An educational resource at the heart of public debate, criminological research and professional practice......
In the article below, the Daily Mirror reveals the global friends of named and shamed investment banker Goldman Sachs. Some we knew about, for example the new PM of Italy, Mario Monti. The links with David and Samantha Cameron might come as a surprise to all those who thought we were 'all in this together'. Sociologists will not be surprised to find that the elite all went to school together or are inter-married or worked for each other. If and when they fully privatize the NHS, the police, the prisons, the courts, the Royal Mail, the universities and the roads, it will be interesting to see who the 'city' advisers for the resulting PFI contracts are and who advises the PM on their selection. For a while, we called it the 'deconstruction of the welfare state' and some thought it was because 'we couldn't afford it'. I rather think the process would better be described as rigged fire sale or as the theft of state assets by the financial and business elite. No wonder Roman Abramovitch parks his yacht here....it's not much different to Russia.
For many criminologists, I must spell out the implications, since they have for around 150 years refused, in practice, to see that it is not at all scientific to accept state or official definitions of crime, for many reasons but especially, because that rather overlooks the state's protection or non-prosecution of certain, often very wealthy and powerful, criminals and because the law is usually designed to ensure that their anti-social behaviour is not defined as crime. More than ever, it is clear that the official statistics are the officials' statistics and those officials work for a state that is wedded, literally, to the interests of certain wealthy and powerful classes. That is not Marxism; it is a social fact. Therefore, what the state defines as crime is merely the stuff it finds offensive or threatening. Such state-defined crime by no means represents crime as a whole nor does it bear much resemblance to the crimes of of the wealthy and powerful. Consequently, most criminological theory hitherto has a limited applicability to the real world.
Essay Qs for Criminological Theory 201:
1 When is a crime not a crime?
2 What are the implications for criminology of the dependency of the state on the financial elite?
3 Who polices the really big crimes? Anybody?
4 What would the CEO of Goldman Sachs tell his probation officer? Would she try to get him a proper job? And should he be subject to an ASBO?
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