— P. D. Ouspensky
Context: Existing criminology is insufficient to isolate barbarism. It is insufficient because the idea of "crime" in existing criminology is artificial, for what is called crime is really an infringement of "existing laws", whereas "laws" are very often a manifestation of barbarism and violence. Such are the prohibiting laws of different kinds which abound in modern life. The number of these laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm. On the other hand, unquestionable crimes escape the field of vision of criminology, either because they have not recognized the form of crime or because they surpass a certain scale. In existing criminology there are concepts: a criminal man, a criminal profession, a criminal society, a criminal sect, and a criminal tribe, but there is no concept of a criminal state, or a criminal government, or criminal legislation. Consequently what is often regarded as "political" activity is in fact a criminal activity.
This limitation of the field of vision of criminology together with the absence of an exact and permanent definition of the concept of crime is one of the chief characteristics of our culture.
p. 37-38; "Consequently what is often regarded as "political" activity is in fact a criminal activity"' has also been translated as "Consequently, the biggest crimes actually escape being called crimes" in a 1984 edition.