Our popular culture tends to disassociate white-collar crimes from the phenomena of criminality. This tolerance is sustained by the assumption that these types of social violations, in general, do not constitute violent acts and are committed by decent people in moments of weakness. The current penal system validates this supposition by granting a preferential treatment to convicts who come from wealthy families, and by segregating them from the general criminal population.
The level of general tolerance for white-collar crimes extends to prevarication (corruption) of public officials and active politicians. In recent times, the implementation of privatization strategies resulted in a dramatic increase in illegal practices, to such an extent as to create a virtual kleptocracy.
It is evident that the practical consequences and symbolic implications of our attitudes towards white-collar crimes, including prevarication, are deep and durable. Strengthened by the tradition of the ¡ay bendito!, this tolerance actually normalizes criminal behavior. Looking the other way when facing white-collar crime is part of the process of subversion of moral values in the postmodern world, promoted, in turn, by populist and consumerist aspirations. Nevertheless, it is closely related to the social degradation that sustains and feeds criminal activities.
Author: Proyectos FPH
Published: January 22, 2008.
This post is also available in: Español