Counterfeit Crime

Counterfeit Crime: Criminal Profits, Terror Dollars, and Nonsense

Copyright Date: 2014
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  • Book Info
    Counterfeit Crime
    Book Description:

    In Counterfeit Crime, economist, historian, and criminologist R.T. Naylor dissects the costs - economic, social, and political - of the seemingly never-ending wars on the grossly exaggerated menaces of Crime and Terror and how most things politicians do to combat them make matters worse - for the public and the public good. He explains how the post-World War II welfare state, with its commitment to building public infrastructure, maintaining social security, and providing accessible education, gave way to the modern executive state, with its focus on guaranteeing corporate welfare, dropping bombs on countries too weak to fight back, and manipulating the thoughts and actions of populations kept in line by the carrot of glitzy toys and the stick of ever-heavier legal sanctions. He dissects how the canons of free-market fundamentalism, backed by the cannons of state power, paved the road toward a soft form of totalitarianism, which march hand in hand with millennial Christianity and a military-security-industrial complex in search for new - mostly imaginary - enemies. Counterfeit Crime is savage in its critique of the political and judicial status quo and outraged at an economy rife with corruption.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-9063-2
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. Preamble
    (pp. 3-23)

    “In the halls of justice,” the great American satirist Lenny Bruce once observed, “the only justice is in the halls.” He based his judgment on firsthand evidence, dying at age forty, not so much from his heavy drug use but from, according to hisBillboardobituary, “an overdose of police.”¹

    During a long career hobnobbing with criminologists, justice apparatchiks, law-enforcement types, forensic accountants, lawyers on both sides of the court divide, and even with the occasional recipient of their professional curiosities, I came to understand the depressing kernel of truth in Lenny Bruce’s observation — with one major qualification....

  5. 1 Clone Artists and Copycats: Global Pandemic or Counterfeit Crime?
    (pp. 24-49)

    These are perilous times.¹ A whole string of insurgencies, revolutions and social upheavals threatens the West from places whose very names cause shivers to run up and down civilized spines – Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Syria … even Mali! That one must have sent prime-time political pundits scrambling to consult Google Earth before theon airlight started to blink. Toss in the storm clouds that gather over Iran at predictable points in the US electoral cycle, and it is easy to lose sight of the fact that there is another “war” raging out there, perhaps the biggest and...

  6. 2 The Underground Economy: A Ruse by Any Other Name?
    (pp. 50-75)

    Who could forget that heart-stopping summer of 2008, when the capitalist world, still giddy from nearly two decades of post-Cold War triumphalism, had to avert its self-satisfied gaze from dollar signs twinkling like stars in deep space to stare in trepidation down a seemingly bottomless financial black hole! There was no lack of Sunday-morning quarterbacks to claim that they alone had seen it coming and no shortage of instant experts to pontificate about causes – taxes (on businesses) too high, social security too profligate, government regulations too onerous, and so on.¹

    To be sure, there were also those who pointed...

  7. 3 The Criminal Entrepreneur: Predator, Parasite, or Free-Market Pioneer?
    (pp. 76-97)

    Everybody loves a good crime story starring tough cops against ruthless malefactors, with a supporting cast of stubborn prosecutors who buck political interference and best duplicitous defense lawyers to see that Justice is done. Perhaps that taste reflects a need to escape periodically into comforting fantasy in apparently dangerous times. Or perhaps it represents a search for moral certainty in a world that seems increasingly fraught with confusion. On the surface, the realm of criminal justice seems one place where principles are clear along with a common agreement that those who transgress generally accepted rules of social conduct need to...

  8. 4 On the Track of the Black Greenback
    (pp. 98-117)

    A bureaucracy, once created, rarely folds its tent, to then ride off quietly into the sunset after its official mandate has been fulfilled. Impelled by an overwhelming instinct for institutional self-preservation, it may insist that the problem it was created to address is still lurking in the shadows, waiting for humanity to drop its guard so the menace can rear up again, bigger and badder than before.¹ Or it may seek an alternative mandate, however contrived, to justify a continued existence. Take, for example, the Financial Action Task Force, the US-controlled watchdog set up during the Drug War craze to...

  9. 5 Ghosts of Terror Wars Past and the Roots of the Military-Industrial Complex
    (pp. 118-136)

    The usa was under siege: its citizens murdered or held hostage abroad; its overseas economic lifeline threatened; even its flag desecrated by a mob of maniacal camel-jockeys who envied its freedoms and coveted its wealth. Back home appeasers aplenty were willing to buy a shameful peace at a price far in excess of thirty pieces of silver. But political visionaries knew the importance of standing tall before the axis of evil and of rejuvenating the armed might that had been allowed to decay following a long struggle for the country’s very existence against a superpower foe.

    They also knew how...

  10. 6 The Geopolitics of Theopolitics and the Rise of Black-Collar Crimes
    (pp. 137-177)

    “I am shocked, shocked!” the usa’s commander-in-chief declared, “to find that gambling is going on in here.” Well, not quite. Certainly President Obama made no secret of his fondness forCasablanca, the World War II film classic, perhaps because its title, translated into English, defined the outer limits of his political vision.² The president’s startling discovery, though, was not a gaggle of brigadier-generals hunched over for a round of five-card stud in the White House Library or even a gang of tattooed, shaven-headed noncoms playing Russian roulette in the Pentagon basement. What alarmed him enough to take time off from...

  11. 7 Middle East Meets Midwest? Theopolitics, Crime, and Terror in the usa
    (pp. 178-196)

    In the wake of 9/11, the usa struck back on two distinct fronts. The first, of course, was military. In short order US bombers, cruise missiles, and Special Forces headed for Afghanistan to take out the “command and control centres” from which the perpetrators had committed mass murder. That most evidence pointed to a plot hatched in Hamburg by the suicide pilots themselves might, in less urgent times, have raised questions about the effectiveness of the usa’s intelligence services or the accuracy of its Air Force’s navigation equipment. Hamburg, nearly firebombed out of existence during World War II, probably breathed...

  12. 8 Brand-Name Terrorism, la Crise d′Octobre, and Lessons for a Post-9/11 World
    (pp. 197-208)

    Despite all the claims that “the world changed” on 9/11 – something the world actually has a propensity to do with every passing second – the West’s first postmodern War on Terror was actually declared some three decades before that event by the government of another rather more obscure country only a short distance north of, but a far cry away from, American minds. There, in a remarkable portent, civil society was reputedly put under siege by interlocking terror cells in a conspiracy inspired by foreign ideologues and financed partly by crime, partly by secret contributions from hostile countries. The...

  13. 9 Criminal Profits, Terror Dollars, and Yet More Nonsense
    (pp. 209-228)

    When the topic around the chattering-class dinner table turns from Chablis and chèvre to Crime and Terror, there are probably three principles on which virtually everyone can concur – more or less. First, it seems self-evident that criminals ought not be left, eyes wide with delight, with the financial rewards of their crimes jingling in their pockets – although that ought to apply as much, or a lot more, to Wall Street banksters as to back street gangsters. Second, it seems a no-brainer that if there is good reason (ethnoreligious bigotry and political expediency just don’t cut it) to suspect...

  14. Notes
    (pp. 229-274)
  15. Index
    (pp. 275-290)