The Global Crime Wave: And What We Can Do about It
an article by Gene Stephens
(our site's article review)
Stephens says that “Around the world, nations are reporting more murders, rapes, and robberies . . . [and there are] rapidly rising crime rates in nations that previously reported few offences. Street crimes . . . are clearly escalating, particularly in some formerly communist countries such as Hungary and in western European nations such as Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. U.S. crime rates remain the highest in the world overall . . . there are certain conditions associated with rising crime: increasing heterogeneity of populations, greater cultural pluralism, higher immigration, realignment of national borders, democratization of governments, greater economic growth, improving communications and computerization, and the rise of anomie—the lack of accepted social norms.”
The collectivist, welfare-state mindset
The heroic individualist, isolated, conservative-family-values mindset
The author, Stephens, describes his view of the difference between the collectivist, welfare-state mindset (some European countries) and the heroic individualist, isolated, conservative-family-values mindset (U.S.). The collectivist produces less crime, while the conservative produces more crime. The collectivist sees child-rearing as the government’s responsibility to monitor and support, while the conservative sees child-rearing as individual families’ private matters.
The collectivist makes sure parents have knowledge, skills, and adequate incomes, while the conservative makes sure of very little unless abuse charges pop up. The collectivist views criminality as due to improper socialization and therefore the society is responsible for the failure to socialize, and the remedy is seen as resocialization, while the conservative seeks retribution against the offender, who is held personally responsible for his or her misdeeds. The collectivist uses proactive approaches to criminal behavior, while the conservative uses reactive methods. The collectivist usually uses community policing methods called the “peace” model, while the conservative uses punitive policing methods called the “war” model. In the peace model, cooperation and win-win problem solving dominate, while in the war model, a win-lose competitive context prevails.
Stephens has correctly highlighted what works about proactive crime prevention and community policing—the “peace” models that prevent and resocialize more than threaten and punish, and the societies that ensure that parents have the needed resources to do their jobs. It is indeed an abominable error that our young get through grade school and high school and are not skilled and knowledgeable in the areas of parenting, relationships, win-win conflict resolution, community, democracy, civic responsibility, and maintaining mental and psychological health in self and others one is close to.
The facts are known and it’s not that hard to teach, and yet students sit, bored, in factory-model classrooms where they listen to lectures and memorize facts even though what they need to be learning is how to think, cooperate, problem-solve and live
What kids need to be learning is how to think, cooperate, problem-solve and live
The facts are known and it’s not that hard to teach, and yet students sit, bored, in factory-model classrooms where they listen to lectures and memorize facts even though what they need to be learning is how to think, cooperate, problem-solve and live. Unless this knowledge is imparted, the facts they’ll learn are relatively useless. What good are other types of knowledge if one cannot think, relate, cooperate, parent, support democracy and community, and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem?
American schools are not teaching people to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem
It’s true that families should be teaching many of these things. But they’re not. So that leaves schools. If they don’t do it, the young become social liabilities easy to lead into crime, prone to abusing and neglecting the kids they bring into the world, unequipped to relate well to or cooperate with others and therefore unlikely to have satisfying lives. A cynical capitalist could say that they’re now the perfect candidates for a materialistic life of consumption and greed and possession obsession, since they’re empty and cannot find satisfaction with people or families or through love and relating.
Americans try to fill their empty lives with 'stuff' as they repress their human connectedness desires
They’re bound to try to fill their lives with “stuff” as they repress their human connectedness desires and opt for wealth creation and consumption. But the cynical capitalist would be wrong. The American Dream is about not only consumption and possessions but happy families, good friends, good relationships, effective parenting, and lifestyle satisfaction. These are the prerequisite for everything else. The cynic simply has his priorities reversed.
The author says that “children need and deserve tender loving care and attention. When they feel wanted and gain attention and approval for socially desirable activities, they are unlikely to become serious lawbreakers as adolescents or adults. The research is clear on that point, but many societies are failing to make sure that children get what they need.” HE GOES ON TO ADVOCATE P.E.T. AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION TECHNIQUES TAUGHT AT ALL GRADE LEVELS, BEGINNING IN PRESCHOOL. Amen!
The community policing approach involves a return to the 19th century role of the police—protecting and serving the community by being constantly aware of community problems and ever ready to help
Stephens says that “The community policing approach involves a return to the 19th century role of the police—protecting and serving the community by being constantly aware of community problems and ever ready to help solve them in cooperation with . . . the citizenry.” He recommends that criminals get resocialized in programs that stress restitution and reconciliation. The criminals must compensate the victim. It is foolish that so little restitution is required of criminals at this time. This represents a basic, fundamental flaw in the mindset of the nation, because a person is responsible for his actions and should fix what he harms, repay what he swipes, and face the consequences of his actions. Consequences are the core of the best parenting on the planet: authoritative, Winning Family Lifeskills, and P.E.T.
Now to evaluate: He’s right that a society’s kids are everyone’s responsibility, but that doesn’t mean that the U.S. needs to be more like European welfare states. (However, due to the 2008 economic collapse, welfare system reform that defends existing social security entitlements at the expense of families and children is the public's preferred choice in Europe, according to polls. Spending cuts are inevitable, but which sectors to target is cause of heated controversy, of course.) The more we listened to liberals and modeled our system after European welfare states, the worse things have gotten. The worse thing a society can do is addict its citizens to entitlements and make them dependent so they lose a sense of self-responsibility. Of course, social security entitlements are what people rightfully expect in our country after they've spent their lives paying into it—thereby demonstating self-responsibility.
Bureaucracies send out their experts to do social engineering at the family level as families lose a sense of self-responsibility
He’s right that the society needs to make sure that the parents have the needed resources to parent effectively, as long as he’s talking about parenting knowledge and training, access to special resources if their kids are handicapped or disabled, schools that produce knowledgeable citizens who know how to relate and parent, and the like. However, to the degree he means free child care, social engineering, minimum yearly incomes for all regardless of their work record, government intervention in private lives, and government responsibility for families, he’s making the classic liberal error of assuming that government bureaucracies can cure social problems.
People cure problems. Bureaucracies create more problems than they cure. They’re part of the problem, mostly. The record is clear. People in this nation need to be empowered with information, knowledge, training and examples to emulate, not given free money from a welfare state. Child tax credits already exist, as do dependents’ deductions and progressive tax brackets. That’s already enough income redistribution.
America needs to lessen unplanned births of babies the mother cannot support and increase planned births of babies that the parents can economically support
Prospective parents need to either cancel their procreative plans or plan realistically to economically support the kids they choose to have. They need to accept the economic responsibility—not look to government bail-outs. They need to work hard enough to earn enough to support their chosen family size, not just procreate mindlessly and look around helplessly like victims. This is not Africa. There are jobs here for those willing to train for and work at. The American Dream is available—even if more challenging now due to the economy. But it is an opportunity, not a right. It should be a reward for hard work, not an entitlement. The liberals were/are wrong about this.
The best way to be proactive about crime, raise responsible kids who respect our laws, our citizens and themselves, and make America safe again is for schools to begin teaching kids what we’ve already outlined, above, and for our young to be raised by their families in MCs so they actually desire to and choose to become part of the solution and not part of the problem. See Why Register for an MC?.
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