By Don Crewe (auth.)
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Extra info for Becoming Criminal: The Socio-Cultural Origins of Law, Transgression, and Deviance
Hence, if we assume that the claim concerning uniformity is true, then we can know nothing of the future from observing the past, because the future is infinite and contains all possibilities and thus all probabilities tend to zero. Similarly, if we assume it is untrue we can know nothing of the future by observing the past because there is no required similarity between past and future. In other words there is no logical foundation for our inductive 34 What Is Theory? reasoning and thus induction cannot constitute a necessary attribute of adequate theory.
A further problem with demonstrating association between variables arises when we consider again relative deprivation. We suspect that gross economic inequality may be a cause of crime, however, we ‘know’ from the concept of relative deprivation that if the excesses of the wealthy are readily observable to the disadvantaged, the crime rate is likely to be higher. Thus the association of the variables wealth, poverty, and crime Theory as Causal Explanation 39 are clouded by the intervention of the mediation of the situation to the potential criminal.
The critic can therefore start out from any form of theoretical and practical consciousness and from the forms peculiar to existing reality develop the true reality as its obligation and its final goal. As far as real life is concerned, it is precisely the political state – in all its modern forms – which, even where it is not yet consciously imbued with socialist demands, contains the demands of reason. And the political state does not stop there. Everywhere it assumes that reason has been realised.