An Overview of State Crimes Against Democracy by Daniel K. Sage, PhD 

State Crimes Against Democracy (SCAD).  Dr. Lance deHaven-Smith (2006; 2010; 2013) has offered a penetratingly useful approach to better diagnose the American political/psychological complex that is reflected in widespread citizen feelings of distrust, being threatened, and being shamed by our political-corporate Empire.  It is evident that this political/psychological complex exacerbates the wider and deeper collective trauma that traverses ethnicity, gender, the workplace, and cultural identity (Garrigues, 2013).  Moreover, it is patently obvious how it traverses the arenas of public administration, policy formation, law enforcement, economic manipulation, and a daily lack of a sense of well-being in the workplace or livelihood.

Because public policy and administration is the area of expertise for Professor deHaven-Smith, he applies his concept of State Crimes Against Democracy (SCADs) to scholarly standards of verification.  SCADs are outlined by deHaven-Smith as illegal or extralegal actions by public officials or elites that weaken or subvert democratic structures or popular sovereignty (deHaven-Smith, 2006) – in other words, SCADs are attacks by insiders/elites on the political system’s organizing principles (deHaven-Smith, 2013).

Such actions can be state crimes, elite criminality, or imploring extralegal methods to reduce or obstruct democratic processes and functions.  This is the context for deHaven-Smith explaining that SCADs include both illegal and extralegal or unethical elite acts (2006).  The construct SCADs liberates analysts and activists from becoming mired in what he calls “incident-specific myopia”—theories and inquiries isolated from a broader context (deHaven-Smith, 2006, 2010, 2013).

SCADs permit a larger perspective of criticism by interrogating many elite activities for recurring patterns, motivations, structures, and functions that increase elite power and subvert democracy (deHaven-Smith, 2006; 2010; 2013)  Election tampering, political assassinations, voter fraud, government graft, non-governmental rogue operations, state counter-democratic actions, and corporate collusion with extralegal initiatives all can be classified as SCADs (deHaven-Smith, 2006, 2010, 2013).

A proposed list of SCAD-like operations not specifically offered by Professor deHaven-Smith might also include: [Read more…]