Crime, Causes etc..

Rick Knight (
Thu, 05 Jun 97 11:40:23 CST

Max More wrote:

"For those who think society is in an inevitable decline: The FBI just
released their crime figures (no, not crimes *by* the FBI--those they
don't reveal!). Violent crime dropped for the fifth year in a row in
the USA, this time by 7%. This includes an 11% decline in murders
(16.5% decline here in LA).

Of course, government agencies want to take the credit, though it's
really not clear why this downward trend is happening. The LA Times
story speculating that it's because the baby boomers are aging and
there are fewer young people (who mostly commit the violent crimes).
This may contribute, though I find it doubtful that this alone would
result in such a rapid decline in violent crime."

My response:

I've been following the same news thread/statistics and I wonder too
what is promoting a trend towards people becoming less violent. The
future I imagine won't have people clamoring for the almighty dollar,
honestly or with a gun (or briefcase in the case of white collar
crime..hats off to Don Henley for that observation).

A few observations of my own:

* crimes of passion--are we finally getting it that our culture is one
of serial monogamists at best? The rather "constipated" way we have
regarded our intimate partners as possessions may be what triggers
irrational explosions of violence when the status quo of a
"relationship" is upset. I can see the logic for adultery being
something to discourage in more primitive societies where women were
objects of trade and ownership but this century has been the first to
see women de-objectified.

* Is it more (or better, psychologically and technologically advanced)
law enforcement or better distractions for the respective classes?
Speculation abounds that the government keeps the poorer classes well
anesthetized (drugs/alcohol) and the middle class seems to be content
as long as we get our toys and entertainment fed to us without fail.
I've often maintained that TV is the best heroin value for the money

* Information economy--Could it be that our information-rich economy
is able to stand on its feet? Can we capably provide more people with
better or more interesting (or simpler) jobs so that they can spend
less time in angst about how much their lives suck and actually think
about how they may want to express themselves/contribute (the analogy
drawn from when agriculture released people from the day-to-day
survival game, some were actually able to start contemplating their
environment and the first sciences and religions could emerge)?

What motivates crime? I'm the personality type that likes to slot
things snugly rather than consider a more dynamic motif. Is crime
motivated fundamentally by (somewhat outdated) survival issues (I want
what you have, I resent what you have, I hate you for it, I'll
kill/hurt you for taking what I have)? In a society of such
abundance, should crime based on survival issues not already be
antiquated? Is our culture a luxury liner or a lifeboat? Who has to
do what to participate? What happens to them if they don't? Some
resort to violent crime and some give up and become the
disenfranchised reminders of what still must be addressed as we take
aim at a more evolved society.

Just some thoughts.