CRIM 2650 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Path Dependence, Labour Power, Individualism
Course CodeCRIM 2650
ProfessorDanny O' Rourke- Dicarlo
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Beccaria and classical criminology
1) What’s happening in the world around Beccaria?
Human history up to our own present date has never experienced rapid and
radical change in comparison to the late 1700s on to the early 1900s. It
changed the landscape of what would soon become modern society.
What were the causes of those particular changes?
What is the relationship between ideas and those material changes?
It is literally impossible to separate institutions from ideas. It is impossible to
separate the development of the modern state from its founding principles.
oIdeas are path dependent: If you see an idea through it has very
de%nite answers to particular questions. It is di'cult to ignore the
implications of particular point
All men regard the USBOR, all men are created equally. It was
written in a period where the practice of slavery was justi%ed.
How then can the practice of slavery be justi%ed in that
The development of modern rights begins with this
concept and yet it takes decades to work out its full
implications because politics and life gets in the way.
So the justi%cation for slavery was to ignore the
implications of an idea
oWe say that some people are worthy of equality,
and other groups of people who aren’t fully human.
These people don’t have the bene%t or the right to
be treated equally. But eventually that practice is
hot in a contradiction.
The %rst American to call this out was Abraham Lincoln.
Martin Luther King said an unjust law is no law at all; it seems as though the
appeal is religion
oHis appeal to equality is the idea that exists in the preamble of the
oThere is no reason that justies the practice of slavery.
Justication: King asked the government to provide him with a
justi%cation for treated people legally di5erent. He said the US
government drafted a cheque that has caused insu'cient funds.
The government has a series of contradicting ideas.
Dening characteristics of Modernity: Modernity is knowable through a series
of interconnected events. Interconnected events, institutions, and ideas. We have to
take these as a bundle.
Modernity: a move from a traditional society, an organic society, to a complex
community of strangers.
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In traditional/ organic societies: (The best metaphor for this kind of society is that it
functions like a body)
1) It is held together by a set of common beliefs
2) People know each other. They each other because they know who owns
everything such as the feudal lords. There is a lack of mobility.
3) They are structured hierarchal, meaning there is a de%nite top and bottom.
This means everyone within society has a predetermined place.
4) In this society there are no individuals, there are only component parts. The
society is maintained because of its size and informal customs and traditions.
But, it is also maintained and sustain through 2 types of fear:
1) Eternal damnation: the fear of god.
It is sustainable within that community because everyone
shares the same faith base.
2) Monarchal power: the power of the king and his estate
We know that it was brutal, arbitrary and inconsistent.
Communities become larger, monarchal power becomes harder to justify. “Every
particular regime sews the seeds of its own destruction” – Karl Marx As the system
of commerce changes, monarchal power has less of a hold on these communities.
You can step aside or increase the severity of punishments.
The more tyrannical a power becomes the less legitimacy it
1) The shift from traditions to modern society had something to do with the
change of production: a change in the way that we do business.
1. This is a move to the development of private property, the market
exchange of goods and services, or better said, the ability for you to
own something including the products of your labour, and then to sell
them on a free market.
What if you don’t have anything to sell?
If you don’t have anything to sell, including your own business, what is it that you
do have that you can sell in this free market? You have your labour power which
you earn wages for. You need the ability to move freely in search of employment.
You are no longer attached to the land, feudal lord, or surf. You are a free man on
The material shift -> the shift in production
The shift in material production carries with it particular ideas. Those ideas for years
will be distorted:
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