Elite deviance

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Elite deviance is a condition known to sociologists that exists in a society when the elite of that society no longer believe that the rules apply to them.

“It is not due primarily to psycho-pathological variables, but to the institutionalization of elite wrongdoing,” according to Professor David Simon.

Elite deviance is an anomaly in which a tiny few people who have enough material wealth, political influence, and personal connections can immunize themselves from considering the consequences of their most abhorrent, destructive, vile, and even criminal behavior. Elite deviance protects and perpetuates moral depravity and debased ethical relativism among the wealthy and powerful. Elite deviance is facilitated by a cadre of supporters, sycophants, apologists, and fellow travelers in media, academia, politics, and high finance.

In short, elite deviance means that there are a few among us to whom the rules don’t seem to apply. They can behave with impunity in ways that would otherwise incur severe, if not life-ending, repercussions for all others in the American criminal justice system.