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NCJ Number: 76526 Find in a Library
Title: Crime, The Crisis of Capitalism, and Social Revolution (From Crime and Capitalism, P 420-434, 1981, David F Greenberg, ed. - See NCJ-76520)
Author(s): M G Wenger; T A Bonomo
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Mayfield Publishing Co
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Sale Source: Mayfield Publishing Co
285 Hamilton Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Three aspects of the radical concept of crime as a crisis for capitalistic society are critiqued from a Marxist perspective.
Abstract: Radical theory on the criminality crisis focuses on three areas: the criminal as a revolutionary, the fiscal crisis of crime as a factor in the breakdown of the capitalistic state, and crime as a factor in delegitimizing the authority of the capitalistic state. Classical Marxist theory rejects the role of the criminal as a revolutionary and crime as a revolutionary activity -- with the possible exception of certain criminal acts such as industrial sabotage and the murder of capitalist officials and landlords. Marxists hold that only members of the working class engaged in productive activity can be expected to seize power and effect revolutionary change. An examination of spending trends between 1950 and 1970 in the United States shows that criminal justice expenditures are minimal; increased spending in this area acting as a drain on social welfare spending and causing a fiscal crisis is unlikely, since welfare spending is many times higher. Rather than causing the delegitimization of the capitalist state, increased crime may cause members of the working class to consolidate with the ruling class. In the past, rising crime has permitted the creation of fascist states in first world countries. Notes and 22 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Capitalism; Crime costs; Crime prevention measures; Crime Rate; Marxism; Political influences; Radical criminology; Social organization; Welfare services
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