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A Comparison Between White Collar Crime and Terrorism

Updated on September 24, 2014

White collar crime and terrorism from the view point of the public are two completely different crimes. This is factual in many instances. Terrorism is largely based on religious and ideological goals, whereas white collar crime is based on individual or corporate gain at the expense of others. This is a primary difference. Terrorism has been used in both conventional and unconventional warfare throughout the ages. They advance their goals by targeting societies to gain a battle advantage. The war on terrorism is a primary example. White collar crime is targeted to the corporation or consumer. It is used to advance financial goals. These are two very different goals. This demonstrates the difference in the targets of the two types of crimes.

These crimes, despite their differences, do have similarities. The justification the criminals use is identical. Cognitive restructuring is the enabling factor in this. “...a normally reprehensible act becomes personally and socially acceptable when it is associated with beneficial or moral ends” (Bartol & Bartol, 2011). In other words, if the individual or group feels that what they are doing is okay for a reason with which they justify its righteousness, the damage is acceptable. The terrorist is convinced that their actions are acceptable to gain an advantage and that the people killed or harmed are simply collateral damage versus human beings. This dehumanization makes their actions justifiable to them. Vlad the Impaler and Genghis Khan are two military leaders who used a form of terrorism to reach their objectives. Vlad targeted his Muslim adversary by cutting off the right hand of captors so that they would be alienated by their comrades and fed the bodies of many to wild boars so that they could not enjoy the pleasures of the afterlife. It worked as it demoralized the Turkish army. Genghis Khan Abducted women and children of one village to fill moats of the next village with bodies to create a bridge for access of attack. White collar crime is no different. If a company releases a drug into the market that can harm consumers, it is acceptable as long as it draws a profit. Corporations sometimes leave a “moat” of bodies in the wake of their immoral actions. Never mind the short sighted philosophy in either crime, as there will be consequences. Another similarity is the versatility of these crimes. Both criminal types have adapted to using technology to exact their crimes. Terrorists use the internet to recruit both people and financial support, and white collar crime uses the internet and access to corporate systems to violate the law.

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    • Aubrey Durkin profile image

      Aubrey Durkin 3 years ago from Tucson, Arizona


    • yasirchohan profile image

      Yasir chohan 3 years ago from Reisterstown

      Intrigued. I never knew the difference between both before I came across your hub.

      Well written!