Following Valeria Vegh Weis, criminal selectivity is a social construct designed negatively towards a particular group of individuals depending on their age, sex, gender, race, and social status. Marx and Engels’ criminal selectivity is considered to have had a perception of someone living in a particular geographical location, biological traits, and social class. Weis suggested that criminal selectivity occurs when criminal charges are made against everyone base on gender, race, sex, social class at the discretion of the institution entrusted to provide unbiased criminal justice services (P.5).
In theory, there was no clarification from Marx about crime and crime control. But the understanding is that crime is a social injustice that exists between the rich and the poor, and crime control is the power exhibited by the powerful in societies (p. 18). Crime and crime control can be related to the functionalist theory. Crimes mostly occur where there are fewer economic activities, and factors of productions are controlled by the powerful in that society, while crime control is activated when the powerful in society create laws to protect their interest. To every crime (social injustice) and crime control (social control), criminal selectivity plays an important role (Weis, 2017. P., 19).
The superstructure is the dominance of capitalism and how they control crime through the use of factors of production, education, politics, and religion. The superstructure affects crime and crime control through the use of institutions, functionalist theory, and other aspects of society such as culture, churches to impose their will on the base. The superstructure also affects crime and crime control by using influences to control natural resources.
The primitive accumulation (late 15th to 18th century): This is also known as the original criminal selectivity. The first step deal with the discretion (gender, sex, race, and social class) used to determine what is a crime and which qualifies to go through the criminal procedures. At this stage, institutions (criminal justice system) decides which qualifies to be primary criminalization and secondary criminalization (Weis, 2017. p. 22)
Disciplining Social Order (late 118th century): At this stage, institutions spell out rules and regulations to deal with selected criminal activities authorities believe has implications on society. Institutions found within the criminal justice system design which punishment is appropriate; what type of punishment, and who should execute the punishment (prosecutors, judges). Bulimic Social Order (21st century):
This social order seeks to project order expected to exist between the employer and the employed. It acts more so like the functionalist theory where the rich, the minority in society are ruled through the manipulation of natural resources.
Real socialism: According to Marx and Engels, real socialism is the opportunity given to individuals within a social space to discover their individuality. Again, Lenin, as stated by Weis, made it more explicit that, socialism seeks to bring clarity to how the concept of socialism eliminates the functionalist theory dues giving better opportunities to all. Weis stated that real socialism makes socialism theory a failure because the theory of real socialism eliminates the ability for the factors of production and distribution to be owned by society but individuals. This, in a way, gives undue advantage to the power to control natural resources (Weis, 2017.p. 14-15).
Manifest looks to justify/prescribe punishment carried out by institutions (church, families) when members of their group commit a crime. Latent, on the other hand, seeks to design or control which sentence is carried out although authorities do not intend to carry out such punishment (Valeria Vegh Weis, 2017.p.66-69).
According to Weis, certain groups are under criminalized for economic and political purposes (industrialization). As stated by Weis, white were three to five times likely to abuse drugs, but because of their race and economic status, lesser charges are preferred against them. Also, law enforcement officers during the slave trade era were found economically important to slave masters, and slave masters were considered to control political power. This made it easier for them to get away with crimes through under criminalization of their criminal activities. Again, landowners were disposed off their farmlands, and the laws failed to criminalize the activities of these colonial masters in exchange for economic and political gains. Their barbaric acts were criminal, but for economic and political reasons, (expansion of cotton farms, sheep farm) the laws failed to criminalize the action because they were carried out by states authorities and other organized groups backed by colonial masters (p. 32).
Also, some groups are over criminalized because of their social class, immigration status, gender, religious, and race. The reasons assigned to the over-criminalization of certain groups are, dependency or use on drugs. Example of such overcriminalization is the first offenders’ law that saw over a million of black young men jailed for either possessing marijuana over a certain quantity.
Anarchist criminology is a theory that believes in individual development and sees no need to be controlled by an organized authority to function. Marxist criminology operates through a structured central authority (Valeria Vegh Weis, 2017. p. 44-54).
The difference between these two theories is that Anarchist believes in individuals managing affairs without directions from a ruler. Anarchist believe in a collective effort to correct individual who commits an offense and those offended to come into an agreement without resorting to the criminal justice system where both will be pleased. Anarchist believe in living a life without limitations on laws designed to put limitations on an individual’s ability to express oneself even though man is expected to live within a framework of rules and regulations. On the other hand, Marxist criminology believes factors of production and other branches of society must be guided by rules and regulations falling directly under the criminal justice system where individuals are punished when a crime is committed. Again, Marxist criminology is of the view that society must operate under state or central authority.
Also, Marxist criminology believes in using the criminal justice system to prescribe or pronounce judgment on individual or groups that commit offenses. Communist anarchism is a theory that advocate for factors of production to be managed by the community to serve as motivation based on needs and want (no restriction, no monopoly or privatization) rather than to serve as compensation for wages. It is believed that, for communist anarchism to work as an alternative to the rule of law in achieving the set agenda, it must work in tandem with the rule of law.
For communist anarchist to serve to be an alternative to the rule of law, both must work together since the progress of one depend critically on the other. Also, improvement in the rule of law has a connection with development in communist anarchism. Although communist anarchism believes in allowing factors of production to be used as a means of motivation rather than a wage, its existence and achievement are only possible if it operates within the confines of the rule of law.
Communist anarchism may wish to do away with a central authority that controls factors of production and promote the theory of allowing communities to manage resources. In achieving this target, both communist anarchisms should work hand in hand with the rule of law. None can work and achieve goals in isolation (Anthony J Nocella II et al., 2018. P. 23-24).
Similarities between Marxist criminology and Anarchist criminology are, each theory agrees that it is essential for communities to manage natural resources without a central authority (local, state, and federal interference. Both Marxist criminology and Anarchist criminology prefer to eliminate oppression and inequality.