Cesare Lombroso was an eminent 19th century Italian-Jewish criminologist and physician who founded the Italian School of Positivist Criminology. He borrowed heavily from the then up and coming or at least fairly recent social sciences, physiognomy, degeneration theory, psychiatry and Social Darwinism. And he did it with a purpose in mind. He ‘religiously’ believed that criminality was inherited, and that a “born criminal” could be identified by physical (congenital) defects, which confirmed him/her as savage or atavistic.
In a nutshell, he believed that people are born to crime and their physical appearance advertises their wicked ways. Plainly speaking, if someone looks like a criminal that’s because they are one. I totally agree with him. But still he was only half-right.
I for one have spent a long time thinking of who else might fit this profile. And after careful reflection, I have the culprit. The State or the government fits the bill even more closely than what Cesare Lombroso had in mind for his ‘atavistic criminal’. In my mind the state is born to crime, just like some people are according to the 19th century Italian criminologist.
The Criminal State
For starters, who else has as much power as the State? Nobody. And what happens with people when they get in power or they become very rich and influential? Most of them abuse power as if there was no tomorrow. Just like a bon vivant will overindulge in food and drink if they had an ample supply of both, the State will also abuse its infinite power, especially since its raison d’être is the enforcement of the social contract. And therein lies its justification for its gross abuses.
Since we have given it so much power and responsibility, the State acts as if it was the permanent repository of all power; when in actuality, it is a mere transient vessel of temporary prerogatives. And that makes all the difference in the way it does everything.
They say that “With great power comes great responsibility.” One would imagine that the Government would be in a position to make this elegant adage true. As it happens, we have all come to suspect, nay, to know how untrue this is.
What they should be saying instead is ‘with great responsibility comes immense power.’ Because, in truth the State commits every shade of impropriety psychopaths and sociopaths the world over dream about but never dare do. And what is even uglier from a moral standpoint, it’s that the State gets away with it.
Cine fura azi un ou maine va fura un bou – Once a thief, always a thief
There is an old Romanian saying that says it best. He who steals today an egg, tomorrow they shall steal an ox. The meaning is quite self-evident. Any wrongdoing not caught and nipped in the bud, will ‘blossom’ into a serious crime.
The American police coined it even better. They came up with the broken windows theory, which goes a little bit like this. What happens when a young kid breaks a glass window? Well, most people would tend to say nothing, because let’s face it, if it’s a crime, it’s quite benign and some might even say a victimless one.
Not so fast, buster. It just so happens that once young punks start breaking one or ten windows, and if this trend continues unchecked, before long, the whole neighbourhood starts on a slippery slope, which ends with crack houses replacing mom and pop shops, and illegal brothels and gangs taking over downtown areas. And to think it all started with some kids being kids.
I subscribe to this idea. I believe that what is true for the little criminal-entrepreneurs is definitely the case with the State. There is more than enough empirical historical evidence to suggest that Government abuses the sacred powers it is entrusted with more often than not. What is even worse it’s that it knowingly does so by constantly deluding itself into believing that it is merely acting for the good of the many.
Unfortunately, if citizens can actually call the police to deal with private crime, when it comes to reporting the crimes perpetrated by the State, there is little legal recourse. Most courts are mere agents of the State, justice is readily accessible but only if you are rich, and let’s face it, in the end even if you win your case in court, it won’t change government’s behaviour.
You see, the government can’t really lose, now, can it!
After all, “Government is of the people, for the people, and by the people”. So what will happen in most legal battles, is that the State will argue public good, the judge will listen, nod, and tell you kindly to stop wasting the court’s time and the people’s money. “Case dismissed!”
And the State will take this to the bank and continue to operate outside the legal bounds, because that’s how it operates best.
Government and Capitalism are two concepts that know no bounds, they abide no limits, and They Make the Law Fit their Needs and Wants.
I actually have a burgeoning suspicion, which is quickly turning into a working theory that when it comes to crime, Government hates, just hates private competition. You see, nowadays there is a cascading wave of drug decriminalization going around the globe. Also, there is a tendency to restrict access to firearms or implement gun bans.
Let me be plain. When you see governments start pushing drugs, instead of drug pushers, when you see the authorities pass new laws banning civilian access to firearms, if you have half a brain, you just got to do the math.
With one hand, they are taking away the competition when it comes to cornering a captive market, while removing the criminal aspect, and cleaning out the streets. With the other, the State asserts itself as the sole purveyor of legal violence, which is at the crux of the matter. Nothing that I said here is false. Everything that I say is easy to corroborate.
Also, in the same vein, in some instances such as the state of New York, state law permits the recreational use of cannabis. At the same time, federal law dictates that any person using cannabis is banned from owning firearms. Such is the deviousness and moral decrepitude of the State that it pushes the legalization of drugs (a felony until recently), while entrapping gun owners who use legal drugs into a catch-22 situation, forcing them to forfeit their 2nd Amendment rights.
And what is even more reprehensible, the State is also pushing for digitalizing the currency and doing away with cash at the same time. What this will achieve is easy to spell out. In the near future, people who are now able to purchase legal cannabis with cash, avoiding a paper record, and retaining their rights to own guns, will no longer be able to circumvent the nefarious law. Once the economy goes fully digital, a paper record will link all cannabis purchases to gun owners, who will be separated from their guns, as per federal law.
Unfortunately, at the end of these two processes, which are basically one big process disguised as two, a disturbing dystopia awaits.
But wait, there is more. Under the false pretense of legality, drug use will spread under the assumption that the State knows best, and that it cannot hurt its citizens. After a couple of de-generations, the fabric of a disarmed and subdued society will make way to an amorphous mass of entitled drug-addicts, whose main concern will be the next meal, the next fix, and the next distraction.
Instead of making choices, they’ll be making stops, where and when the State allows or dictates them to.