Assess the usefulness of Marxist approaches to an understanding of crime and deviance (21 marks)
Karl Marx, would not have considered himself a Marxist but nevertheless, here’s what you get:
Karl Marx believed that criminals are as much made as born. He theorized that Societies determine what they view as crime but that the “minority in control” determines the scope and distribution of punishments as well as the levels of punishments. Of capitalism Marx wrote about the concept of how crimes such as unfairly profiting from the labor of others and not providing adequately for that labors needs in return were in point a crime against humanity. Yet since the capitalist system is controlled by the profit makers that crime is not punished, or even codified. But any crime that upsets the status quo, such as robbery or drug use, is not to be tolerated. THese crimes are in fact extremely codified and severely punished. So while robbing a person of the profit of there own labor is OK robbing the property of those that have purchased the property by the means of there profits is heavily protected. A man can go hungry if he categorized as surplus labor. But he cannot seek to alleviate that hunger by any means not permitted by those in control. Basically he can beg but only to the extent allowed by law. NO PANHANDLING! Districts..
Karl Marx’s guiding principle in his design of the perfect society in which to live, or Marxist Socialism / Communism, as it came to be known, can be characterized as “From each according to his abilities , to each according to his needs” No one in need would feel the need to steal, Society working together for the benefit of all would provide all that was needed by the individual As for crimes of passion; no one in his individual freedom would feel the need to commit crimes such as Murder, or Rape. If each persons needs were met when asked for there would be no crime of passion, you would have to kill a person whom you feared was taking something from you. That sounds disconnected that society could undue such crimes with the labor/ownership issue but He theorized that such ills as those that caused crimes of passion, rejection, competition, physical demands would all diminish as people would have an increased sense of not just self worth but also of the worth of others.
The usefulness of these theories is that they challenge and question the validity and subjectivity of the criminal justice system as established by the profit makers. Also they conflict with the proposed greater good of the codification of certain crimes but not of others, as a basis for class struggle. “If you are affluent, articulate, attractive, or influential you will receive an unbalanced favorable treatment based on class not on justice, or right.” lgp