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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Gentleman criminals?

    I've been watching The Sting and I know its a totally fictional and mythologised idea or example but what do you think, was this age of grifting "gentleman criminals" ever a reality?

    Now what is depicted is every inch the criminal underworld still, people get knifed (right at the beginning of the feature) and if people fail to make money drops they'll be killed, hustles are run to do people out of money etc.

    Although is it essentially different from real world crime, at the time or presently? What would the difference be if the character of crime and criminals has changed from then to now?

    The prosperity of the overall society I think has changed perhaps and less people rely upon crime for a living or have to, I attribute that purely to developments in the welfare system myself but there are perhaps other factors too making the cost of living and availability of essentials of life cheaper.

    Which could mean that there's no "ordinary decent criminals" only hardened villains being drawn into the "criminal scene", on the other hand if standards of morality or conscience are relaxed in every day law abiding society perhaps they are totally abscent from the criminal underworld in which perhaps there was at a time some purchase or limitation upon behaviour.

    Chris Lasch once wrote about the idea of a "party of the superego", ie that either left or right political tendencies believe that an objective morality or conscience would guide most social behaviour and set standards, but that it was disappearing.

  2. #2
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Chris Lasch once wrote about the idea of a "party of the superego", ie that either left or right political tendencies believe that an objective morality or conscience would guide most social behaviour and set standards, but that it was disappearing.
    Yes, with the death of God, the party of the superego has been replaced by the party of the id, and the ego struggles to maintain its balance.

    And with the death of God, we have had the death of authority, we have seen one authority after another crumble. And these are authorities of the superego.

    The superego gave us the übermensch, the superman. And the superman died in WW II.

    And with the death of God, the death of authority and the death of the superman, we have the death of the author, replaced by, for instance, the etribe of Typology Central.

    With the superego rampant, the middle class imitated the upper class, and the working class imitated the middle class. But with the death of the superego, both the upper class and the middle class imitate the working class.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Yes, with the death of God, the party of the superego has been replaced by the party of the id, and the ego struggles to maintain its balance.

    And with the death of God, we have had the death of authority, we have seen one authority after another crumble. And these are authorities of the superego.

    The superego gave us the übermensch, the superman. And the superman died in WW II.

    And with the death of God, the death of authority and the death of the superman, we have the death of the author, replaced by, for instance, the etribe of Typology Central.

    With the superego rampant, the middle class imitated the upper class, and the working class imitated the middle class. But with the death of the superego, both the upper class and the middle class imitate the working class.
    Freud wouldnt have agreed with your reading as to what the superego is and definitely woudlnt have agreed with your equation of the superego with the ubermensch. Not just because he was a Jew that fled the Nazis.

    I'm not sure that he would have agreed with your final statement about social classes either. I dont.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Winds of Thor's Avatar
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    A friend of my father's was mugged on a subway on a business trip. The thief/mugger took all his money he had on him. Not knowing a way to get to where he needed to go, he asked the mugger, you know, 'Hey, I've got to get to the other side of town from here. And I don't have a way of doing that. Can I have (idk exactly what it was) you know, twenty dollars?

    And he gave it to him. True story. Haha
    "..And the eight and final rule: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight."
    'Men are meant to be with women. The rest is perversion and mental illness.'

  5. #5
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    What about the criminal in the movie "Great Expectations" (1998)?

    Supposedly, serial killer Ted Bundy was quite charming too. I'd guess that white collar criminals would have to be a bit gentlemanly or charming.

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    Default

    If by gentleman criminals you mean people with education and morals who commit crimes, it happens all the time with minor offenses like prostitution rings (some escorting services are very nice) and illegal housing (due to economic conditions, middle class people gaming the system and packing rooms with boarders in an otherwise moral family environment.)

    if like @Giggly you mean people like Ted Bundy, all that really takes is a particularly severe form of murderous psychopathic narcissism and a college degree. Ted Bundy had scrupulous ethics about his friends, girlfriends, and co-workers, and had the decency to only rape and mutilate total strangers, and even then only after a polite, charming exchange and apparently he took care of his physical appearance.

    I dont know exactly what you mean by gentleman criminal.

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