Why the Ruling Class Likes Crime

Column by Paul Bonneau.

Exclusive to STR

Back during the American Revolution there were a lot of radical ideas floating around, one of which was “no standing army.” In those days before police existed, the army was what the rulers used to plunder the productive and keep the people under the rulers’ thumbs: “the sharp point of the spear.” The Crown used it that way in Boston. So naturally, the people were having none of that.

Of course one of the first things the new American ruling class did, after the 1787 counter-revolution, was to get up a standing army. And as in Boston, when the Whiskey Rebellion rolled around, it was used to plunder and suppress. To be more precise, Washington called up militia from four states to make this army, so it may not fit the definition of a standing army very well, but this is a distinction without a difference. It still performed the functions of a standing army.

I suppose people from that period were still opposed to the notion of a standing army, though, so that the rulers must have been overjoyed to learn about Sir Robert Peel’s experiments with police in the 1820s. Here was a concept that could give them a standing army stationed among the people, without it being called a standing army--exactly the remedy they needed. The history of American policing is laid out by Roger Roots here. It’s well worth the read, even if Roots is a constitutionalist.

But the question is, why do rulers like crime? To answer, one must attempt to see the world from their viewpoint.

What do the rulers do; what is their “job”? It’s no longer very controversial, for those with some practice interpreting “the narrative,” that they exist to plunder the productive and to enjoy the exercise of power. Only naive or very silly people believe “they work for us” any more.

It’s not that they are so much different from the rest of us (excepting the occasional lizard person or psychopath); it’s that they face and respond to different incentives than the ones we face. That’s what it means to be corrupted by power--to respond to such incentives.

To do this “job,” they need minions--a standing army, and a whole lotta bureaucrats. These implement and also feed off the plunder that occurs, and as well, enjoy the exercise of power in their smaller spheres.

However, the rulers have to convince the ruled that reality is other than what that unsavory picture portrays. Needless to say, they glommed onto government schooling as soon as Horace Mann imported it from socialist Prussia in 1852. Before that innovation in Prussia, the notion that the state might “educate” the people was ridiculous, given the effort the rulers had put into keeping any and all serious learning from them previously.

1) Rulers like crime because it provides a justification (of sorts, for indoctrinated people) for the existence of their standing army, the police. If there were no crime, there would be no “need” for police. Of course the police do not prevent crime; they are at best only the “clean-up crew” (and that only if they feel like it) after crime occurs.

The existence of police, in turn, provides a justification (of sorts, for indoctrinated people) for gun control. After all, if your friend the cop on the corner is “protecting” you from crime, then you supposedly no longer need to do so, and neither does anyone else. Gun control, leading to gun elimination, is a very important goal for any ruling class worth a damn; after all, a disarmed population is much easier to exploit (even psychologically, since being disarmed is demoralizing) and much less dangerous to the rulers. If there were no cops, there would be no gun control. In other words, cops enable gun control.

Gun control, in turn, makes people weak and easy to plunder, just as any kind of dependency would do. Of course the rulers like that. Just as rulers have no use for intelligent and aware peons, they also have no use for strong and self-reliant peons.

2) Rulers like crime, as it is another avenue for plunder, via corruption. What percentage of cops have taken cash in exchange for leaving criminal activities alone (e.g. drug and alcohol prohibition)? How many judges and politicians have been corrupted by organized crime?

3) Rulers like crime because it generates a “need” for more empire building. All the social work and welfare and other such “efforts” are at base, a response to crime.

4) Rulers like crime because if the natural background level of such things as murder is high, then many will go unsolved, and an occasional “hit” by government minions on troublemakers and malcontents will go unnoticed. Just another way of keeping the people under their thumbs.

5) Rulers like crime because of “divide and conquer.” Different people will argue and debate over the causes and get wrapped up in crime, and fear it, and cause them to beg government for a larger standing army! This distracts people from the ruling class plunder and manipulation going on. Crime is, in fact, one of the main routes for joining the ruling class. Many a prosecutor has made this step into the legislature on the basis of his record jailing a lot of essentially harmless people; and crime is always something any politician is happy to bloviate about.

Crime is so important to the rulers that, if it did not exist, they would have to gin it up. That is the entire reason for being, for such mala prohibita as gun, drug and alcohol prohibition. No, they didn’t pass those laws to protect your kids! The purpose of laws is to generate crime, not to stop it.

Amusingly, violent crime has been going down for decades, probably as a result of people arming themselves as much as anything (the gun control effort has been failing despite the indoctrination). However, the perception is that crime is going up. The rulers, through their Ministry of Propaganda, do a lot of work to keep it in the forefront. An old Ministry slogan from the days of newspapers was, “If it bleeds, it leads.” If you eliminated cop shows from TV, there would be little left.

Crime will increase in the near future, as that is the sort of thing that happens when economies die. Get ready for even more calls for an increased standing army. Just more fodder for the coming revolution.

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Paul Bonneau's picture
Columns on STR: 106


Alex R. Knight III's picture

Very nicely done, Paul.  Addresses numerous things succinctly, and connects them all.  Sharing widely.

D. Saul Weiner's picture

Very good article.

However, I believe that the most compelling explanation for the decline in violent crime is discussed here:


Jim Davies's picture

Tetraethyl lead... who'd ha thunk it?  Thanks Saul for the link.  It's a well written piece, despite its home in Mother Jones and its inevitable push for environmental action.
Correlation is not causation, but the author deals with that quite well by addressing the effects of lead poisoning on the brain. He did not, though, spend time on the moral issue.
Crime (or rather what I call Krime, the sort that has victims) hurts people, damages their rights in some way, and hence is morally reprehensible. But if a big part of its cause is actually a chemical, present in the air we breathe as a result of simple accident, a coincidence that added it to car fuel, what happens to moral accountabiltiy? How does the will fit in, the choice of bad over good, the culpability? "Not guilty, your Honor, because Exxon diminshed my responsibility..."
The author mentions Roe v Wade, and that makes a lot of sense to me. It led to fewer unwanted kids, and so to fewer maladjusted teens a decade or two later.

D. Saul Weiner's picture

Jim, that's a very good question. If you are a committed Szaszian, then you will deny the possibility that there are factors beyond individual choice that have a bearing on the morality of our behavior. But I believe that Szasz overstated his case in this regard. There is strong evidence that factors such as poor nutrition and environmental toxins can have marked effects on our mental health and, in some cases this leads to criminal behavior.

Here is a good talk about nutrition and criminal behavior by neurosurgeon and researcher Dr. Russel Blaylock.


I also think that it is possible that, with the heavy metals used in vaccines, that the government is seeding the NEXT crime wave with the recent out-of-control CDC vaccine schedule. I read recently that there was an uptick in crime recently. Time will tell if that is what is happening. But even if that does turn out to be the case, we can be quite sure that such a connection will be vehemently denied and probably not even mentioned as a possibility.

Jim Davies's picture

Very interesting. I noticed that Blayock made a good case that people already presumed anti-social (prisoners, though we know that half of them committed no krime) responded well to improvements in diet etc. But I didn't notice him consider the correlation the other way round; that is, for example, what proportion of habitual consumers of junk food turn to krime, compared to consumers of well balanced diets?  The proportion of all US adults in prison is 1%; far, far too high for justice but for this kind of measurement it's far too low to have much significance, wouldn't you agree?
That question is a tough one, because I'd not be surprised to learn that habitual junk-food eaters are also in the lower socio-economic classes and therefore face a whole range of other pressures to lead a life of krime. I wonder how one can separate these factors so as to get a clean measure.
One other question occurs: we also know that the primary anti-social kriminals in society are government people; their entire business is to violate rights. Yet I'd be very surprised to learn that any of them are deprived of a healthy diet; rather, the opposite - and fine wines to wash it down. Doesn't that cast doubt on Blaylock's case?

D. Saul Weiner's picture

Scientists cannot do a controlled experiment to determine the degree to which, say, consumption of junk food, will increase propensity to commit (real) crimes. Probably the closest thing to a study here is Weston Price's research, laid out in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. He was primarily interested in studying physical degeneration, but also found that mental and moral degeneration went along with it.

As far as government-style kriminals go, that is a good question. It could be that there are 2 (or more) types of criminals. Perhaps the first kind is lacking in self-control, which may be a result (at least in part) of problems with their nutrition or toxic exposure. The government kriminal may have adequate self-control but no conscience to speak of. Not sure, though, just speculating here.

Jim Davies's picture

Perhaps you're right, in saying there are two types of criminals.
Or perhaps there is a kind of Jekyll/Hyde thing going on. Government people are kriminals in all they do, in their "official" capacity. But back at home, they may be as nice a set of neighbors as one could desire. They may even exercise a normal conscience. Milgram may have fingered the difference.
If that's the case, some of them at least are open to the presentation at TinyURL.com/QuitGov.

Paul's picture

Thanks for that link; I hadn't heard of that connection.

John deLaubenfels's picture

Well put.  I remember what a revelation it was, many years ago, when I read some Indian philosopher (I forget who now) who pointed out that judges require criminals to avoid unemployment, as do police, jailers, etc. etc.  Much like "If God didn't exist, people would have to invent Him", if crime didn't exist, then would-be statist thugs who weren't successful in creating "crimes" would have to find honest work, an apparently very unappealing prospect for that kind of person.  So, they invent crimes everywhere you look, to grow their pyrimids of power.

KenK's picture

Crime ebbs & flows for a whole host of reasons. Legalizing abortion & birth control in 1973 was big factor too.