Criminality is the sign of society’s moral decadence, social poverty and economic inequality

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It has been quite some time now that the prevailing issues, hot topics and shocking headlines of our newspapers and the dominant talk of the town is the apparent and seeming rise of criminal statistics and the rampant commission of various crimes, specifically those of economic in nature and background.

vigilantismThe root causes of crime are already well documented and researched extensively. There is no shadow of doubt that crime is primarily the outcome of multiple adverse social, economic, cultural and family conditions. Henceforth, to prevent, to eradicate, to arrest, albeit to reduce and consequently to stop crime; it is important to have an understanding of its primary roots.

I concede that the factors involve are complex and interrelated, but we can summarized the primary root causes into three main categories:

Economic Factors/Poverty

The Greek philosopher, Aristotle aptly said that: “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.” Hence, it is beyond dispute that there is a necessary connection or a corollary relationship between the economic system of the country and its criminality. What do I mean?

Let me further expound on my thesis.

The Question of the Economic Pie

I am specifically referring to the problem of the inequitable and unjust distribution of the economic wealth, financial benefits, material opportunities and other forms of society’s act of sharing the goods produced by the said body politic.

If this is the case, then, such society is unjust and its being unfair will create, in a certain section of the marginalized sector of society, a mass feelings of neglect, of deprivation, of abuse, exploitation, frustrations and injustices! 

Social Environment

The dialectical relationship of the social sphere from that of the economic spectrum is indubitable. If logically follows, more often than not, that if the people as a whole is satisfied and utterly pleased in the way the government is spreading and sharing the economic pie, society at large is relatively peaceful, stable and free from discord, deviance, unrest and crimes.

However, as already noted, if there is no fairness and equal distribution of wealth and opportunities for all members of society in the economic sphere, sad but true, it follows that that the grim effects on our societal fabric is social injustice and economic inequality.

These are the dangerous ingredients for social unrest and mass discontent!

Thus, as Aristotle warned us thousands of years ago: social injustice and economic inequality are the very elements or the necessary requisites for revolution and crime.

Family Background

The same philosopher lucidly and clearly taught us, more than two millennium ago that our characters in a great sense are being mould, nurture and develop, undoubtedly first and foremost in the four corners of our home. He categorically stated that, our concept of ethics and our ideas of morality — we learnt from our parents. Therefore, if we did not learn anything good and noble from our family or from those who raised us; there is nothing good that would come out from us that we will share to society. In the sense, we could say that, if the source is corrupted; the product without a doubt is also contaminated!

These are the hard facts! There is no institution in the entire world that can/could teach a person to be kind, to be nice, to be good/to do good and be a virtuous individual!       

It is not the primary duty of the school!

It is not the only duty of the government!

That is the ultimate duty and primordial obligation of our family!

We don’t come to school to be good, rather we are there to harmonize and to cultivate the goodness that is already there within us prior even to our very first day in the school. Prior to the school, our first ever school or training ground is our homes!

If we did not learnt/learned anything good in our ‘first school’, it is my firm position that the ‘second school’, the ‘third school’, etc. would all be useless.

Sad but true!

The Question of Social Solidarity and Responsible Citizenship

It is a basic elementary universal rule in any given democratic form of government that the its primary duty is to protect and defend the citizen’s right to life, liberty, property and its pursuit of happiness. Corollary to this rule is the corresponding obligation of the citizens to obey the laws and to help the government in executing the said laws for the swift, smooth and orderly functioning of the whole body politic for the benefit of all its members and organs. These two elements must concur to produce a well-ordered society and an utterly harmonious community!

Fighting crime is not the only job of the government, specifically the police. All of us as members of this society must be involve and should be doing our own part in facing and confronting this phantom menace that now bothers and pesters our community.

Finger-pointing will bring no good. Blaming and accusation is a waste of time. What we need is to forge our collective resources to address and suppress this social detriment. To complain is not enough, what we need is to act!

Am I sponsoring vigilantism? I heard the question and my answer is YES! I am calling for a wider social engagement, civic/collective participation and communitarian volunteerism!  

What I am trying to drive at is, for us citizens to help the system work, by relying to our very selves! Because, end of the day, we are the system!

Please consider the following proposals/suggestions:

  1. We, in our own neighborhood can organize the community to form a sort of a ‘village militia’. This is based on our culture of “Bayanihan” and “Barangay Ronda”. The function of this militia is not to kill the thieves, robbers, rapists and other criminals terrorizing our community but to catch them and bring them to the relevant authorities. Again, some apathetic and cynical creatures will say: “but that is the job of the police, isn’t it?” Agree! Yet, my contention is that: if the police cannot be there in our villages and neighborhood — all the time to protect us, we must take the initiative by protecting our very selves. We help the police by helping ourselves.
  2.  We must put into our school curriculum, the root causes of various crimes in whatever its nature and background; so that our students have an idea and a concept of what a crime is, why there are criminals and what’s the source of criminality.
  3. The media also have a role to play in curbing and addressing this social issue. They must accurately report the true state of our crime rate and propose antidote thereof. Further, they must also highlight society’s victories against crimes and criminality in general.
  4. We must make the effort to help and sponsor those unfortunate kids living at the various rehabilitation centers. We must show our love, care, concern and solidarity to them; so that they may grow not hating the world and they will not become menace to society due to our distance and coldness.
  5. We must help those numerous NGO’s that seeks to rehabilitate and educate those youthful offenders, ex-convicts, habitual delinquents, deviant elements, and other lost souls who had formerly tread the dark side and walk the path of criminality.
  6. We practice our being responsible citizens by being, first and foremost good and responsible parents.
  7. We must fight and struggle for Social Justice…


9 Replies to “Criminality is the sign of society’s moral decadence, social poverty and economic inequality”

  1. Criminality in the Philippines is vividly the product of gross irresponsibility of the parents to properly bring up their children to have more internationally prudent and decent attitude and manners.

    For example: parents never explain and reprimand their their children who take some of theirs and their siblings’ personal belongings – the result, most Filipinos grow up having the mindset that it is alright to take (or steal) properties that do not belong to them. Parents never train their children about the virtue of being punctual on appointments. Don’t train their children to be responsible for their actions, not to eat like pigs, how to appropriately behave well instead of restlessly violating the private spaces and noise-free environment of other people…

    This is just mentioning very few actual situations.

  2. We cannot prevent crimes. There will always be people with twisted minds, who will commit crimes. There is evil in this world. Just look at our political leaders. Most of them are evil…

    1. According to Dante Alighieri in the first part of his 14th-century epic poem “Divine Comedy” – Inferno, he mentioned that “Earth is another form of Hell, and men are it’s demons”.

  3. ‘We must fight for social justice.’

    In a country as corrupt as most 3rd world banana republics, there is only one way to change anything. Massive poverty destroys things: Love(when poverty walks in the front door, LOVE jumps out the window!), Liberty and much more pleasant ways of Life.

    But in most 3rd world banana republics, the much more pleasant ways of life have never really existed. Tough to get the people riled up when they know not what they miss.

  4. “In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country
    badly governed, wealth is something to be
    ashamed of”.

    And in a country where the wealth of the few is achieved at the expense of poverty for the many, then criminality and corruption become both endemic and systemic.

    The root cause goes beyond the petty crime associated with survival, but the political crimes associated with huge financial rewards.
    One only has to look at how many politicians/supporters etc have already been killed this election campaign/shooting season.

    8,000 murders in philippines with guns.
    4th only to
    S africa – 30,000
    Colombia – 20,000
    US – 10,000

    Gun control laws
    Crack down on illegal manufacturers
    Dismantle private armies
    Obliterate NPA
    and the obvious – remove dynasties/pork barrel etc so entry into politics is not about personal reward. Then and only then will you get better quality people with more conviction and a national interest.

    And role models/leaders who are not gun toting/loving criminals and murderers/rapists etc.

  5. I know that making remarks about grammar and such is not really important here…it’s the message that’s important. However, I must say that your message it somewhat lost with your tendency to verbosity. Even more complex ideas can discussed in simple terms. Sorry, don’t wish to sound like a smartass.

  6. While I understand what he’s trying to say the combination of grammar gaffes and over-reliance on fluff words (are you trying to pad your word count sir?) is quite distracting. All those synonymous words and dramatic-pause-comma splices might work great read aloud, but I might point out, they look ridiculous when written. See what I did there? But enough criticism about your writing already!

    Mr. De Vega’s proposal that “The media […] must accurately report the true state of our crime rate and propose antidote thereof ” is ridiculous. That’s how the US has ended up with Fox News. You can’t have your news and punditry mixing.

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