Using Financial Censorship to Prevent Crime Could Be Bad for Society

In the society foreshadowed by such schemes, Socrates wouldn’t just be executed – he would never exist in the first place. Crime, Durkheim would argue, represents a frontier of social transformation, a realm for exploring the explicitly forbidden – and, perhaps, finding its upsides. By this view, a society without crime would become stagnant as its citizens’ dissatisfactions festered under the boot heel of uniformity. Such total control doesn’t eliminate social contradictions, instead leaving them free to build up, setting the stage for a far more violent and chaotic upheaval when those tensions reach a breaking point.

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