Faulty beliefs and a lack of values are the illness. Symptoms of that illness manifest themselves as criminal behavior. In all societies there are three plateaus. What is legally correct, what is ethically correct, and what is morally correct. This then becomes a country’s operating system.
You can see that theme repeated over and over again. You can see it in the low crimes rates of countries like New Zealand, Switzerland, or Japan. You can see it in the high crime rates of European countries, Russia, and the United States.
Core values and beliefs are taught by adults and passed along to subsequent generations. As those generations multiply, belief systems and core values grow at an exponential rate. If you don’t teach values and correct beliefs then you have a “garbage in, garbage out” scenario that is bound to expand and get worse. If you are teaching fundamentally sound principles, values, and beliefs among your citizens then you will reap the rewards of those teachings in low crime rates as subsequent generations pass along those strong values to their children.
It is interesting to note that Japan, Switzerland, and New Zealand teach solid values such as respect, honor, humility, and dignity. They teach civics extensively in schools. In addition to that, these countries are somewhat isolated in part geographically, and to some extent, politically. They simply do not allow nor do they introduce potentially harmful human elements into the fabric of their society via immigration. They protect their borders and citizens. Their crime rates per capita, for all offenses, are very low.
Europe, Russia, (after the breakup) and the United States are forced to play by different sets of rules. The United States essentially abandoned its controlled use of orderly immigration. Immigrants with a a culturally diverse and different set of values find themselves trying to integrate into a country that simply does not share the same belief systems. As a result of this, American values and beliefs cannot be instilled. The U.S. finds itself struggling with crime rates from an immigrant population that threatens core values and beliefs. European countries and Russia find themselves similarly situated. In the absence of immigration we still have problems within our cultures.
The world finds itself trying to teach different core values, beliefs, and principles so that all people can live in relative safety. As more and more people find themselves struggling for material possessions and wealth, values will change. In some instances people will abandon what is legally, morally, and ethically correct to fulfill material wants. They will abandon values. In that scenario, it is hard to envision just how we are going to be able to prevent further erosion of values and thus rising crime, across a mobile world that uses different operating systems.