The pervasive existence of upscale criminal behavior throughout U.S. society reaches from the boardroom to the courtroom. Such perversity does not stop at the steps to the state capital just because a hallowed quotation hangs over the portico. In addition, regardless of an “infotainment” culture’s fixation on street crimes, the devastating impact of “white collar” corruption deteriorates the very core of the American political and economic system. While violent crimes are serious, the institutional destructiveness in corruptive collusions remains callously counterproductive in extraordinary ways. It threatens the demise of the republic and hastens human regression toward eventual extinction.
With an amative sense of entitlement for what they “deserve”, the criminality is one of easy rationalization, for the sake of self-gratification. For the public, as in mainstream media, the fascination with news reports of horrific crimes, such as murder, rape and robbery, distracts from the necessity of attentive mindfulness for the serious nature of corporate and political criminality. Arrogance in selfishness for personal pleasure in the satiation of advantage over others is not a new phenomenon. American history is filled with myriad examples of the salaciousness by which some people use their socio-economic position to exploit, oppress and manipulate others.
Upper class, upper world or upscale criminal behaviors, whatever descriptor you choose, reflect premeditated intentional purposes to perpetrate “antisocial” unlawful behaviors on the majority. As in all criminal behavior, the criminal thinking processes are the result of freely chosen actions that bring harm to others for personal gain. By private desire, individual proclivity, targets of opportunity and skilled ability, higher social realms of criminality inflict grievous harms upon society.
Where a small disproportionate number of powerful, socially well-established and influential people control a majority of earthly resources, there are plenty of opportunities for illegality. Such is an age-old saga of humankind upon the planet. As one percent controls over half the earth’s resources, with access to trillions of dollars of wealth, one might quickly query the nature of economic disparity. For all the religious ideologies proselytizing sharing, caring, giving and receiving, you might ponder the debauchery of the dogmatic hypocrisy. For the scales of justice, where is the slant?
In terms of societal costs, data is frequently difficult to summarize relative to non-street level criminality. For the corporate and political criminal, the amount of social damage they inflict is a cultural cost figure that is not an exact measurement. Some thirty years ago, one calculation by a national business organization put the cost factors in the range of $40 to $50 billion annually. Dollar losses to the American taxpayer by comparison to street crimes, today “white collar” crime is likely a 100 times greater. Major offences include crimes such as bribery, fraud, kickbacks, and securities violations and assorted other related criminalities, with the costs that are much higher.
Currently some research sources suggest the estimated costs to be in excess of $400 billion to nearly $1.5 to $2 trillion. Those are probabilities based a range of criminal incidents. These include techno crimes, corporate spying, employee theft, counterfeiting of all kinds, telecom fraud, credit card fraud, money laundering, insurance swindles, and various illicit marketing schemes. However, that information may not account for the total damage and losses instigated via the internet, identity theft, computer hacking, etc. Fraudulent consumer schemes are the tip of the proverbial human “iceberg” of criminal perpetration. In endless ways, people exploit each other by horrific means.
By similar frame of reference, the aforementioned crimes illustrate some of examples of the corporate and institutional aspects of non-traditional criminalities. Such are by no means the limits to which greedy, arrogant and self-righteous criminals go to ensure their own personal gains. Of course, there are further incident types that can be more invasive and deadly. Unsafe products for instance, recalls, injuries and deaths, could potentially add several billions in costs to the losses inflicted upon others. In addition, there is still more in terms of organized crime, terroristic and cultic collusions, human trafficking, religious frauds and schemes. Do not forget environmental crimes as well.
By ruthless and predatory practices, purposeful and deceptively premeditated, con artists inflict their illicit schemes across a diverse opportunistic spectrum. From the misfortunes of climatic catastrophe, to war profiteering, criminals exploit every opportunity throughout the social culture. Herein, let us use “white collar” crime as a catchall term for the illicit activities of individuals and organizations. Some might suggest a distinction between what constitutes “corporate crime” versus “white collar” criminality, but for purposes here, we will blur any such variations.
Illegalities directed against others, whether by one or more persons, in or by a particular organization, or institution, by malevolent means of position, power and influence, etc., gain is maximized regardless of harm, constitutes so-called “white collar” crimes. These cunningly premeditated malicious actions are not within the usual conception of traditional crimes, like murder, rape and robbery. Regardless though, the effects on other people are just as dangerous and socially regressive.
Whether upscale or lower scale, the criminal’s purposes remain the same. Criminal causality surfaces from the deepest realms of selfishness within the individual. On a prurient level of self-gratification, it is about them, getting what they want, and taking shortcuts to get it. Crimes perpetrated are for the material and mental benefit of the lawless person or persons. Collectively, his or her conspiratorial aims may involve collaborators in a larger scheme to defraud community processes.
There are no excuses, fabricated alibis or scapegoating mitigations, for the illicit degradations committed that harm other people. As mentioned at the outset, “upscale” means political, social and economic placement at a higher level than the “average” person in society has access. It is used here to refer to those who have an unequal advantage over others by political “inheritance”, patronage, economic ascendency, or social class status. Some use descriptive terms as an “oligarchy of the wealthy”, the American “political nobility”, or the “new elites”, which encourages a sense of entitlement. Of which, some will use to their greater enrichment.
With an accepted sense of socio-political “inheritance”, or favored economic advantage, the divide between rich and poor devolves into greater divisiveness. Within the particular position of advantage, the criminal makes his or her choices as to the malevolent proclivities he or she will inflict. Suffice it to say, non-traditional criminality has enormous costs associated with the commission of each violation. In similar ways to traditional street crimes, white-collar crime can be viewed as potentially violent. Some have characterized this to “delayed violence” in varying degrees.
Postponed inflictions of deadly results upon others might come in the form of environmental pollution, or contaminated food products, as well as unsafe consumer products. Hazardous materials dumped in waterways, or drugs with dangerous side effects are but a few of the possible consequences inflected for personal gain.
Bogus, counterfeit and deceptive practices, prognoses and predictions quicken the pace by which a culture eventually destroys itself. Yet, one might ask or perhaps investigate the query, as to the nature of widespread ignorance in the acceptance of anything less than honorably good intentioned interactions. Nonetheless, vast arrays of excuses conspire continuously to foolishly explain away the destructiveness of pernicious self-indulgence, corruption and sordid exploitations.
Again, and exceptionally pervasive, according to one source at the federal level, white criminals cost us losses in the trillion dollar range. At yet, our fixation focuses primarily on street, as opposed to the executive suite. From mass media deceptions and outright fraudulent reporting, to congregational manipulation of “faith healing” swindlers, the diversity of corruption wears many faces. While backgrounds may differ among “white collar” criminals and their street level counterpart, they are thugs applying purposeful skills in different settings. They share a “seduction” in the excitement of violating something that belongs to someone for selfish satiation.
In amative self-indulgence for the excitation for the primal thrill, the criminal, at any level of social strata, relishes in the whole experience of his or her chosen criminality. They know exactly what they are doing, what they want, whom they are going to do it to, and how they are going to get it. Education, background, experience and selection of criminality interact within the particularity of the individual’s skill set. Feeling entitled, unique, special and above the law, they freely choose their courses of action. Arrogant and self-assured, one criminal uses a gun, the other a computer.
For the enrichment of their position, power, control and gross sense of materialism, the criminal overcomes any concern about the consequences the harm they cause. He or she is all about self-interests, immediate gratifications and the foolishness of simplistic thinking. With that though, it should be pointed out that anyone is capable of the most heinous kinds of behaviors. Horrible degradations and murderous oppression have and continue to be carried out against other human beings.
From cultic exclusivity and corporate complicity, to organized crime tyranny and terroristic religiosity, beliefs systems are rationalized to excuse horrible debaucheries of human civilization. Deceptions abound in myriad fallacies of inferential perpetration for hasty generalizations that scheme an illicit gambit of social deterioration.
Nevertheless, for the heroic few, those who endeavor to change themselves over time, without fixation on the materiality of primal satiation, are those who more clearly see the illusions of the malevolence. By the virtue of wise ethical precepts in liberated individuality, with insistence upon enlightened transformation, purposeful from inner depths of maturation and willful selfless perseverance, become more evolved than the rest. Some see the folly of the gluttonous self-indulgence in selfish gratification.
Regardless, along the vast reaches of the social spectrum, among various levels of elitism, there are the devolving perpetrators of societal degradation. Competition colludes in varying degrees, whereby the accumulation of fame, fortune and fiction, transgresses against the good intentions of others. Within those regressive ranks of exploitation of deceitful opportunists, the oligarchs of wealth will use any means to tyrannize others for continued enrichment. In the upper tiers, who is punished for their crimes?
So-called “white collar” criminality spans many areas of communal interactions, as well as societal institutions, and encompasses a range of unethical and unlawful behaviors. The looting of the taxpayer at all levels of government, to ensure non-failure of corporate criminals, absent sure and swift prosecution, aids and abets the devolution of the human species. Never mind what some politicians pontificate about “work harder”, “get better educated”, to encourage success and consume more.
Consider that living among us, the best educated, most successful, richest, powerful and very influential, perpetrate the most heinous financial crimes imaginable. Not unlike the affinity for illicit hedonistic proclivities of their street level counterparts, the upper class criminal remains just as arrogant, self-indulgent and ruthlessly selfish. Egoistic in every calculating and deceptive way, the “chair-borne” criminal sees easy rationalization in over-simplifying his or her crimes. Abuse of others is amatively exciting.
At the same time, they enjoy the enrichment, the psychological gain, and naturally the profit from the suffering others. However, for the vast majority of people, wishful thinking pursues the illusion that everyone is “basically good”, and there’s always an “excuse” for the intentional victimization of others. Regardless, debasing poverty pervades a world civilization that should have ascended ages ago. Factions, states and religions war as they always have centuries long past. Exploitation and waste of the earth’s natural resources continues as though it’s business as usual.
At the expense of the majority of planetary inhabitants, the elite few are facilitate a “culture” of entitled exceptionality. By corporate and government collusions, maintained by collaborative socio-political and economic connections, a handful of the most affluent people control a majority of the planet’s wealth. In so doing, some of them contrive adversely to render others exploitable, consumable and expendable. Over time, as though a kind of “wealthy aristocracy”, they ensure their insulation, aloof status and protected elite status. Such corrupt potentialities exist in every aspect of society.
Large or small, climbing or already at the top of their particular sphere, the criminal will persist in debasing the infrastructure of society to every extent possible. They will use every ruse anyone chooses to believe, with ready accomplices everywhere. One such successful mega sphere of adverse influence, and accessory to untenable excuses, to aid and abet the criminal, is the vast interwoven collaborations of the “psycho-medical-pharmaceutical industrial complex”. From psychologist to psychiatrist, to medical “treatment” and psychotropic cure-all medication, any excuse for a price can be easily conjured. Alibis for criminality come in all kinds of prevarications.
With little or no regard for others, the cultic conspirator, the gangland mobster, the terroristic ideologue, the self-help guru, as well as the upper class monopolist, all fit within the willful deviance of hedonistic gain. They share kinship with their street level criminal counterparts. Controlling and otherwise diminishing any semblance of empathy for others, for the satiation of egoistic centeredness, and to facilitate primal urges, the con artist smugly revels in his or her “dog eat dog” purposefulness.
Make no mistake contrary to popular depiction the so-called “psychopath” is not that different from the neighbor next door. Deception is the game and personal gain is their fame. Everyone develops some capacity for deceiving another person. We all do it in different ways given particular circumstances, based on personal belief systems, and contingent on goal orientation. For one who chooses to cross the line of civility, he or she is selfish and expects to get his or her way no matter what it takes.
The criminal will endeavor find a shortcut around responsibility and subsequent accountability. To think otherwise, not only deceives oneself in willful naiveté, but also gives the criminal an escape mechanism to avoid sanctions. Typically, excuses usually come in the form of explaining away criminality by blaming others or the environment.
Criminality is at the very core of selfish thinking on the part of everyone. Each person is a variation on theme of deception, dishonesty and devolution, as all perpetrate their biases and prejudicial behaviors in one fashion or another. In cross-cultural mix of conflict and consensus, gain seeks the advantage over another. While various actions of one sort or another may not be explicitly illegal, ethical issues arise to the morality of an array of interactions. Small-scale deceit on the part of some may by contrast become a large-scale economic meltdown on the part of others.
A particular statute, or set of rule requirements, guidelines etc., might not detail specific violations. Nevertheless, at the end of day what are the behavioral indications where one chooses to do certain acts that could bring harm to others? As suggested earlier, the permeation infiltrates every aspect of society. Yet, certain schools of thought have become so easily believed in American society, that we explain away everything. In the “psycho-medical-pharmaceutical industrial complex”, (aka “P+M+P = pimp”), we can quickly render a “diagnosis”, come up with an excuse, and rationalize simplistic justification. The infotainment industry is good at finding “alibis”.
Meanwhile, the cost of so-called “white collar” criminality is astronomical in comparison to “street crimes”. Where does communal consensus focus the most? Or, where do the halls of academia assert the outcry of a “redress of grievances”? Typically, we move along the linear superficiality of easy conjecture. What is trending? What are politicians regurgitating? What is the latest poll say about what people generally know little about in the first place? We fixate on misperceptions about the greater evil.
Corruption at all levels, including grotesquely incessant advertising for exploitive consumption and specious unscientific speculations about nearly everything reflect a devolving society. Stupidity ponders its ignorance and scoffs at disbelief in the smug arrogance of disingenuous over-simplifications and erroneous rationalizations.
On the campaign trail, political candidates, backed by an array of corporate sponsors and special interests, assert meaningless slogans, feel good hollowness and empty platitudes. Frequently, their unsubstantiated claims and shallow actions pass without retribution. In the resonance of power, status and collusive influence, legality tends to favor the few. Absent the clamor of demand for forthright accountability, we excuse white-collar criminality in the subterfuge of upper class rationality.