Crime and Deviance - Traditional Marxist Views on Crime

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Crime in a Capitalist Society

Traditional Marxists argue that capitalism is itself a crime and that capitalism causes crime.

They argue that capitalism is a crime because:

  • It is an economic system based on the exploitation of the many by the few.
  • The proletariat work for the bourgeoisie and make a profit for them, it is not an equal relationship but a criminal relationship.
  • The only reason it isn't seen as a crime is because all laws are made by and on behalf of the bourgeoisie.
  • The fact that society is so unequal is a crime: the facts that the rich can afford luxury while the poor strave is a crime

Capitalism causes crime because

  • It is an economic system based on competition, selfishness and greed, it encourages a dog eat dog, survival of the fittest approach to life
  • We are socialised from an early age into these values, so it is no surprise that crime is high in capitalist countries like the UK

Financial Crimes

Slapper and Tombs…



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