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Criminal Justice

Karl Marx stated that, in a true socialist society, criminal law would not be needed, because property would belong to all, thus, there would be no urge to rob or steal. Marx was a supporter of socialism and from the arguments, postulated in his writings, law will not have a role to play in a socialist society.


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Karl Marx believed that law has emanated from the conflicts of classes in the society that arose from property. It means that, in a capitalist society, where the dominant class intended to remain in power, it sued law to protect its interest. In terms of inequality, society needs a law in order to enable the dominant class to remain in power. He believed that two classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, were in a constant class struggle. This resulted in the need for law to keep the bourgeoisie in power. However, from his perspective, such societies that allowed bourgeoisie class to make decisions for all people were unjust societies (Marx and Engels p. 494). It means that this class imposed laws in order to quench the disturbances. It is clear that, under socialism, law will not be useful.


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Marx also denounced the bourgeoisie law on the premise that it just reflected this class’s desires. This law was oppressive, and it created unequal rights. He believed that this power struggle between the two classes was the sole source and origin of law. Thus, criminals lashed out against it due to the inequalities and unjust distribution of resources. However, in the truly socialist society, this would not happen. He believed that the solution for this was to overthrow the bourgeoisie and eliminate lawlessness and the unjust society. Thus, the proletariat has to work hard and ensure respect of their rights. In addition, a law that respects their rights and interests must exist. In the end, property will belong to all people, and there would be no need to have criminal law (Marx and Engels 495). This is because there will be no criminals in the society that ensured equal and fair treatment.


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Under this revolution, the proletariat will break the capitalist law in their pursuit for equality. With the success of the proletariat, the socialist law will succeed. These laws will reflect the needs of this class. In such society laws will emanate from the defeat of the bourgeoisie. Such society will be less exploitative as compared with that of the bourgeoisie. It means that the desires and will of the proletariat will form the foundation for all basic rights, judgments, and law. This will negate natural law and God, or any moral absolute codes (Marx and Engels 495). Since Karl Marx believed that capitalism is the cause of criminal behaviors, then under this arrangement a society will not need any law. Thus, criminal law will not be essential.

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In his view, the proletariat laws are highly flexible and less inconsistent. With the creation of a socialist state, such flexibility denies the essence of having a detailed and comprehensive legal system. With the existence of legislation that allows maximum elasticity, criminal law will not have a role in socialist societies.


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In a summary it is logical to say that, in a truly socialist society, there will be little class conflicts caused by property. Thus, law will wither away with the creation of a communist and socialist state (Dammer and Albanese 48). In such society, classes will disappear and enhance the creation of community, so the lives in harmony will arise. In this society, there will be no need for criminal law. With the creation of harmonious societies, criminal activity will be little and almost nonexistent. This is due to the deficiency of the catalyst for criminal activity. Thus, in this society, criminal law will not be relevant.

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