DIAGNOSIS OF CRIMINAL TENDENCIES
If the principle of relativity applies anywhere in social affairs, it is in connection with crime. Crime refers primarily to anti-social conduct. Abstractly defined, crime may be called that conduct of an individual which results in gross harm to other individuals or is destructive of the institutions of society. In our swiftly changing society, new crimes are constantly on the horizon, while acts no longer harmful to any one are still considered criminal. What constitutes crime is partly a host of prejudices and superstitions persisting from bygone times, partly the rules and regulations imposed by contemporary legislation (often ill-considered), and partly old fundamental rules of human behavior which protect one person from the acts of violence of another. To play games on Sunday was a misdemeanor not many years ago, and in many places it still is. The Boston Tea Party, a crime against property from the standpoint of Great Britain, was heralded by the American Colonies as a bold and laudable protest against domination. Nations will honor a man for the butchery of an enemy during war, but consider this same act a heinous felony in civil society.
As to intent, some types of criminal behavior are premeditated, others are spontaneous, and still others are accidental. Many crimes are the result of a consistent career in opposition to society, as exhibited in present-day racketeering; others are merely the unfortunate expressions