Thursday 27 March 2008

Carnival of Socialism #20

Hi all, Welcome to Carnival of Socialsim 20 - focussing on crime, criminal justice and socialism. Just like Power to the People with the previous carnival attempt to open people's eyes to internationalism and liberation, I'm intending on doing a similar thing with this topic, however, some of these posts are a little old, but i include them becuase I think they're quite good.

So let's begin

Crime is a relatively under discussed subject on the left - Indeed it's even seen as a weakness, but that shouldn't be so - given the high levels of crime in many places around the world (especially advanced capitalist countries) and the expensive measures used in the attempt to combat this (ie. prison) - this really shouldn't be the case. In this Carnival, we'll look at various aspects of crime from how socialists should approach crime, to criticising capitalist methods of tackling crime to crime in the third world.

Socialists and Crime

For those who haven't been on this blog before one of my pet projects has been coming up with some principles for a Marxist Approach to Criminology. This got quite a good response, and even got a post in response on Law and Disorder. I've recently revisited the issue and plan to do so again. But it's worth thinking about.
Jack Ray also discussed the left and crime in this post and what attitude we should take towards petty crime.

The Police

Obviously an issue that got talked about a lot in the last few months was the police going on strike. Karl Marx Strasse posted with a view from Germany on the situation. Ten Percent has been reporting on the taser trial in the North Wales Police force.


I've had a series of posts on the prison crisis in Britain, the latest being Prisons: Lumbering into Further Crisis.
A while ago, AVPS posted reviewing a Loius Theroux programme on prisons that opened some interesting debates on prisons in the US. Whilst JimJay at The Daily (maybe) posted this recently on foreign prisoners.
The issue of women and young people in prisons and deaths in prisons have been taken up admirably by Louise at Socialist Unity, one of her most recent postings been on restraint of young prisoners. However, I'd urge you to check out the previous articles (of which there are many) in the archive of that blog.
Also, Honorary Proletarian has been posting irregularly for a while now on the detention of immigrants.


There is a heavy race bias in many criminal justice systems. Rise, Resist Revolt took this up in January this year in relation to blacks in the USA. Stroppyblog features a repost of Peter Tatchell's comments on George Galloway's slanders on an Iranian asylum seeker which reveals interesting stuff about gay right and Iran.
There's also a post on aboriginal rights at The Red Wombat Hole.

Human Rights

There's also the question of human rights in general. A crime can be to some extent defined as something that violates those rights. A week or so ago I mused on this problem - The Question of Human Rights. One of the conclusions was that capitalism can't guarantee these rights, a point that Power to the People takes up in relation to South Africa.
Ian's Red Log had a recent post on workplace safety.
I've been debating where to put this piece by JimJay on ASBO's but i think it fits in with these articles the best, as they basically circumvent existing criminal justice.

International Justice and Law

I've recently posted on Truth Commissions and International Justice, but to spell out what these crimes are in practice, take a look at landsker's post on the my lai massacre.
There's also a short post on Argentine crimes against humanity under the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance from the Left News Network, whilst Rebellion Sucks! reports on Venezuela's victory in the courts, Socialist Unity also had another repost on this too.
Finally for this section, a while back Politics in Pieces blogged on the resurgance of whaling (through getting round the law by claiming that it is for research purposes).


A while ago now, Renegade Eye posted on individual terrorism in Nigeria. I also recently posted on how criminologists view terrorism.
From Socialist Unity Blog, Andy Newman recently posted on a meeting about Defending Civil Liberties, whilst Louise has been taking a deeper look into the upcoming counter-terrorism bill. Law and Disorder also had a not too recent post on detention and terrorism.
And on a much weirder note, take a look at what The Nation of Duncan received in the post.

Drink, Drugs and Roads

A while ago I posted on the question of alcoholism, importantly as binge drinking is in the press a hell of a lot here. Further Left Forum has also posted recently on the Use of the Coca Leaf in Bolvia Whilst Andy Newman posted on road safety and the amount of fatal accidents that occur on the roads. JimJay also had a post about a suprising sentence for a drinking and driving offence.

Crime and Revolution

Unfortunately, I seem to be the only person who I can find that's blogged about crime during the russian revolution. It's a shame, but it's something I'd love to see someone else take up (or in relation to any other working class revolution).

Well, that took longer than I thought it would to put together. I apologise for the fact that some blogs (including my own) have been up many times, but unfortunately (at least from my perspective) these issues aren't taken up enough. Hopefully this carnival will do something about that.


Leftwing Criminologist said...

After I'd written this JimJay left this post for me, with some other posts to check out

I've got two posts up now for the Carnival over at

Slugger O'Toole on a former IRA man joining the Fermanagh District Policing Partnership

Johnny Void highlights the treatment of pro-Tibet protesters in NYC

Good news from Chicken yogugh on the ability to protest around parliament

Question that compares two london mayoral candidates on crime

The excellent Penny Red celebrates that attempts to further criminalise prostitution have been set back

Random Pottins on the case of Jerry Duggan - was his murder covered up by friends in high places?

Jim Jepps said...

Good carnival LWC especially because the topic was more specialist so there are less good posts to choose from.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the various nods. Much appreciated, comrade...


Anonymous said...

Thanks - you have done a realy exemplary job with this one.

blackstone said...

really good blog and your right crime and revolution is not a topic people engage. They usually brush it off, thinking no crime will exist during or after the revolution.

Highlander said...

Can you fix the link Marxist Approach to Criminology ("" ) as the full stop on the end is messing it up? Bit pedantic I know but it was only when I copied and pasted the URL into a new tab that I sussed what the problem was and others may not persevere. Gonna go and read it now as I am looking forward to it.

stroppybird said...

Good carnival and an area that needs highlighting.

I've given it a plug on Stroppyblog.

Red Wombat said...

Good carnival, but i came across it by mistake (catching up on browsing). Need to build it up some more.

Also, I'm now feeling intensely guilty about all those posts on crime, law, marxism and such stuff that I have half-written over the past year or so, and haven't completed.

I'll try and use this as a springboard.

Rob said...

Marxist law blogging is a hard and thankless task.

LWC, I'm trying to find some stuff on human rights, international tribunals etc., will email you if I think of anything particularly suitable.