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Criminal Class

  • Eric Anthamatten

Abstract

Crime is a cry of distress.1 It is the cry from the victim, but also a cry from the criminal. It is the cry of a wretched soul already imprisoned in conditions that created the need for the (cry)me. This social incarceration preexists the juridical incarceration—the formal sentencing only makes manifest the invisible walls, razor wire, and impermeable social, economic, and psychic barriers that exclude, silence, and paralyze. Crime makes visible these unseen boundaries—it is always a cry for dignity, a cry for freedom, not a cry to be apart, but a cry to be a part. The (cry)me is the sublimated scream of society’s repressed desires, the irruption of a neurosis—both individual and social—that has incubated in the subterranean darkness of the unconscious. Crime is society revealing to itself the aspects of its psyche that have been silenced, oppressed, buried, those parts of the psyche that must speak, sublimate, return. (Cry)me is this treble cry: the yell of the violated, the violator, and the soul of society itself.

Keywords

Crack Cocaine Powder Cocaine Moral Element Individual Psyche Occupy Wall Street 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    Karl Marx, “A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right: Introduction,” in Marx: Early Political Writing (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 3.
    Loïc Wacquant, Prisons of Poverty (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2009), esp. 55–131.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    Michael Tonry, Malign Neglect: Race, Crime, and Punishment in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 104.Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract, trans. Maurice Cranston (New York: Penguin, 1968), 64.Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    Trish Kahle in her blog “I Can’t Believe We Still Have to Protest This Shit” makes the connection between Hugo’s Les Misérables and the inequalities and poverty of our current day, most especially as it creates, perpetuates, and exacerbates crime. “‘A Reckoning to Be Reckoned’: Les Miserables in the Age of the New Jim Crow and Occupy Wall Street,” December 25, 2012, http://stillhavetoprotest.wordpress.com/tag/new-jim-crow/.
  6. 15.
    Simon Critchley, Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance (New York: Verso, 2007),38–68Google Scholar
  7. 18.
    Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 27.Google Scholar
  8. 21.
    John Dewey, Human Nature and Conduct (New York: Dover, 2011), 18.Google Scholar
  9. 23.
    G. W. F. Hegel, “Who Thinks Abstractly?,” in Walter Kaufmann, Hegel: Texts and Commentary (New York: Anchor, 1966), 113–18.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ron Scapp and Brian Seitz 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Anthamatten

There are no affiliations available

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