Marx’s conflict theory is having a profound influence right now in urban areas, especially among young people and minorities. Groups such as Black Lives Matter and the New Black Panthers openly advocate separation from mainstream society due to the unfair, biased, and overbearing power of the dominant culture and the ruling class.
For them, laws reflect bias and unfair treatment and punishment of the poor and minorities by police and the American justice system. They understand perfectly that their communities have been left behind by globalization and the influx of uneducated, unskilled immigrant labor. Some of them advocate the overthrow of the American capitalist system and the creation of a communist or socialist society. They believe this is the only path to equality, happiness, and economic freedom.
Using class struggle as a shield, these groups justify inter-racial random killings, police ambushes, weapons hoards, acts of terrorism, riots, violent protests, and every other conceivable crime. They feel no shame or remorse because they see themselves as victims fighting for a cause. In their view, the police and other authoritarian figures are the real criminals. Poverty and economic disparity are the real crimes.
Unfortunately, they do not direct their zeal into cleaning up their own neighborhoods. They do not use their skills to benefit their own communities. Their goal is to strike fear into the dominant society with threats, disruption, and chaos. In fact, a strong law and order response threatens their agenda and their goals.
Such a politicized movement can only turn the dominant society against them. Mainstream Americans want law and order.
November 9, 2016
Criminology 225, Mohave Community College,
Copyright 2016 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.