Cops, Crime and Capitalism
The Law-and-Order Agenda in Canada
Framed within a Marxist class analysis that highlights the way in which state power and capitalist social relations are racialized and gendered, Gordon’s study locates law and order policing as a central moment of capitalist state power. He argues that, as with policing historically, crime-fighting is not the principal aim of contemporary law and order policing–rather the aim is the production of a new social order based on the severely diminished expectations of working people. Crime fighting matters only insofar as it helps in this process. Law and order policing is not really a fight against rampant and escalating crime; rather it is aimed at forcefully limiting any possibilities the able-bodied poor may try to pursue to avoid the worst forms of wage labour.
Todd Gordon is a social justice activist who completed his Ph.D. in political science at York University. His articles have appeared in Studies in Political Economy, Canadian Review of Social Policy and Capital and Class. He is also an editor of New Socialist magazine.