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Preview of Marxism

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Traditional Marxists see crime as inevitable in capitalist societies because it breeds poverty,
competition and greed. All classes commit crime, but because the ruling class control the
state they make and enforce laws in their own interests, criminalising the working class
while escaping punishment for their own corporate crimes.
The law also performs an ideological function by giving capitalism a caring face. Traditional
Marxism is criticised for ignoring non-class inequalities that effect crime and for
Neo Marxism or critical criminology is less deterministic and sees crime as a conscious
meaningful choice often with a political motive ­ a rebellion against capitalism. CC combines
elements of Marxism and labelling theory in a `fully social theory' of deviance. It has been
criticised by left realists as `left idealism' that ignores the real harm crime does to the
working class people
Crimogenic Capitalism ­ poverty may mean the only way the working class can survive.
Crime may be the only way they can obtain consumer goods encourages by capitalist
advertising, - theft. Alienation and lack of control over their live may lead to frustration and
aggression, resulting in non-utilitarian crimes such as violence and vandalism
The state and law making ­ Chambliss (1975) laws to protect private property are the
cornerstone of the capitalist economy. Introduction of taxes in Africa to work for them
Ideological functions of crime and law ­ laws passed in the benefit of capitalists ­ rarely
passed and seen to benefit the working class. Pearce (1976) such health and safety laws
benefit ruling class too. Giving capitalism a caring face and also create a false consciousness
among workers
Neo Marxism ­ critical criminology ­ neo Marxists are influenced by traditional Marxism
and labelling theory. Taylor, Walton and Young (1973) capitalist society is based on
exploitations and class conflict. State makes and enforced law in their interests of the
capitalist class. Capitalist should be replaced by a classless society ­ reduce extent of crime
or even rid completely
Fully social theory ­ the wider origins of the deviant act, the immediate origins of the
deviant act, the act itself, the immediate origins of social reaction, the wider origins of social
reaction and the effects of labelling


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