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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Such a Fine Bunch as This

Today I will discuss three concepts: participation, complicity, enabler, and accessory.

First consider the definitions.

Participation: to take part in an event or activity.

Complicity:  involvement with another in doing something illegal or wrong.

Enabler: to provide somebody with the resources, authority, or opportunity to do something.

Accessory: LAW somebody who aids somebody else in committing a crime or avoiding arrest but who does not participate in the crime itself. (Definitions from Encarta Dictionary.)

To see how these terms apply I will use an example.  Let us take the instance of unjust compensation.  Say someone is stealing gas from the maintenance yard of an organization.  This is typically recognized as a serious infraction and a firing offense.  In some cases even security cameras are used to help keep employees honest.  But some have the temerity to steal gas anyway.  If it represents a concerted effort, several people can be involved.  Participants are the direct contributors to the wrongdoing.  The man with his hand on the pump is an obvious participant.  But he may rely on others for support and cover.  All these people are guilty by participation and complicity.   The enabler is one who provides resources, authority or opportunity to enable the commission of the act. The enabler can often be quite self-righteous and respectable while lending authority and opportunity for the crime.  Of all the guilty parties, the accessory is “least guilty” though the law by no means excuses him.  The accessory does not participate in the crime itself, but in some way, perhaps by knowledgeable inaction, ends up aiding and abetting the criminal activity.

Fortunately, running upon such a fine bunch as this is the rare exception.  Few have such flagrant disregard for propriety.  It can be only hoped that they search their souls and find religion.

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