Critique of the Legal Order: Crime Control in Capitalist Society

Critique of the Legal Order: Crime Control in Capitalist Society

by Richard Quinney
     
 

Originally published thirty years ago, Critique of the Legal Order remains highly relevant for the twenty-first century. Here Richard Quinney provides a critical look at the legal order in capitalist society. Using a traditional Marxist perspective, he argues that the legal order is not intended to reduce crime and suffering, but to maintain class

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Overview

Originally published thirty years ago, Critique of the Legal Order remains highly relevant for the twenty-first century. Here Richard Quinney provides a critical look at the legal order in capitalist society. Using a traditional Marxist perspective, he argues that the legal order is not intended to reduce crime and suffering, but to maintain class differences and a social order that mainly benefits the ruling class.

Quinney challenges modern criminologists to examine their own positions. As "ancillary agents of power," criminologists provide information that governing elites use to manipulate and control those who threaten the system. Quinney's original and thorough analysis of "crime control bureaucracies" and the class basis of such bureaucracies anticipates subsequent research and theorizing about the "crime control industry," a system that aims at social control of marginalized populations, rather than elimination of the social conditions that give rise to crime. He forcefully argues that technology applied to a "war against crime," together with academic scholarship, is used to help maintain social order to benefit a ruling class.

Quinney also suggests alternatives. Anticipating the work of Noam Chomsky, he suggests we must first overcome a powerful media that provides a "general framework" that serves as the "boundary of expression." Chomsky calls this the manufacture of consent by providing necessary illusions. Quinney calls for a critical philosophy that enables us to transcend the current order and seek an egalitarian socialist order based upon true democratic principles. This core study for criminologists should interest those with a critical perspective on contemporary society.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765807977
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
08/30/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
206
Product dimensions:
6.24(w) x 9.16(h) x 0.73(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Edition
Preface
1A Critical Philosophy of Legal Order1
The Positivistic Mode2
The Social Constructionist Mode5
The Phenomenological Mode8
Critical Philosophy11
Developing a Critical Philosophy of Legal Order15
2Knowledge and Order17
The Search for Order18
Sociology of Law22
Criminology26
Scholarship in the Service of Social Control32
Social Science and the Violence Commission43
Behavior Manipulation and Control47
3Preservation of Domestic Order by the Ruling Class51
The Class Structure of Capitalist Society51
Law as an Arm of the Ruling Class55
Class Basis of the President's Crime Commission60
The Riot Commission and the Violence Commission68
The Omnibus Crime Bill75
Shaping Domestic Policy: The CED82
Crime Control Bureaucracies86
The Revolutionary Consequences of the Capitalist Crisis93
4Crime Control in the Capitalist State95
The Capitalist State95
Legislation of Crime Control99
Crime Control Bureaucracy: LEAA105
Legal Repression by the Justice Department111
The Technology of Crime Control119
War on Crime: Strategy and Action124
Reform, Repression, and Resistance132
5Ideology of Legal Order137
Legal Ideology in Capitalist Society138
The Moral Basis of the Legal Order140
Civil Liberties and Selective Repression143
Shaping Public Opinion about Crime149
Mass Media in the Transmission of Official Ideology155
Transcending the Official Ideology162
6Toward a Socialist Society165
The Contradictions of Capitalism166
Reform as Adaptive Mechanism168
Criminal Justice Reforms170
The Oppression of Correctional Reform181
The Socialist Alternative186
Emerging Revolutionary Consciousness and the Counterrevolution192
Struggle for a Socialist Society197
Index199

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