Crime fiction explores personal motives, like revenge or jealousy, to explain why people commit crime. But what’s driving real crime?
Four drivers to consider:
- Lack of respect
- Lack of political courage
You only have to look at the socio-economic demographic of the incarcerated population to know this is true – if you’re brave enough to do that research.
The average cost of housing a prisoner in Australia is $292 per day or $106,580 per year, according to a recent Productivity Commission report. No doubt the costs are similar in similar jurisdictions across the western world.
It seems we can find the money to lock up the poor in our prisons but we can’t find the money to seriously address the causes of poverty in our societies.
Lack of respect
- Lack of respect for women.
- Lack of respect for children.
- Lack of respect for minorities.
Why are there protests against rape and the failure to address it seriously in so many countries?
Why are we having enquiries into the sexual abuse of children?
Why is there a need for a #blacklivesmatter movement?
Why is domestic violence only now becoming part of the political agenda?
Respect does not have a dollar cost but it does require that we see each other as equal human beings.
Why is that so hard?
This is the real reason why we all had to suffer the consequences of the so-called Global Financial Crisis. This is the real reason why we are facing what Al Gore told us was the inconvenient truth of global warming. Most of those responsible don’t have a criminal record.
The reverse side of one person’s greed is the impoverishment of many. Think about the leaders of industry who pay themselves millions and their workers the basic minimum wage. What do you think the consequences of that are?
One term used to describe it is the working poor – people with full-time jobs whose incomes fall below the poverty line in their society. You wouldn’t think it would be possible in some of the richest nations on earth – but it’s a reality for millions. Remember Mitt Romney’s comment on the 47% who wouldn’t vote for him?
Lack of political courage
Lack of political courage at both a national and personal level.
Politicians don’t want to rock the boat in a world of patronage, where taking the courageous stand will cost them their job. All political parties rely on ‘donations’ to survive.
Governments want to be re-elected. Everyone in government enjoys the trappings of power.
As individuals, we’re all looking after our own interests.
We have forgotten that we are part of a community.
The golden rule – ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’ – can be traced back to two commandments Jesus gave to his disciples:
- Love one another.
- Love your neighbour as yourself.
There’s is nothing in the intention of the golden rule about screwing one another – either literally of figuratively.