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Lower the Crime Rate

Cover Art by George Wylesol
Distress due to poverty gives the worker only the choice of starving slowly, killing himself quickly, or taking what he needs where he finds it — in plain English, stealing. And it is not surprising that the majority prefer to steal rather than starve to death or commit suicide.
—  Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1845

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Front Matters

Front Matters

Opening Statement

Party Lines

Benjamin Fogel

Lower the Crime Rate

Crime is born out of poverty and the miseries of capitalism. An index of oppression can’t be ignored by socialists.

Struggle Session

An interview with Marie Gottschalk

It’s Not Just the Drug War

The prison reforms on the table are unlikely to make even a dent in the forces that keep millions behind bars.


Afeni Shakur Took on the State and Won

Tashan Reed

Pregnant and facing decades in prison, the mother of Tupac Shakur fought for her life — and triumphed — in the trial of the Panther 21.

Reading Materiel

Reading Materiel

The Rap Sheet


What We Really Know About the CIA and Crack

Daniel Finn

The CIA claimed that any story linking it to the 1980s crack cocaine explosion was conspiratorial slander. But the evidence of its complicity is all there in the congressional record.

Cultural Capital

Cultural Capital

Cleaver by Christopher Moltisanti

Ways of Seeing

Owen Hatherley

Planned Paranoia

There’s a reason why urban housing developments and suburban subdivisions can seem threatening and unwelcoming to outsiders: they’re planned that way, in order to “design out crime.”

Bass & Superstructure

Fergal Kinney

Breaking up the Party

Britain is rightly known for its multicultural popular music — but these musical styles have frequently emerged in the face of legal attempts to suppress them.


A Brazilian Bloodbath

Illustration by Ricardo Santos

Andrew Fishman and Cecília Olliveira

When Lula and the Workers’ Party took power in Brazil, they had a plan to take on crime and the power of the police. Their failure helped undermine their entire program.

The Tumbrel

The Tumbrel

Wall Street Superpredators


Marta Fana

Communists Against the Mafia

The battle against the Sicilian Mafia wasn’t waged by cops and judges — it was waged by communists and labor militants.


The Real Burglars Aren’t Wearing Masks

Across the country and across industries, employers steal billions from workers each year. Minimum wage violation — the act of paying workers below the legal limit — is just one form of wage theft, but it results in at least $15 billion in lost wages annually. In 2015, minimum wage violations cost workers more than all robberies, burglaries, larcenies, and motor vehicle thefts combined.

Illustration by Daniel Zender


Smooth Criminals

Nicole Aschoff

From the Wolf of Wall Street in New York to Jho Low in Malaysia, globalization unleashed a world of well-connected and superrich con artists.



Out on Bail

Popular Front

Teo Ballvé

Barbies and Bullets

In Colombia and around the world, right-wing paramilitaries and traffickers have adopted a populist feint to win over the communities they terrorize.


Ross Barkan

New York’s Cop Coup

In 1993, New York had its first black mayor — and Rudy Giuliani stirred up a police riot at City Hall.

Means and Ends

Jacobin Does Crime

We’re running short on funds. Jacobin troll Donald Hughes wants to help.

Illustration by Pete Gamlen