Airport Scanners and Marxist Criminology

The new TSA airport scanners have justifiably garnered a lot of attention and criticism. Frankly, the entire scheme is nothing more than a cheap contrivance to give the impression that Democrats care deeply about national security. Insofar as Democrats actually care about national security, it could not be more obvious that it is a mere afterthought to their main agenda of turning America into a tawdry imitation of socialist Europe. It is only an uninterested administration that views national security as a perfunctory and unserious task that, as a response to radical Islamic plane hijackers, would conceive of fondling every flyer -- including little Caucasian toddlers -- to look for bombs.

It is preposterous to burden innocent Americans with intrusive searches before they board airplanes because of the actions of Islamic terrorists -- who, surprisingly, always seem to effortlessly subvert airport security to commit their atrocities. If only airport security were a little more concerned with looking for people who fit the terrorist profile, then America would undoubtedly be safer.

Liberals' unwillingness to identify through profiling the overt differences between good Americans and the evil Islamic terrorists is terrifyingly consistent with their larger criminal justice perspective: leniency with violent felons while treating innocents as symbols of hate.

In a largely tautological left-wing jeremiad of a book called The Culture of Control, British criminologist and New York University professor David Garland rails against the movement away from a model in which all criminals are rehabilitated to one where they are now imprisoned. In advancing this thesis, Garland attacks the idea of victims having any relevance to punishment consideration. This is one of his gems:

There is now a distinctly populist current in penal politics that denigrates expert and professional elites and claims the authority of 'the people', of common sense, of 'getting back to basics'. The dominant voice of crime policy is no longer the expert or even the practitioner but that of the long-suffering, ill-served people -- especially of 'the victim' and the fearful, anxious members of the public.1

In liberal criminology, innocents and genuine victims are viewed as irritants, whereas violent brutes are mollycoddled and heralded as courageous victims who committed their heroic actions as a cry for help against the oppressiveness of an iniquitous capitalistic structure. This is Marxist (or "conflict") criminology -- and it is embedded in the way liberals think. Of course, leftists may not always articulate this view the way liberal criminologists audaciously do, but it is the premise that -- even subconsciously -- drives their America-hating, terrorist-supporting instincts on criminal justice and foreign policy.

In contrast to actual criminology that studies crime for the purpose of finding solutions to problems, the fundamental goal of left-wing criminology is to find unique ways to justify the actions of violent felons and to look for obscure -- and often nonsensical -- psychological and sociological reasons for why they should not be punished for their crimes, since these criminals are no different from anybody else and are merely victims of society.

Understanding this view of Marxist criminology makes it clear why liberals have no problem treating ordinary Americans like terrorists due to the actions of a few radical Muslims. The senseless notion of treating every nun, priest, and toddler as a terrorist-in-waiting is precisely to blur the lines between good people and bad people, which academic criminologists have tried to do for years. Once that moral line between good and evil is blurred, liberals can furtively support evil terrorists and other dregs of society while proclaiming the evils of good people -- like Americans.

Patently, liberals have a peculiar affection for felons, terrorists, and every other ilk of societal sediment. The examples are far too numerous to list in toto:

  • Rep. Diane Watson of California fulsomely praised noted murderer Fidel Castro for his leadership and intelligence.
  • Senator Patty Murray of Washington lauded the most notorious terrorist in the world, Osama bin Laden, as a great leader who made life better for his people.
  • CBS's Bob Orr ran lachrymose stories about Feisal Shahzad being a lonely person whose financial pressures -- and not radical Islamic ideology -- fueled his terroristic behaviors. (Straight from the Marxist criminology textbook.)
  • Former president Jimmy Carter argues that a world-recognized terrorist organization -- Hamas -- wants peace, and he apologizes to Palestinians for the evils of Israel and America.
  • A law professor attempts to argue that the death penalty is racist because blacks are killed "arbitrarily."
Liberals suffer from what I call a "reverse morality complex." They have an obsessive compulsion to categorize good people as evil while praising evil people as good. For this reason, they are incapable of being trusted with criminal justice policy, not to mention national security.

It has been said often that political correctness and deference for Islam are the causes of this inane policy of airport groping, but this is only half-true. I believe that my idea of a "reverse morality complex" and a conscious, or subconscious, adherence to Marxist criminology adds the missing pieces to the puzzle that are requisite to fully understanding the liberal mind and its bizarre policies.

It is quite curious how liberals want to dismantle the criminal justice system where it is needed, like urban areas and ghettos, while simultaneously increasing harsh security measures against ordinary Americans. As described by liberal writer Christian Parenti -- who is essentially Michael Moore with a Ph.D.:

My recommendations, as regards criminal justice, are quite simple: we need less. Less policing, less incarceration, shorter sentences, less surveillance, fewer laws governing individual behaviors, and less obsessive discussion of every lurid crime, less prohibition, and less puritanical concern with "freaks" and "deviants."2

Whether liberals are as forthright as Parenti or not, this is precisely what they want to do -- except in the case of airport security. With dazzling hypocrisy, left-wingers have no qualms about foisting ridiculously feckless, tough-appearing measures on clearly innocent Americans at airports, all while vociferously arguing for the criminal justice system to be massively decreased to get violent felons off the hook.

The only thing that explains this ambivalence on policy is the thesis I have proffered: liberals, to cover up their torrid affair with terrorists and violent criminals, will knowingly advance absurd and expensive measures needlessly violating the Fourth Amendment rights of honest civilians.

Looking at this TSA injustice without factoring in Marxist criminology and the larger liberal worldview on crime would give the impression that the policy is merely misguided. That is not the case. It is a deliberate attempt to advance their "terrorists are just like us -- except oppressed" message.

While the left's obsession with political correctness at a time of war is indeed troubling, it is only slightly less disconcerting and dangerous than their pathological fondness of murderous maniacs.

Mr. Okeem can be reached at

1 Garland, D. (2002). The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (pg. 13)
Parenti, C. (2008). Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis. Brooklyn, NY: Verso. (pg. 242)
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