Aristotle's White collar crime Essay

aristotle / crime / social class / society / poor / rich / ancient greek / money / philosophy / education

                                                                        "The mother of revolution and crime is poverty"


                                                         Aristotle's Class Consciousness

Before discussing Aristotle’s idea about white collar crime I would like to explain the reader some key notion about the whole issue of white collar crime. White collar crime has many representations, the most important of which are bank fraud, blackmail and bribery. The other types of white collar crime include: counterfeiting, currency schemes, and forgery.

Bank Fraud: engagement in the activity the main purpose of which is stealing the bank’s funds

Blackmail: engagement in the activity the main purpose of which taking the money of a person. Usually blackmail involves many people who make threats to the other group of people.

Bribery: This kind of activity is concerned with giving money to a person in return of goods and services.

These are just the few notions that have been taken from the list of fraudulent activities. Fraudulent activities are predominately made by white-collar workers. Crime became a serious issue for the society. The present day society is looking for ways to fight the blue-collar crime. To find the answer to the impending question I decided to consult the historical sources.

In this part of my paper I will try to provide the reader with the brief summary of Aristotle’s writings. My discussion I will start with the analysis of Aristotle’s idea about class division. According to Aristotle, the rich and the poor traditionally have bad relationships between each other. The issue of antagonistic relationships between two different classes has been once covered by Aristotle. The key to the conflict is the opposition that exists between classes. What is more aggravating is the opposition of one group to another. A whole thing plays a very important role in shaping the nature of the relations between the people. Rich people have the power in the state. They control nearly every aspect of human society. On the contrary, poor people have no power in the state. Aristotle mentions the idea that neither rich nor poor have no right to rule the state. However, poor people will always make an attempt to take the riches of the wealthy. The philosopher mentioned the idea that rich people must be concerned about the lives of the poor people.

 A middle class must the clearest from all the classes. Aristotle believes that the power must belong to the middle class. The class is less encumbered with wealth than any other participant of the society. Aristotle believe that the middle class in naturally better people than the representatives of all other classes.

Of particular importance for me is Aristotle’s idea about money. The famous Greek philosopher once stated that “the life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else. And so one might rather take the aforenamed objects to be ends; for they are loved for themselves” (Nicomachean Ethics)

This expression has been once mentioned by Aristotle. When saying like this the philosopher shows his rather sarcastic attitude to wealth and money. Along with that he criticizes the society for money-oriented moral. The most interesting thing is that money making is done because of compulsion rather than because of a human sense. Money is accumulated “for the sake of something else” – that is the main idea of the statement that has been once made by Aristotle.

Aristotle is the philosopher that is attributing white-collar crime to the corrupt nature of humanity. Aristotle does not believe in the humanistic nature of society. Instead, he defines human beings as a social animal. In general, Aristotle shows a very negative attitude to people. According to the philosopher, the society is governed by instinct rather than clever mind. The mankind is described by the philosopher as “evidently quite slavish in their tastes, preferring a life suitable to beasts”. (Nicomachean Ethics) The pursue of money is governed by superior intentions one of which is the pursue of honor. Perusing honor is especially true for those who represent the people of “superior refinement and of active disposition” (Nicomachean Ethics). According to Aristotle, this group shows the tendency to identify happiness with honor. In general, the philosopher describes people as superficial creatures and the ones, who try to bestow honor on themselves. The honor is pursued with the aim to pursue person’s goodness.

In my opinion Aristotle’s way to diminish the white-collar crime is to increase society’s sociality. In other words, Aristotle’s suggestion to solve the problem would be socializing or getting education. Education is viewed by the philosopher as a way of becoming better. That is the main essence of education.



Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics.

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