     labor, pro-social behavior and community supervision. 
     Punitive systems of correction do not work nor are
     specialized parole and probation officers of much use in
     Coworkers, supervisors, family and neighbors must work
     together.   Hutterites, Amish, and many other societies
     oriented to collective corrections have low recidivist
     Many societies offer the pattern for a good and decent
society in the U.S.  However radical changes are necessary in the
political economy of the U.S. in order to become a Low-Crime
society.  One day, the successes of crime as well as the failures
of the criminal justice system will force us to consider such
radical changes. 
SUMMARY   There are five kinds of crime promoted by the ordinary
operations of the capitalist system.  These crimes:  street
crime, corporate crime, white collar crime, organized crime and
political crime are intimately connected to this mode of
production; more so than any previous mode.
     Street crime increases as capitalism exacerbates:
          *the disemployment of people
          *the separation of production and profit
          *the pathological individualism of competition and    
          *the expansion of false needs
     Corporate crime increases as profits decline when:
          *workers gain access to political power and            
          secure better wages and job security 
          *consumers demand quality and economy 
          *foreign competition increases
          *demand declines in depressions and recessions
          *socialist revolutions remove markets and raw materials
          *the state taxes the flow of wealth
     White collar crime increases as:
          *life style demands increase
          *life crises occur
          *false needs expand
          *retirement approaches
          *job dissatisfaction increases
          *corporate crime models employee behavior
     Organized crime increases as:
          *sacred supplies become commodified
          *communal use of psychogens decline
          *advertizing encourages reliance on chemicals             
          for illness and angst
          *thin and short term solidarity occasions increase
          *excluded minorities take advantage of opportunity
     Political crime increases to manage the:
          *surplus population
          *excesses of business and industry
          *markets at home and abroad for the capitalist class or 
           a favored segment of it
          *the intelligentsia who critique it negativities
          *working class in Kondratieff cyclical downturns
     In addition to the tendency of the forms of crime above to
increase, capitalism tends to develop separate and unequal
systems of justice through which to process the many criminals it
creates.  Just as capitalism needs parallel economic systems with
which to externalize its negativities, just as it needs parallel
and illegal control systems, capitalism also requires parallel
justice systems within which to hide its essential injustice.  
     There is a harsh and punitive criminal justice system for
those who violate the laws of private ownership.  Private
corporations are treated gently for the many kinds of crime they
commit.  They are processed through an administrative or a civil
justice system in the unlikely event they are policed, indicted
or tried.  Middle class professionals demand exclusion from the
criminal justice system as well.  They use a peer review or a
medical justice system when they are found out.  
     And capitalism requires a huge private police force under
control of the various private corporations.  The intrusion of a
publicly created police force into corporate affairs is far too
dangerous to the everyday criminal activities which the managers
and administrators of corporate capitalism commit on the public,
the worker, the consumer or upon each other.  In this system,
there is no due process, no trial by peers or presumption of
innocence.  Workers, customers, and competitors are policed and
     The tendency of a profit oriented economy to disemploy
people results in a surplus population.  The desperate needs,
real and false, of those disconnected from productive labor leads
to pretheoretical resistance and rebellion.  This tendency is a
factor of great importance in the genesis of street crime.  It
also fuels the tendency of the state to exclude people from the
political process -- since such participation would tend to
eliminate privilege and power advantages.  
     The exclusion of people from politics in an age of democracy
generates political crime.  Both forms of political crime, the
state against its own citizens and citizens against their own
state is made probable by the structure of capitalist economy.  
     Entirely new crimes, new laws, new justice systems, new
policing forms and new kinds of control tactics arise and are
peculiar to the capitalist mode of production.  The most
comprehensive proposition in a Marxian theory of crime is that
the mode of production determines, significantly, the amount and
kinds of crime found in each.  
     It is absolutely essential that American criminology and the
American public come to appreciate that low crime societies exist
and that they are low crime societies because they are organized
more for social justice and community needs than for punishment,
control and private accumulation.  
     It is imperative that American Criminology develop the
methods by which good theory and good policy for prosocial
behavior can be developed.  Included here in the concept of
method are the methods by which low crime society can be created
and maintained.  

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