|"Corporate Harvest", pencil by Tim Holmes|
What's perhaps worse is that many today work for private companies that find perfectly “legal” ways to do this without ever engaging anyone's sense of wrongdoing, so there is no perp; it all sinks into the traffic of capitalism. And no individual who benefits from this is going to examine the means of their living too closely. This is a perfect criminal system: the crime, the perp and the victim all vanish. So there's nothing wrong! Right?
'No' may be the answer only if we look at isolated transactions. But that's not what relationships are. The social environment is a shared ecology where trust and goodwill are the signs of a clean environment we all depend on. Yet it's difficult to evaluate in individual terms. If a truck passes you walking on the street and engulfs you in a cloud of “buspoop”, your space has been violated but you can't sue anyone and it will clear in a just moment. But if the whole community lives in dirty air all suffer equally. And we really do suffer!
We need a fresh view where crime is recognized not only through the ends (evidence of violation) but through the means. Healthy economy is people benefiting from the good they create but if they make a living sucking the energy from other's creations they are parasites and that should be a crime. In that world our jails would be full not of petty joint-smokers but the big guys who drain billions from all of us. We need to develop a sense of communal health that transcends the individual or we'll never recognize the real criminals or be able to stop them.