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THE PROBLEM IS... By Ken Howell

posted 19 Apr 2017, 12:43 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 19 Apr 2017, 12:46 ]
Related imageSomeone said that murders are at an unacceptable level. Such a statement leads one to ask whether society can tolerate a level of murders that is acceptable.

One would think that even one murder per year is one too much. But we live in a capitalist society in which crime provides opportunities for business ideas to take flight and flourish. Crime provides the reason for governments to spend money on security by building more prisons and there are companies who create the design and supply the hardware and software which are marketed as having the capacity to protect us from the criminals.

Because of crime, security companies have sprung up like wild fires. They are all over the place. Security systems for our homes and cars are some of the hot selling items in stores these days. We can now have GPS systems on our phones and in our cars. It is now possible to be away from our homes and still be aware of what is happening at home.

Because of crime, the prisons are overcrowded and the Judiciary is overwhelmed as a result of a backlog of cases which has led to prisoners on remand having to languish in inhumane conditions. That situation has created opportunities for favoured security companies to pride themselves in boasting that they deliver “justice on time.” because they have benefited from the decision by the government to outsource the business of transporting prisoners to and from the Courts.

The sub-culture of crime is comprised of different social and cultural strata and practices with which we are quite familiar. For example, we talk about white collar and blue collar crimes. Lawyers are popping up all over the place. Defending the guilty is big business and politically connected attorneys are making millions at the expense of the public purse as inquiries into potential criminal actions themselves re-distribute millions into the pockets of lawyers.

Religion benefits from the broken souls who flock to the Churches every Sunday and because of the good work which the Churches, Mosques and Mandirs are doing, by keeping the battered souls docile they are supported financially by the business community and elements in the illegal drug trade.

Pharmaceutical companies benefit because the society is constantly living under stressful conditions, which leads to diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and the many and varied types of cancers. In addition, it has also done physiological damage to many members of the society. To the extent, where relationships in homes have been destroyed and families are left to go their separate ways because of domestic violence, incestuous relationships, and the many and varied abuses to which children are subjected.

Some of these ills to which the children are subjected have been happening for a very long time in this country. Although we may wish to throw some of the blame on the internet and television, many of our fathers, grand fathers, uncles, brothers and friends of the families, have been engaging in these practices.

All of these ills are damaging to the human spirit, but they are seen by the multinational companies who are in the business of making super profits as markets in which billions of dollars can be made and in, fact, are being made. These companies have even gone to the extent to produce drugs, which can only provide relief; but some also carry warnings about several side effects that can do you more harm than good. So crime is big business and capitalism cannot do without it.

Maybe, that is why it can be possible to talk about having an acceptable level of crime in the same way that economists talk about having an acceptable level of unemployment in the economy. The problem is not just corruption/crime/dysfunctional governance/plantation economy/neo-liberalism. The problem is capitalism!