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这种流行的观点认为,犯罪是社会的一种不可避免的副产品是–在一定的历史背景中,Durkheim和他的contemporise正在–重要方法连接了因为上世纪20和30年代(形成芝加哥学派的犯罪学原理时代)看到历届政府在欧洲和北美国灌输针对彻底根除犯罪社会严酷的法律。我们已经注意到,例如,在美国的联邦政府试图禁止以减少犯罪的社会影响酒的销售,只有在专业创作和盗歹徒在人口最密集的城市地区,如芝加哥,美国。同样在欧洲,法西斯独裁,夺取政权在德国和意大利在上世纪20和30年代可以被视为主流的社会越来越多的关注犯罪和压倒一切的欲望根除犯罪在任何人道主义和道德成本的思考。因此,我们应该要强调的程度,涂尔干和芝加哥学派为代表的反“符号运动重申传统价值”[ 9 ],而且,这些早期的犯罪学理论是通过揭露历史神话创造极为肥沃的土地为新的方法来应对不断升级的犯罪水平在社会的探索。在讨论的其余部分,这是一个重要的观点,也是应该牢记的一点。



This prevailing viewpoint that crime was an inevitable by-product of society was – within the fixed historical context in which Durkheim and his contemporise were working – an important methodological connection to have made because the 1920s and 1930s (the era which formed the principles of the Chicago School of criminology) saw successive governments in Europe and North America instil draconian laws aimed at completely eradicating crime from society. We have, for instance, already noted how in the USA the Federal Government attempted to ban the sale of alcohol in a bid to reduce the social effects of crime, only resulting in the creation of professional gangsters and bootlegging in the most densely populated of American urban areas such as Chicago. Likewise in Europe, the fascist dictatorships which seized political power in Germany and Italy during the 1920s and 1930s can be seen to have been a reflection of mainstream’s society increasing preoccupation with crime and the over-riding desire to eradicate delinquency at any humanitarian and moral cost. Thus, we should make a point of underlining the extent to which Durkheim and the Chicago School represented a reaction against the “symbolic crusade to reassert traditional values”[9] and, moreover, how these early criminological theorists served to create extremely fertile grounds for the exploration of new methods to combat escalating levels of crime in society by debunking such historical myths. This is an important point and one that ought to be borne in mind throughout the remainder of the discussion.
None of this, of course, is to state that we should take Durkheim’s quotation at face value. He did not mean that crime is “normal” or “necessary” in any positive kind of sense and he was not suggesting that broader societal problem with crime should in any way be downscaled in accordance with the libertarian view that crime was inevitable. Rather, the point he was making was that if crime did not exist it would mean that every human being is born equal, subject to equal opportunities and subject to the same whims of reason and fancy. This, to Durkheim, was an absurdity; hence, the absurd nature of his comments. Thus, rather than taking his words at face value we have to understand the sociological context in which he was writing which, as we have already seen, was characterised by an anachronistic crusade to rid society of crime in an epoch still reeling from the devastating socio-economic reside of the Wall Street Crash, the subsequent Great Depression and – at the time that the quotation was written – the onset of a second world war in the space of a generation.