How Corruption Leads to Violence and Mistrust

Corruption is evident in both Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities and Hammett's Red Harvest. In Jacobs the city planners are focused on what would be more beneficial for vehicles traveling into cities, workers, and commercial business. They barely consider what is best for the residents and willingly relocate them and reconstruct their surroundings. In Red Harvest the town is over run by gang violence and people in power are corrupted. No one in the town is able to trust each other. Corruption eventually leads to violence and mistrust because everyone becomes self-seeking at any cost.

This serves as an example of people in power meeting behind closed doors to discuss what they want to do most times only considering their interests. These kinds of people can include the city planners in Jacobs, or people like Elihu, in Hammett's Red Harvest. A small group of people making decisions for a city can be detrimental as Jacobs points out, “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” (Jacobs, The Death and Life of American Cities)
When corruption exists in a city violence increases because people begin to get aggravated and revolt to get their what they need, as in Red Harvest when the workers begin to protest for better pay and work as well as when the gangs continue their crime to get what they want. (Hammett, 9)
This depicts traffic in a city. It relates to the idea that city planners are more concerned with figuring out how to make easy travel for cars than for taking into account what residents want or need. Jacobs wrote, "Not TV or illegal drugs but the automobile has been the chief destroyer of American communities." (Jacobs, The Death and Life of American Cities)
This photo shows the police at a crime scene. In Red Harvest even the cops are corrupt. The are involved with the gang by making deals with them. Even though there is an outer facade of order and protection for the safety of the citizens there is corruption everywhere. Jacobs wrote, "There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder...the dishonest mask of pretended order." (Jacobs, The Life and Death of Great American Cities)
In this painting, there are hidden places underneath the city streets. It is like the deceptiveness of the characters in Red Harvest and the hidden motives of city planners and government officials in Jacobs.
Empty sidewalks and streets allow for increased violence because no one is around to stop the crime or report who has committed the crime, as seen in the murder of Elihu Wilson's son. No one could identify the shooter or the two people seen. Jacobs pointed out, "There must be a sufficiently dense concentration of people, for whatever purposes they may be there." (Jacobs, The Life and Death of Great American Cities)
This is an example of a violent crime like those committed in in the town of Personville in Red Harvest. These crimes lead to mistrust. No one can trust any one with anything. Only on rare occasions do people trust each other with information in Red Harvest in order to find out something else, such as when the continental Op was talking to MacSwain he says, "I risked a little truth on him." (Hammett, Red Harvest)
This picture depicts the three main reasons why city planners began reconstructing cities. This detroyed previous communities. Jacob wrote, "Whole communities are torn apart and sown to the winds, with a reaping of cynicism, resentment, and despair that must be heard and seen to be believed." (Jacobs 5)
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