P. D. Ouspensky on crime

Culture strives to establish a boundary between itself and barbarism. Already the manifestations of barbarism are called “crimes.” But existing criminology is insufficient to isolate barbarism [from civilization]. It is insufficient because the idea of “crime” in existing criminology is artificial, for what is called crime is really an infringement of “existing laws”, whereas “laws” are very often a manifestation of barbarism and violence. Such are the prohibiting laws of different kinds which abound in modern life. The number of these laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence. On the other hand, unquestionable crimes escape the field of vision of criminology, either because they have not the recognised form of crime or because they surpass a certain scale. In existing criminology there are concepts: a criminal man, a criminal profession, a criminal society, a criminal sect, a criminal caste, and a criminal tribe, but there is no concept of a criminal state, or a criminal government, or criminal legislation. Consequently what is often regarded as a “political” activity is in fact a criminal activity.
P. D. Ouspensky (Pyotr Demianovich Ouspenskii; also transliterated Uspenskiń≠, Uspensky) in A New Model of the Universe: Principles of the psychological method in its application to problems of science, religion, and art, (Mineola, New York: Courier Dover Publications, 1997), p. 40. First published (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1931).

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"Culture strives to establish a boundary"

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P. D. Ouspensky Posted on behalf of P. D. Ouspensky on Friday, June 4th, 2010 under Quotations.

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