Traditional Marxism

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Causes of Crime

  • Crime is inevitable in Capitalism. This is because Capitalism is criminogenic - it causes crime.
  • Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class which can be damaging to them and leads to a rise in crime - e.g. poverty means that crime is the only way the working class can survive, also, crime may be the only way they can gain consumer goods, encouraged through Capitalist society.
  • However, crime is not exlusive to the working class. Capitalism encourages a mentality of greed and self-interest, leading to capitalists committing white collar and corporate crimes.
  • Gordon (1976) argues that crime is a rational response to the capitalist system which is why it is found in all classes - despite official statistics suggesting that it is exclusive to the working class.

The law

  • The law only serves the interests of the ruling class.
  • Chambliss (1975) argues that Capitalism prouduces greed and self-interest at all levels: w/c - e.g. petty theft or fiddling the dole...m/c - e.g. tax evasion and fraud.
  • Many laws are on the protection of private property (of the ruling class).
  • Power, money and influence determine who gets arrested and who dosn't.
  • The most serious crimes are committed

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