Two big "theories of order": (1) transfer power/rights to central authority in exchange for security and dispute resolution; legitimacy extends order beyond the policeable. (2) individuals internalize shared pro-social norms and values. Both approaches more obvious in homogeneous societies — how to explain in heterogeneous case? Basic idea here is that local order, which is easier to attain, gives rise to more global order (282.7).
"Our argument is that the members of social groups can be expected to produce local order to satisfy their own private ends, and once produced, this local order, regardless of its normative content, often contributes to the production of global order" (283.1).
Empirical implication: states will tolerate lots of local orders — anything that doesn't directly threaten the state as ultimate authority or impose costs on those who can lobby state for protection.
(282.4) Two different views on social order. 1) Weber: Individuals give up to state in return of security. (izbski)
(282.5) 2 More popular: Social order stems from internalization of norms by individuals â†’ easiest in homogeneous societies. (izbski)
(282.8) How can #2 happen in heterogeneous societies (such as U.S.)? (izbski)
(282.9) Hetero soc's maintain order through local order. Groups create order to satisfy own needs -> Contributes to global order (izbski)
(283.2) The more deviation the local group is from soc's norm, the more help their local order has in maintaining global order. (izbski)
(283.5) Heterogen pose more threats than homo societies to society's order bc threats can come from both individual and groups (izbski)
(283.7) Two types of heterogeneous societies: 1) Polymodal, 2) Variance in individuals (?) (izbski)
(283.9) Local groups must create solidarity for their own benefit â†’ by-product = global order âˆ´ states free ride on local order (izbski)
(284.1) Degree of deviance of group = poor predictor to contribution of global order. Focus on degree of treats to state & cmty (izbski)
(284.3) Groups help global order. Regulating behavior of their members âˆ´ burden off of state to regulate these deviant persons (izbski)
(284.5) Great ex = the Hare Krishna. Members are deviant from mainstream norms, but organization demands order from its members. (izbski)
(284.7) People on periphery of soc have exposure to normative ideologies group control of these individuals = best service (izbski)
(284.8) Therefore organizations that preach already established societal norms = less beneficial to society. (izbski)
(284.9) when deviant classification of groups should not be seen as prediction if/when they will contribute to global order. (izbski)
(285.2) State monitoring of =ly deviant groups is = but sanctioning is not. > for groups who threat state power +/or soc members (izbski)
(285.5) Essayist argue: Uniformity among deviant groups is not necessary to produce order at global level (??) (izbski)
(285.7) Ex: Hare Krishna & Rajneesh = 2 deviant groups with similar ideologies, but different experience with sanctioning in US (izbski)
(285.9) Both arrived in U.S. but Hare Krishna (HK) presided while Rajneesh (R) was shut down and leader was deported. Why? (izbski)
(285.9) Both arrived in U.S. but Hare Krishna presided while Rajneesh was shut down and leader was deported. Why? (izbski)
(286.4) 1st reason: Rajneesh threatened autonomy of state threatening to become its own sovereign. (izbski)
(287.2) 2nd reason: Rajneesh imposed negative externalities on neighbors. (izbski)
(287.7) Also violated laws and threatened already established (normative) religious entities. (izbski)
(287.8) (Non R.) community members united their resources in opposition to R. presence. R. heightened their threats to locals. (izbski)
(288.1) Militarily took over city. (izbski)
(288.4) Towards end turning to incriminating tactics. (izbski)
(288.6) Local, longtime residents combined resources and responded with legal (normative) measures to stop the Rajneesh. (izbski)
(288.8) R & HK = similar deviant ideologies but not similar US experience bc threats to state power & externalities were unequal (izbski)
(288.9) HK do impose externalities, but diff from R: HK harassment = much less severe and victims have little sense of community (izbski)
(289.3) Both groups perceived in US as deviant, but as seen above, this doesnâ€™t determine differential sanctioning of the groups (izbski)
(289.6) When individual already engaged in illegal behavior are put in group = likelihood of - actions up Ex: Urban street gangs (izbski)
(289.8) Groups whoâ€™s control tactics = impose negative externalities on society produce disorder and therefore are not tolerated (izbski)
(289.9) Explains why police harassment focuses on one deviant group over another: focus on the oneâ€™s that produce disorder. (izbski)
(290.3) Example: Gang A & B = equally delinquent. So why does police focus on B verse A? (izbski)
(290.6) One argument: Class related background influenced polices perceptions of A & B + A & Bâ€™s resources and focus of crime. (izbski)
(290.8) Essayists argument: Differential treatment = result of amount of externalities group A (verses B) imposed on community (izbski)
(291.2) Ex: what gang A verse gang B stole had different impact on community. They had different propensities towards violence (izbski)
(291.5) Gang A = resources, âˆ´ could take crime to big city where victims of crime didnâ€™t have solidarity to incriminate the gang (izbski)
(291.7) Although class = factor in treatment of the 2 gangs, that their crimes were committed outside direct community overrides (izbski)
(291.9) Thought: Modern street gang persistence = due to dependences on other gangs & their communities dependence on the gang (izbski)
(292.1) Gangs provide: 1) Economic stimulation for community 2) System of security for community, and violence is not random. (izbski)
(292.5) But why no focus on gangs like Guardian Angels? Argument: they donâ€™t pose enough negative externalities. (izbski)
(292.8) Logic: If organization contribute to global order, legal statue of deviant group should not effect state treatment (izbski)
(292.9) Wilson (1968) argues: therefore focus of police force is on maintaining public order rather than strictly the laws. (izbski)
(293.5) Examples of how police force only focus on illegal activity if it is threatening public order/peace. (izbski)
(293.9) Police will ignore illegal activity from deviant groups as long as the groups maintain order of their peripheral members (izbski)
(294.1) Order in hetero nations & global order banks on existence of small groups w/o power to threaten state or impose - effect (izbski)
(294.2) Normative orientation of small groups doesn't = important â†’ more groups controlling marginal members = better for state (izbski)
(294.4) Individual dependence is most effective when it is on smaller groups who have capability to impose control. (izbski)
(294.5) Main Point: Global order enhanced with freedom of association & local solidarity, especially for marginal members of soc (izbski)
THE ATTAINMENT OF GLOBAL ORDER IN HETEROGENEOUS SOCIETIES*
Michael Hechter, Debra Friedman and Satoshi Kanazawa
Two quite different theoretical traditions have emerged to account for social order. The first tradition, which is most popular among rational choice theorists, emanates from Hobbes. Its central idea is that order results from a large number of independent decisions to transfer individual rights and liberties to a coercive state in return for its guarantee of security for persons and their property, as well as its establishment of mechanisms to resolve disputes. The transfer of these various individual rights and liberties to the state does not in and of itself produce order, however, because individuals still have an incentive to disrupt order when they can profit by doing so. No state has sufficient resources to maintain order solely via policing; this is why Weber invoked the famous concept of legitimacy.
The second tradition, which is most popular among sociologists, emanates from Aristotle, and is echoed by Rousseau, Durkheim, Parsons and their contemporary followers. It views the ultimate source of social order as residing not in external controls, but in a concordance of specific values and norms that individuals somehow have managed to internalize. In this tradition, the attainment of order generally is not considered problematic in socially and culturally homogeneous societies, for in these settings the internalized values and norms will tend to be common to all. Now this contention is controversial (for a critique, see Hechter and Kanazawa Forthcoming), but even if it is granted how then is it possible to account for order in heterogeneous societies — those that encompass a variety of different normative orientations? In such settings, internalization is likely to sow the seeds of conflict rather than order.
In this paper, we briefly outline the problematic nature of social order in heterogeneous societies and propose that the attainment of local order helps provide a solution. Since order is more easily explained in small homogeneous groups than large heterogeneous ones, much is to be gained theoretically by reducing the global problem to a local one. Our argument is that the members of social groups can be expected to produce local order to satisfy their own private ends, and once produced, this local order, regardless of its normative content, often contributes to the production of global order. One counterintuitive implication of this argument is that the more deviant the normative content of the local order. the greater its relative contribution to global order.
In tacit recognition that global order rests, at least in part, on the local order produced in deviant social groups, we expect the state to tolerate the existence and parochial activities of social groups of any normative orientation unless they threaten the state as an autonomous and ultimate power broker, or impose negative externalities on people who have sufficient resources to persuade the authorities to protect them. The argument is illustrated by discussions of the divergent fates of a number of cults and urban street gangs, and by some evidence of the state's tolerance of vice.
The Problem of Social Order in Heterogeneous Societies
To understand variations in social order among homogeneous societies requires an appreciation of factors that permit one society to exercise social control more efficaciously than another (Hechter and Kanazawa, Forthcoming). Although social control mechanisms remain operative in heterogeneous societies, one major difference makes the attainment of social order somewhat more difficult to capture analytically in these societies. The principal threat to social order in homogeneous societies emanates from individuals alone (because all groups in such societies will tend to share common norms and values), but in heterogeneous societies threats to social order may emanate from groups as well as from individuals.
The array of normative orientations in a homogeneous society is centered around a single mean, with a relatively small variance. There are, however, two quite different types of heterogeneous societies. One type is distinguished from homogeneous societies only in degree: whereas there is still only a single mean, the distribution is much wider around that mean. A second type of heterogeneous society is characterized by its polymodal character. Whereas the second type of heterogeneity is qualitatively different from homogeneity, the first type is distinguished from it only by degree. The first type characterizes societies of immigration, such as the United States. The second type characterizes societies of amalgamation, such as the Soviet Union. In this paper we shall be concerned solely with the dynamics underlying social order in the first (unimodal) type of heterogeneous society.
All groups — even deviant ones — must produce social order locally so as to benefit their own group's solidarity. The production of local order creates a largely unintended by-product for large societies: social order on a global scale. States free-ride on the production of local order, particularly that produced by deviant groups. Local order always will contribute to global order, regardless of the norms of local groups, as long as the production of order, or the failure to produce it, does not consume state resources.
The deviance of a group turns out to be a rather poor predictor of whether or not it contributes to global order. Groups whose normative orientation diverges from that of the center, but whose members do not engage in activities that create threats or externalities, contribute more to global order than those whose normative orientation is closer to that of the center.
Regardless of their normative orientation, groups contribute to global order by regulating the behavior of their members. In order to provide themselves with jointly-produced goods that provide the rationale for group formation and maintenance, members establish production and allocation norms and enforce them through monitoring and sanctioning mechanisms (Hechter 1987). Participation in groups regulates the behavior of members by demanding their compliance with group norms. Members of every group thus have a private interest in contributing to that group's solidarity, and are willing to expend control resources so as to attain that solidarity. The mere regulation of behavior, for whatever end, represents a contribution to global order (given the exceptions noted above), even though this contribution is a by-product.
Consider, for instance, the Hare Krishna, a group that attracts and serves those who tend to be peripheral members of the society: individuals who are not in school, gainfully employed, or in traditional family arrangements. It is not the aim of the leadership of the Hare Krishna to get their members to finish school, take a job, or to form traditional family units. Nonetheless, members are far from free to do as they wish: the obligations required of them are considerable (see the description of their rigorous daily schedule in Daner [1976, pp. 39-44] and Rochford [1985, pp. 13-18].) Members are consumed by the demands of the group, and although the group explicitly intends to provide an alternative to mainstream norms, that their members are compelled to satisfy corporate obligations limits their ability to engage in other, potentially anti-social, activities.
Yet groups that mobilize members who occupy the margins of society provide an even greater — albeit an unintended — service to the larger society. Individuals who are able to negotiate the social mainstream have the greatest opportunity to affiliate with multiple groups, and therefore to establish the ties that regulate their behavior. The farther from the mainstream people are, the less their opportunity to join groups; hermits, by definition, are individuals who face the fewest social constraints on their behavior.
It follows, therefore, that Presbyterian church congregations — made up of people who work, people who have children, and the elderly — make a less important contribution to global order than do the congregations of the Nation of Islam, who draw their members disproportionately from African-Americans, the poor, the young and the dispossessed. Were these two congregations disbanded simultaneously, threats to global order would be less likely to come from the Presbyterian congregationalists than from the Islamic ones, not because of a difference in norms, but because of a difference in the number of ties that bind.
Groups cannot be classified, then, as either deviant or not for the purposes of understanding when they will contribute to global order. Yet the practice of classifying groups by their norms persists. This is because global order, like its local counterpart, is produced by monitoring and sanctioning mechanisms. Monitoring entails the collection and analysis of information, and norms often are regarded as a signalling device that economize on information: threats to social order are thought to come less often from mainstream groups than from deviant ones.
Although it may well be the case that groups equally distant from the modal normative orientation of a society are subject to similar levels of monitoring, we will argue that they are not subject to similar levels of sanctioning. Were normative orientation the only concern for agencies of social control, we should expect no differences in sanctioning. Yet as we will demonstrate, sanctioning varies widely among comparably deviant groups. Sanctioning is reserved for groups whose members threaten the state as an autonomous and ultimate power broker, or impose negative externalities on people with sufficient resources to persuade the authorities to protect them.
Like de Tocqueville ( 1945, p. 119), then, we see global order as the product off rou solidarities at lower levels of aggregation. Since global order is a collective good, however, no group can be expected to contribute directly to its provision. Our argument avers that global order is achieved as an unintended by-product of the efforts groups make in getting one another to comply with group-specific social control efforts.1
Our argument, however, extends beyond this. Whereas previous discussions regard social order as the product of the solidarities of groups that share many norms and values in common, such uniformity is not necessary to produce order at the global level. To illustrate this, we turn to a comparison of two normatively similar deviant groups, the Hare Krishna and Rajneesh, and ask under what conditions the apparatus of state control will be brought to bear on their activities.
Determinants of State Intervention: The Cases of Hare Krishna and Rajneesh Both Hare Krishna and Rajneesh were direct imports from India that belonged to the "neo-Hindu" tradition. Both movements are well outside of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and their normative status in the American society is marginal, at best. Both were led and brought into the United States by a charismatic leader, and both count mostly peripheral (although from white middle class background [Rochford 1985, pp. 46-57]) members of American society among their devoted followers. Despite these many similarities, these groups have had completely different fates in the United States, and the two factors identified above (threats to state autonomy and _the imposition of negative externalities on resourceful others) hint at the reason why.
Hare Krishna emerged in the United States after the arrival of Swami Bhaktivedanta in New York in 1966 (Poling and Kenney 1986, p. 7) who established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and began to attract followers at his first temple on the Second Avenue. In four years (1966-1970) ISKCON grew from one temple with 16 initiated disciples to 30 temples, 35 initiated disciples, and 347 ministerial students (The Krsna Consciousness Handbook 1970, pp. 98-105).2
While the Rajneesh movement in central Oregon had origins similar to Hare Krishna, its short history in the United States provides a notable contrast. Like Hare Krishna, Rajneesh began in 1981 following the arrival in the United States of its leader, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, but the movement came to its demise in 1985 with his deportation from the country. What accounts for its quick demise?
First, unlike Hare Krishna, the Rajneesh movement presented a threat to the autonomy of the state. It first took over political control of the small village of Antelope, Oregon near their commune, and changed its name to Rajneesh (Carter 1990, p. xv). Then it successfully petitioned to incorporate their commune as another city, Rajneeshpuram (Price 1985, p. 19). Now two municipalities were under compiete political control of this religious movement in violation of the separation of church and state. Rajneeshees maintained their own police force ("Peace Force") whose leaders were trained by the Oregon Police Academy (Carter 1990, p. 92). They built their own airport, with three DC-3 planes in their •Air Rajneesh" fleet (Price 1985, pp. 25-26), and their free public transportation system was second in size only to Portland's in the state of Oregon (Androes 1986, p. 52). They also constructed and maintained a municipal water system conservatively estimated as capable of serving a population of 50,000 (Androes 1986, p. 53). The Rajneeshees increasingly took on and over usual governmental functions, and the public services they provided were often better and more efficient than those provided by other municipalities in Oregon.3
Of course, no state (neither the State of Oregon nor the government of the United States) could tolerate any large social group, whatever its normative orientation, that threatened to become a sovereign state within its borders (cf. Arrington 1958 on the conflict between the Mormons of Utah, who had a similar aspiration, and the United States government in an earlier era).
Second, in its attempt to gain sovereignty the Rajneesh movement and its activities imposed a host of negative externalities on its neighbors, who felt "intimidated, threatened, and slandered" (Carter 1990, p. xvii). At the outset, the movement had different effects on different people:
Many locals appear to have reacted primarily to Rajneesh dominance and control moves, while other opponents were clearly offended by what they saw as immorality and the challenge to their religious traditions. The environmentalist group pursued the threat to its traditional "preservationist" goals as well as gains in regional popularity accruing from its opposition to an unpopular group (Carter 1990, p. 130)
Some people were adversely affected by the movement's aggressive expansion to adjacent communities. Those who owned land across river from the commune thus were among the strongest opponents (Carter 1990, pp. 133-134). When the followers eventually took over the nearby small village of Antelope, 32 of the original 49 inhabitants were forced to relocate, and those who stayed were continually harassed by their "Peace Force" (Carter 1990, p. 93). With the political takeover of the Antelope village government, the Rajneeshees also made some changes in the local public school system (Carter 1990, pp. 181-182). These changes forced the local school children to be bussed 50 miles to Madras, Oregon. The quiet way of life to which the prior residents had been accustomed was suddenly disrupted by intruders.
Religious fundamentalists in Oregon were alarmed when a "meditation center" established in Antelope suddenly changed its name to Rajneesh International Foundation, and was officially categorized as a church (Carter 1990, p. 140). Furthermore, "1000 Friends of Oregon," a regional environmentalist group, was concerned with the Rajneesh's violation of county land-use plans when the followers began building nonfarm-related buildings outside of the designated Urban Growth Boundaries (Carter 1990, pp. 139-140).
Eventually, all these groups in the local communities united in their opposition to Rajneesh. As the opposition became increasingly organized, the Rajneeshees took a more militant stance and made further moves to alienate and threaten the local residents. One of these counterproductive moves was to treat Antelope as a "hostage town:"
Over the course of the year, the Rajneesh council of Antelope raised taxes and fees, hired security services from the Rajneeshpuram "Peace Force," and took control of the Antelope school. The increased taxes posed some burden on retirees (most of whom left); the Peace Force instituted intimidating surveillance of locals; and the public school controversy broadened the base of public opposition. At one point, Rajneesh leaders offered to "trade" Antelope for a bill officially recognizing Rajneeshpuram. They would withdraw from Antelope to the ranch if the legislature would sanction their incorporated city (Carter 1990, p. 167).4
The confrontation with locals escalated over time:
Additional housing was acquired [in Antelope] and a campaign was begun to discomfit remaining locals. Milne [a Rajneeshee who was later excommunicated for ideological differences] reports instructions to sannyasin to hold loud, all-night parties near the residences of others and to offend locals with public displays of affection… . Milne reports several confrontations with locals when he took pictures of their homes in Antelope and dwellings in other parts of the state to document the part-time nature of their residency in Antelope. He also notes that his film "documentation" was intended to intimidate and harass these residents (Carter 1990, p. 150)
The Rajneesh Peace Force stopped and occasionally searched non-Rajneeshees travelling on county roads in and around newly incorporated Rajneeshpuram. All access to the city was tightly controlled by these armed security guards (Carter 1990, pp. 182-183).
Toward the end of the conflict, the Rajneeshees resorted to criminal tactics (for which some of their leaders were later convicted). They set fire to the field of a rancher near Antelope who refused to sell land to the group. And they poisoned Jefferson County District Attorney Michael Sullivan when he became alienated from the movement despite his earlier extended attempt to negotiate accommodation between the Rajneeshees and the locals (Carter 1990, pp. 198-200).
Local residents responded with equally strong, if legal, measures; they filed numerous lawsuits against the commune leaders and members. The assault upon the Rajneesh movement eventually involved the Federal government. In December 1982, the INS denied Bhagwan's application for permanent residency (Carter 1990, p. 163), and ultimately he was deported from the United States after pleading guilty to two counts of making false statements to federal INS officials. He was charged with one count of conspiracy and 34 counts of making false statements to a federal official. Under a plea bargain, Bhagwan was fined $400,000, given a 10-year suspended sentence, "allowed" to depart the country "voluntarily," and placed on probation for five years. Other leaders of the movement were similarly charged and pleaded guilty for felonies such as attempted murder and first degree arson (Carter 1990, pp. 235-240).
The divergent histories of Hare Krishna and Rajneesh illustrate our earlier contention that the state tolerates the activities of deviant social groups as long as they do not threaten its exclusive exercise of power and they do not impose negative externalities on others with collective action potential.
True, Hare Krishna devotees often accost people at airport and other public places (Rochford 1985, chapter 7). However, the negative externalities the Hare Krishna impose on such people are different from those Rajneeshees imposed on Oregonians in two crucial respects. The occasional harassment of people at the airport hardly compares in magnitude or seriousness to the political takeover of an entire municipality or attempted murder. More important, victims of Hare Krishna harrassment at the airport do not know one another (and thus have no social closure [Coleman 1988; 1990]); hence they have little potential to engage in collective action. In contrast, the Rajneesh movement adversely affected long-term residents of Antelope and other central Oregon communities who knew each other very well; these victims could pool their resources to combat their intruders collectively, and this is what they did.
Had Raj neesh not so obviously challenged the state and imposed negative externalities on resourceful actors, it might have survived to enjoy the same kind of parasitic relationship with the state that Hare Krishna seems to enjoy. Such relationships between the state and alternative social groups are parasitic because these groups enjoy the tolerance and even implicit support of the state for their deviant activities (as with the HUD grant to ISKCON), and in tum the state can farm out some of its responsibilities to produce and maintain local order in its constituent groups. (The Mayors of New York and San Francisco once commended ISKCON for its total ban on drugs among its members [Daner 1976, p. 60].) Since most Americans regard both Hare Krishna and Rajneesh as deviant cult organizations, and most of the internal values, norms, and practices of both are equally incongruent with the values and norms of American society at large, their deviance alone explains nothing of the state's differential treatment of these two groups.
Nonetheless, it may be argued that although the followers of Rajneesh were clearly marginal members of society, even if they were deprived of membership in this kind of group they would be unlikely to engage in activities that would threaten global order. It is even the case, perhaps, that they were more likely to do so as members ofRajneesh than if they were left to their own devices. It would seem plausible that groups whose members are wont to engage in illegal behavior when left on their own are even more likely to do so when organized into a collectivity.5 Urban street gangs appear to be the prime example; made up of disadvantaged youth with little to lose, they appear to be the principal threat to social order in the contemporary United States.
Gangs allow us to distinguish among groups on the edge. Since our proposition is that the state enjoys, as a by-product, the control mechanisms that social groups institute for their own purposes, those whose control mechanisms impose net negative externalities on society will not be tolerated, for they produce social disorder. No state countenances groups that challenge its monopoly of the means of violence and its role as ultimate power broker in civil society. However, instances of social disorder will be acknowledged, let alone redressed, only if they affect individuals who have the capacity to engage in collective action on their own behalf.
These criteria should be important in explaining differential police harassment of deviant groups. Since the state always has extremely limited control capacity, it can only enforce the legal code selectively. The police are more likely to tum a blind eye to illegal activities of groups that contribute to global order (like gambling parlors in New York's Chinatown) than those that threaten it (like crack-dealing gangs in Watts).6 Several excellent studies of urban gangs shed light on these issues.
Saints. Roughnecks. Guardian Angels and Thirty-Seven Urban Street Gangs: An Alternative Interpretation
In a classic study, Chambliss (1973) observed two youth gangs in Hanibal High School over the course of two years. The Saints were an upper-middle-class gang, while the members of the Roughnecks came from lower-class families. Despite the fact that both gangs engaged in delinquent activities, the community, the school, and the police consistently regarded the Saints as "good, upstanding, nondelinquent youths with bright futures", but the Roughnecks as "tough, young criminals who were headed for trouble" (Chambliss 1973, p. 28). Over the course of the study, none of the eight Saints even so much as received a traffic ticket. In contrast, each of the six Roughnecks was arrested at least once; several of them were arrested a number of times and spent at least one night in jail. If the Saints and Roughneck~ were equally delinquent, what accounts for the differential police treatment of the two gangs?
Chambliss' answer was a typical interactionist one. The influential upper-middle-class parents of the Saints (and others like them) were able to exert subtle pressure on the police to disregard their children's delinquent acts as harmless pranks and the occasional sowing of wild oats, while the powerless lower-class parents of the Roughnecks (and others like them) were unable to do so. Further, the rich Saints had access to their own cars, which allowed them to travel to nearby Big City to commit their delinquent acts, an option that the poor Roughnecks, who owned no cars, did not have. The Saints' upper-middle-class appearance and demeanor also biased the police's perception of their behaviors in their favor. Chambliss argues that the local Hanibal residents perceived the seriousness of the delinquent acts committed by the Saints and the Roughnecks quite differently because of their different class backgrounds, and this distorted perception led to the unequal treatment of the two youth gangs by the police.
However, our argument suggests a different interpretation. Differential police treatment may have been a result of the amount of negative externalities imposed by these two youth gangs, and of the kinds of people who were adversely affected. Despite the fact that "in sheer number of illegal acts, the Saints were the more delinquent" (Chambliss 1973, p. 29), their delinquent acts created very few negative externalities for local community members.
[The Saints] simply viewed themselves as having a little fun and who, they would ask, was really hurt by it? The answer had to be no one, although this fact remains one of the most difficult things to explain about the gang's behavior. Unlikely though it seems, in two years of drinking, driving, carousing and vandalism no one was seriously injured as a result of the Saints' activities. (Chambliss 1973, p. 26)
"The Saints were more continuously engaged in delinquency but their acts were not for the most part costly to property" (Chambliss 1973, p. 29); in contrast, the Roughnecks' delinquent acts were. They frequently stole from local stores and other students at school. "The thefts ranged from very small things like paperback books, comics and ballpoint pens to expensive items like watches" (Chambliss 1973, p. 27). Apart from occasional theft of gasoline, the only things the Saints stole were wooden barricades and lanterns from construction sites and road repair areas, which belonged to no private citizens. The Saints abandoned most of these stolen items, and these could thus later be recovered (Chambliss 1973, p. 29).
The Saints and the Roughnecks also had differential propensities toward violence. "The Roughnecks were more prone to physical violence" while "the Saints never fought" (Chambliss 1973, p. 29) The Roughnecks' fighting activities were frequent, and often involved other members of the local community. It appears that the Roughnecks imposed more negative externalities on others both in their property crimes and violent crimes.
Moreover, on those rare occasions when the Saints' delinquent acts did impose some negative externalities, they hardly ever affected the local Hanibal residents, who knew the boys well, but instead were directed against the residents of Big City, who did not know them. In contrast, all of the Roughnecks' delinquent acts took place in Hanibal because they did not have access to cars. So while the Big City driver who drove into a hole in the road deliberately left unmarked by the Saints did not know who the pranksters were (Chambliss 1973, p. 25), the teacher whom one of the Roughnecks threatened to beat up and who had to hide under the desk in order to escape him had no illusion about the identity of the delinquent boy (Chambliss 1973, p. 28). Because the Saints' pranks affected the anonymous people of metropolitan Big City, who knew neither the boys' identities nor each other, they could not pool their resources to deal with the Saints' delinquency. In contrast, the Roughnecks' victims were mostly the local residents, who knew both the boys and each other very well. They were thus able to band together and deal with the Roughnecks' delinquency collectively.
No doubt that the Saints were able to commit their pranks on strangers in Big City because they had cars, which their upper-middle-class status afforded; in that sense, their class position, which Chambliss emphasizes, is an important factor in this story. However, the unequal treatment of the two gangs by the police may have happened independent of their class position if their respective delinquent acts affected, as they did, different segments of the society. With their nice cars, influential parents, and polite demeanor, the Saints may have been arrested anyway had some of their pranks actually resulted in some injuries and/or affected members of the local community, who could act collectively.
Our interpretation is reinforced by a new ethnographic study of thirty seven urban street gangs in New York, Los Angeles and Boston. Noting that street gangs have been a feature of the American urban landscape for at least a century, Jankowski (1991) attributes their persistence to interdependence between gangs and their local communities (see also Suttles 1968: 6-9; 189- 229). The principal benefits that gangs provide their communities are two. The first is welfare: through their participation in the underground economy (dealing drugs, running prostitution and so forth) gangs produce wealth for their members and this wealth also is available to meet some community needs. The second is security: gangs are a local militia that protect neighborhood residents and small businesses from external predators far more effectively than the police. In return for these goods, members of the community provide the gang with social approval, a license to recruit their children and — most important — a safe haven from the authorities. Most of the violence committed by gangs is strategic — designed to capture new territory — and is 12 hardly ever directed against community members.7 The most successful gangs (those with what Jankowski terms "vertical/hierarchical" organization) regulate their members' behavior by punishing those who engage in random violence that is unsanctioned by the leadership. Gangs who fail to keep their members from preying on the community are denied the community's safe haven, and soon unravel.
Yet another variation on this theme is provided by a close examination of the Guardian Angels, who fit the standard definition of a gang, but who are openly tolerated by the police. Despite their status as modern vigilantes (Kenney 1987), and their well known propensity toward violence and extralegal activities (Reinecke 1982; Pileggi 1980; Cordts 1981a), no chapter has come under concerted police control (Kenney 1987). One answer might be their sense of themselves as upholding the law, and their ability to communicate that to the general public. Yet these claims would be unlikely to convince police in the face of behavioral evidence to the contrary.
Instead, state tolerance may be due to the inefficacy of the Guardian Angels: they do surprisingly little that affects others either positively or negatively. For instance, the Guardian Angels actually interrupted crimes and made arrests in only 258 instances in the entire nation after three years of active operation (Newport 1982, p. 10). It seems that the negative externalities that they impose upon others are limited enough to account for police inattention, despite their obvious similarity to other urban gangs.
State Tolerance of Vice
If the state tacitly recognizes the positive contributions of deviant social groups toward global order and tolerates their existence as long as they do not challenge its authority or impose negative externalities on resourceful others, it follows that the formal legal status of social groups in and of itself does not affect how the state treats thesegroups. In particular, the police should be especially tolerant of groups that explicitly engage in "victimless crimes" (such as prostitution, gambling, drug use), unless these groups challenge the state's monopoly on violence and/or impose negative externalities on resourceful actors.
James Q. Wilson (1968) underscores these points in a study of police behavior in eight U.S. communities. Wilson argues that the primary function of patrol officers on the beat is the maintenance of public order rather than strict enforcement of the letter of the law. The police operate to emphasize public order over law enforcement and tolerate some vice in order to maintain order mostly because city officials, to whom the police chief is responsible, recognize, as we do, the important role that some deviant groups perform in the overall production of social order.
The city administration [of Albany, NY] has changed its policy on vice slowly but in accordance with what it thinks public opinion expects. The Gut [the red-light district in Albany] was once defended by officials who felt that it kept the "riff-rafr' in one place; no decent citizen would be offended unless he went there looking for action, in which case he could hardly complain. Toward the end, however, it was receiving too much unfavorable publicity. Most of the honky-tonks and brothels tom down by the governor did not reopen …. (Wilson 1968, p. 240).
A Democratic leader i11 Albany tells one of Wilson's interviewers:
There was gambling in the Stone Age, there's gambling today, there will be gambling when your grandchildren are as old as I am. I can't see enforcing a law against nature. Anyway, there's never been any gang murders or stuff like goes on in New York as a result of gambling and prostitution. The gamblers up here are nice people, otherwise; they're businessmen (Wilson 1968, p. 245).
The implication in this politician's comment is that if there were some "gang murders or stuff like goes on in New York as a result of gambling and prostitution" then the government will act swiftly to close down these operations.
Further, some city officials seem to recognize that deviant groups are especially likely to regulate the behavior of marginal individuals:
A high city official told an interviewer that "Nobody wants to eliminate all of the gambling and prostitution, especially among the Negroes. We feel that some of it has to go on, but it should be kept down and under control." After the charges made by the Negro minister at the February 1967 council meeting, the city announced that gambling and prostitution had been shut down. Some arrests were made, in fact, but privately a high city official told an interviewer afterwards that the city was not "closed tight"; he explained that "We couldn't close the place down totally with the minority group that we have here-we have to allow some safety valve" (Wilson 1968, pp. 245-246; emphases added).
Incidentally, a wave of burglaries and the murder of a businessman in the area led both to the charges by the minister and the city's action ostensively to crack down on gambling and prostitution — serious negative externalities as a result of otherwise tolerated vice operations (Wilson 1968, p. 244).
Wilson's research indicates that, at least in some American cities in the 1960's, the police treated some forms of "victimless crimes" in accordance with the argument in this paper. Further, the police attitude toward vice operations seems to reflect the opinions of the municipal officials that these operations have important implications for the production of order, especially for peripheral members of the society (such as African-Americans in the context of mid-1960's United States).
Order in heterogeneous national societies is enhanced by the existence of relatively small groups that are unable to command control over resources that threaten the unique position of the state. Competition among groups for resources and members is likely to be advantageous from the standpoint of the production of global order.
The normative orientation of these groups matters not: the greater the number of groups that attract the membership of those on the margin of society, the better.
Still, a question remains: instead of fostering association among peripheral individuals, why not try to buy their loyalty through transfers and state entitlements? In a relatively heterogeneous society, this solution would be both politically infeasible and prohibitively expensive. Yet there is a more important theoretical reason why this kind of state co-optation is unlikely to be effective. When entitlements come from the state, this tends to decrease global order because then citizens become dependent on an entity — the state — that necessarily has relatively weak control capacity. Entitlements increase global order only when they come from social groups — as they do, for example, in Japan — because then people are dependent on entities that have relatively great control capacity.
Global order, therefore, is enhanced by freedom of association, especially at the margins of society. The most efficacious way to produce global order is to strengthen the conditions for the production of local solidarity.