The debate over the effects of capitalism on crime has been a subject of much consideration for many years. On one side, those who support pure communism argue that capitalism leads to increased crime, while others believe that it does not inherently increase the rate of criminal behavior. To understand this concept, an analysis of both sides is needed in order to gain a clear understanding.
Proponents of pure communism suggest that capitalism creates situations where people are led to commit crimes due to social and economic inequality (Bruch & McGrath 2020). Inequality can lead people to resort to more desperate measures as they struggle with poverty or other struggles due to inadequate resources and income levels. This type of inequity can lead individuals into taking risks that may result in criminal activities such as theft and fraud in order to survive financially (Bruch & McGrath 2020). Additionally, proponents suggest that unequal access to opportunity can foster feelings resentment among members from lower economic classes which may cause them engaging in antisocial behaviors such as vandalism or even violence against members from higher social classes (Farrell et al., 2018). As argued by Bruch & McGrath (2020), “capitalism entails competition between individuals for scarce resources – typically money or material goods – but no guarantee about equitable redistribution”.
Based on the pure communist social model, how does capitalism lead to crime?
On the other hand, those who do not believe that capitalism inherently causes an increase in crime point out certain benefits associated with a market economy system including economic growth and development which could ultimately reduce crime rates rather than increasing them (Farrell et al., 2018). This argument suggests that having access to free markets with free trade opportunities provides incentives for businesses and consumers alike; thus reducing the need for any illegal activity as a means of survival or financial success since there are more legitimate avenues available through capitalist systems (Chen et al., 2017). Furthermore, supporters also point out how law enforcement efforts often focus on cracking down on capitalists-related crimes such as fraud instead of targeting street level offenses when they exist in capitalist societies (Chen et al., 2017) . As Chen et al. stated: “in our view, it appears possible—and probably likely—that policies related specifically targeting white collar criminals might be more effective than increased police presence directed towards preventing street-level offenses” indicating their belief that capitalistic societies have greater control over higher level wrongdoings compared to communities without these structures in place.
In conclusion, it appears difficult at best draw absolute conclusions regarding whether or not capitalism inevitably enhances criminal activity given the complexity surrounding this issue. However what is clear is that each approach carries its own merits when considering ways address overall criminality within any given society; making a combined effort between both ideologies most desirable if attempting maximize safety across all populations regardless if present conditions are driven by communist or capitalistic underpinnings.