Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Debate: the causes of crime.

Please, watch the video above and post your comments on what you think are the causes of crime. I have already posted my own opinion.


  1. This is an interesting interview. I must confess I agree with the interviewee rather than with the (somewhat unnecessarily aggressive) interviewer: poverty and the possession of guns, although not the obvious causes of crime considered in isolation, are, among other factors, powerful vectors that converge to create crime or aggravate it. I would say that, rather than poverty (which is not an absolute value, but a relative one), the inequality it creates between the rich and the poor in a specific society is a powerful factor: the feeling by some underprivileged that “the system” has forsaken them and that no matter how hard they try they will not manage to escape the pit they were born or driven into; that converges with being bombarded by information of what prosperity and happiness supposedly is about: the possession of money, power, prestige and material goods, which creates a feeling of disadvantage and frustration. In a nutshell: some people feel (and it could be argued that they in fact ARE) disadvantaged and betrayed; on top of that, the value system of consumerist societies contributes to wreak havoc in their morality (and, yes, this latter factor is also a powerful inducer to crime among more affluent people). As for the possession of fire arms, the interviewer is, to my mind, a narrow-minded defender of the Rifle Association and the 2nd ammendment. Denying the fact that there is a very clear correlation between gun possession and crime is like denying smoking is a major cause of lung cancer, and the comparison with Switzerland is utterly ridiculous: that country is an exception and a totally different society.

    It appears to me that the interviewer simplistically thinks of crime as if it were a single phenomenon with a single cause, like a domino piece knocking against another and making it fall, and pushes the interviewee relentlessly to give him a scientifically verifiable answer to the causes of crime -has he heard of the complexities inherent to social sciences? His pretentions of rationality make his stance even more pitiful. It is as if he had an agenda: “all these lefties and their philanthropic scruples are so lost. Let’s bang some sense into their heads, preferably with the butts of the rifles we keep at home, lest they waste our great nation’s resources on lost causes, yeehaw!”

    Of course, drug consumption is another obvious factor contributing to crime.

    And, finally, other causes escape us: I do believe that, no matter what we do, a very small percentage of people are born sociopaths and psychopaths...

    Anyway, I will stop at this point, so as not to influence the debate even more, and please, feel free to disagree with me.

  2. (Hello all! Hope to see you soon.)

    First of all, I agree with Carlos about the interviewer, he is very aggressive and I could say quite rude and narrow-minded.

    To be honest, I don't know why American people have so many problems related with crimes, because the worse things I remember about crimes and violence come from there. Starting from this idea, I get my own conclussion, which is that "it must be something about culture".

    Let me explain...
    Of course there are factors that make a big influence on what we do, as the interviewer said, drug taken, poverty, gun possession or young people waseting time on the street. I do think that those are serious factors that can end or result in crime, and frequently there is a mix of them when someone is involved in that situation.

    A part from those who has psychiatric problems, I would say that a person who lives in a "ordinary" family and have drug problems, doesn't end in crime to achive whatever he or she needs. It's obvious I'm generalizing.

    I think that a person who have an "educated" background or a positive point of view will probably be able to manage with bad situations rather than get involved in a crime than other than is used to live in a "particular world" where crime is more frequent and also seen as a "way" to get yourself "high" in a group.

    Summing up, the worse is the enviroment you life the most probability you have to get in trouble.