THEORIES OF CRIME;
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.
of theTRANSFORMING SOCIOLOGY SERIES of the RED FEATHER INSTITUTE for ADVANCED STUDIES IN SOCIOLOGY
THEORY AND METHOD FOR
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.
PART I. THEORIES OF CRIME; CRIMES OF THEORISTS
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 relationships. 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 criminologists. 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 laws. 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 disappears. 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 latter. 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 subjects.
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 Production.
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 formation. 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 production.
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 incidental.
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 below.
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 *crime
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 profits.
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 advertising.
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 steal. 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.
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 children. 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 class; 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 capitalists; and 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 relations.
As with most other systems of justice, there are few constitutional safeguards and judging can be highly variable.
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 societies.
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 constitution.
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.
THESIS 5. EMANCIPATORY SOCIAL RESEARCH IS REQUIRED IN ORDER TO CREATE A LOW CRIME SOCIETY IN AMERICA.
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 constituted.
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 America.
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 Century.
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 market.
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 rates.
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 rehabilitation.
Coworkers, supervisors, family and neighbors must work together. Hutterites, Amish, and many other societies oriented to collective corrections have low recidivist rates.
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 accumulation *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 disciplined. 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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