Re: violence...

Robert J. Bradbury (
Thu, 23 Sep 1999 10:24:25 -0700 (PDT)

On Thu, 23 Sep 1999, J. R. Molloy wrote:

> From: Michael S. Lorrey <>
> >You could say that crime is caused by urban compact zones, sort of the
> >old rat experiment writ large, but from what I've seen the crime comes
> >as a response to busybodies trying to make life miserable for as many
> >other people as possible with as many laws and taxes as possible. Cities
> >with the most laws and taxes have the most crime... duh....or else that
> >city has cops on every street corner... martial law.
> Yes indeed, it rather makes one wonder about the true motives of
> hyper-legislative socialists (by "socialists" I simply mean those who
> believe that government can resolve sociobiological difficulties).
> Don't Hong Kong and Singapore have population densities comparable to
> Chicago or New York? But the crime rates of the former don't come close to
> those of the latter, so over-crowding alone doesn't explain violence. I
> find your observation that violent behavior can come about as a response
> to busybodies (AKA leftist control freaks) has merit.

I think your own argument can be used against your position. Singapore has to have one of the most rigid top-down controlled environments in the world. I would be very interested if someone knows the details of things like gun laws, etc. there, but my suspicion would be that they are very strict. While on the economic side of things they are fairly relaxed and open I think things are much more regulated in terms of personal freedoms (driving a car, littering, drugs, pornography, etc.).

And yet there is relatively little violence in Singapore to the best of my knowledge. Why? This is also generally true I believe for Japan. [While you might make the "martial law" case for Singapore, I doubt you can make it for Japan.] IMO, one could begin to make a case for either (a) genetics; or (b) cultural values as being the determining factors in expressions of violence. I believe that the three countries with the largest per capita prison populations are the U.S., China and Russia. Given the diversity of governments in these countries, it seems difficult to pin the violence card on the government. I will admit however that teasing apart per-capita prison populations is probably a poor approach due to the problems of political prisoners and really stupid (drug) laws.

Does anyone know if there is a site that lists international city/country crime rates?