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June 7, 2013 / C H Thompson

Right realism continued 1

Hirschi (1990) challenged Wilson’s merger of genetic determinism with the free will dimension of human nature. Hirschi agrees with Wilson’s notion regarding offenders having a lack of self-control, but instead argue the impulsiveness is due to ineffective socialisation rather than offenders being biologically defective.

Therefore Vikki Pollard’s of this world have a lack of self-control (impulsive) due to poor parental supervision, poor child rearing, working mothers and broken families. Subseuently a criminology constructed around individual responsibility and self-control (or lack of) was grabbed hold of by Conservative politicians of the late 1970s; particularly Mrs Thatcher who cited the need for Britain to return to ‘Victorian values’.

Charles Murray refers to the underclass as a group who do not “assimilate” (share the same values as other members of society) effectively creating a subculture who are distinctive in four areas:

  • the passive poor – usually long term welfare recipients
  • the hostile -street criminal, drop-outs and drug addicts
  • the hustlers – dependent on the underground economy but rarely involved in violent crime
  • the traumatised  – drunks, drifters, homeless bag ladies and released mental patients

For Murray the common denominator of all the above is the underclasses’ dependency on state funded welfare. Murray’s solution is to:

  1. significantly reduce welfare payments so that people take individual responsibility for their situation
  2. penalise births outside marriage in order to re-establish the value of marriage and the family

Such principles tie in with new-right theories of the state, which espouses the virtues of rolling back the state.



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