THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX AND
THE AMERICAN NEED FOR CONTINUOUS EXPANSION
There is a cautious class war being waged that is responsible for the prison industrial complex becoming a systemic beast absent any concerns for compassion, health, healing, justice or social responsibility. What I have to say may not set well with some but it is at least an accurate and honest depiction of the prison reality. To be sure, there is a huge problem with America having the highest rate of incarceration in the world. And heavy is the pen exposing this but, honestly assessed, Americans are not that much worse than any other people. clearly, there is a problem with the system itself. At least, the public is not being apprised of the true agenda.
Solution-focused approaches attempting to correct the manifest problems will only morph the symptoms and not necessarily deal with the problems themselves. It further tends to keep people dwelling solely on the symptoms. true solutions stop at the front gate because the system is not designed to accommodate significant change from within. The system is mechanical and unfeeling — grinding up humanity endlessly. The problems remain and get redefined at different times for a myriad of reasons contingent upon societal needs.
Public sentiment is governed in large part through the various media spinning fear by focusing on crime in the lower class of society. When that is scaled back, so too is the public sentiment towards the prison industry as illustrated through the philosophical shifting from punishment to rehabilitation and reentry and back to vengeance and retribution. In every instance the pendulum swings to address the public sentiment and the abject needs of society. Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky touched on the phenomenon exclaiming the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons. And that degree continually fluctuates with public sentiment being influenced by the media which then influences legislators, police and government, laws, civil and criminal rules, philosophical policy shifts in prison administration, all aspects of the alleged war on crime and other wars of convenience.
There is a larger picture that needs to be assessed in terms of the so-called war on crime. The matter has morphed yet again to fill the needs of the nation. That is to say, the only real war being waged is that conflict between class — the haves and have-nots. and it allows for the perpetration of the other so-called "wars" as brought to the public eye via the media. The justice system and prison industrial complex has become superbly designed for maintaining control of the entire lower class. not many would even try to argue the middle ground anymore — you either have it or you don't.
The scope of control of the lower class is vast, and not only encompasses those many millions of people incarcerated, their families and relatives, but also all those who are employed and working within the system — the guards, officials, social workers, mental and physical health care workers, even each of those people who make the toothpaste and toilet paper used by the industry.
MANY MILLIONS OF JOBS ARE CONTROLLED BY the PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. IT further encompasses even the justice workers themselves — judges, lawyers, prosecutors, police of every variety and rank, emergency responders, and such. Each and every one of those positions are governed and controlled by the system, it is vast and far reaching.
Thoughts of the imperial global interests should be in the collective consciousness of this nation more with time. The new imperialism is cloaked in humanitarian theory but it is definitely imperial in practice. And it is creating a situation of subsovereignty where states possess independence in theory but not in fact. The reason USA military forces are in Afghanistan and Iraq, after all, is to maintain imperial order in zones essential to the interest of the USA. We will have a military presence there in perpetuity. by morphing definitions from "freedom fighters" to "evil-doers" and "terrorists." We deem them a threat which allows people to view them differently than those living next door. And that terrorist threat must be stopped at all cost.
The USA is fairly the hardest military state and the last remaining empire and, as such, it has assumed the responsibility for imperial structuring and ordering more analogous to Rome everyday. The bush administration set the stage for global dominance in the "national security strategy of the united states" back in 2002, when announcing "a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy and free enterprise," and the rest of what followed in that document was an open declaration of the goal of strategic dominance over the entire planet for the indefinite future. and any society that rejects the design is destined to fail when deemed a treat to the USA. Noticeably, the USA has been on the offensive ever since, asserting our military presence and building hundreds of prisons and detention centers and over the globe.
Financing the expansion of global reach is awesome; the USA has increased its military spending to the point that it now spends about as much as all other nations of the world combined. Ten trillion dollars in debt is about as vulgar as it gets. It is the systematic result of the entire history and logic of capitalism and corporatism, the objective of the imperialist system is to open up peripheral economies to investment from the core capitalist countries, thus ensuring both a continual supply of raw materials at low prices, and a net outflow of economic surplus from the periphery to the center of the world system. The end game is to assure the economies of the periphery are structured to meet the external needs of the core USA interests rather than their own internal needs. and they will be enslaved forever in the same fashion as the rest of the lower class.
Inevitably, at the end of this power structure are the dehumanizing implications of the class war which, in turn, folds over impacting mainstream society in prevenient ways. it perpetuates the ghettoization of cities, racial polarization, poverty and greater exploitation of workers, the increased spatial concentration of a perpetually unemployed and politically disenfranchised class, an epidemic of homelessness, and many other related social ills. What is fundamentally interesting is that the war has been waged in such imperceptible increments that people fail to perceive the massive increase of social control over the surplus population.
Again, it is all by the logic and design of capitalism and corporate structure which inevitably creates surplus population. The process needs the surplus population despite facing the potential threat of political upheaval and other cultural disruption. this requires a magnificent amount of control over that ever-growing. population which not only is brought to bear upon those within the prison industrial complex, but in society at large as well. And the minds of all are continually being conditioned and coerced to ultimately choose what the elite deem the most economically useful.
As for the prison industrial complex failing to meet purported societal objectives, the statistics rather speak for themselves. It is a great systemic failure which only produces more delinquent behavior, and does not diminish the rate of criminality at all. the design of the system increases recidivism and does not make the streets any safer or more secure. given the facts, the system is not serving the interests of justice or society.
Instead of trying to correct an incorrectable system, a more sound approach is to examine the perennial failure and inquire what true objective it serves, and who profits from it. we also must be mindful that the class of have-nots is required in order for the elitist haves to exist and even prosper. The creation and operation of an ineffective prison industrial complex creates a perpetual space for the haves to administer control and maintain their power and standard of living.
What is more interesting is that the allusion of power is allowed to flourish by the lower class and all those within the belly of the beast. It is ignorance to believe it is about power and non-power. Indeed, if everyone merely put their hands in their pockets the power would shift instantly. But the system is maintained by the lack of awareness of the lower class population within it. In short, the haves need the have-nots to acquiesce that power and control. And they have been slowly conditioned to do just that with thoughts that are now familiar and even comfortable to accept because of the misperception that it has always been that way. Such strategic configurations are not readily apparent to those who serve the inside role and it works perfectly to keep the lower class compliant inside and outside of the system. It is a classic corporate power structure which controls every part of the system and offers those at the top a supreme advantage. It does not occur in a vacuum but has become a reciprocal relationship.
The achievement of a different end from that originally intended comes easily with slight manipulation of architectural tricks in the system's function. As it is, the system does not serve to correct anything but only to control. In relatively recent times society has allowed a drastic change in the attitude of the role of prisons. Exclusive domain has been given to governmental interests and has again been morphed to serve the government agenda by becoming a tagging process for all those of the lower economic and social class. The catalyst for the process is interesting, but the reasons are frightening and sovereign.
The tagging process came into view when examining the federal fisc fueling a huge portion of the prison industrial complex. And that came into view when architectural tricks led to litigation in a federal case challenging illegal prison classification rules on ex post facto grounds — that is, they created punishment beyond the prescribed maximum terms through newly-minted rules.
The first strokes of writing on the wall was when ex-governor Tommy Thompson pulled his architectural masterpiece by issuing a directive to the department of corrections (doc) to block the release of all violent offenders. He also acknowledged it was illegal but directed the doc to find legal ways to affect it. it didn't take long for it to also engulf all prisoners regardless of their offense. It made no sense for him to put himself out-there like that by instructing the doc to create legal ways to perform unlawful acts. the guy is a politician. yet no one asked why he would do that.
Prisoners have been feeling the effects of the rules for some time now, and witnessing the outrageous judicial suppression preventing legal challenges to the process. All prisoners rue the day the obscene truth became undeniable in their lives. The effects of the policies and rules were exposed in letters and document mailings to numerous legislators, state representatives, senators, various agencies supposedly overlooking the madness, and in many legal briefs to the judicial arm during litigation through all the state and federal courts, but the message was seemingly ignored all the way around. And no one questioned why and the bigger picture was not coming into focus yet for most .
The increasing number of complaints about some of the effects...eg., not being allowed to take treatment programs, the subsequent parole preclusion--shows an awareness of the problems in the way the system was designed to function. But prisoners are not taking notice of the bigger picture nor understanding what it is they are looking at. The bigger picture is nothing short of awesome, and perfectly strategic. and as mentioned earlier it was brought about so subtly that no one caught on until long after the fact.
The catalyst for the individual states comes in the form of federal appropriations statutes(42 usc 13701) which happened to coincide with Thompson issuing his directive to the doc. the statutes provide for billions of dollars in federal grants to the states for doing things like creating parole rules and classification rules which conflict with one another to create a catch-22 which, consequently precludes parole. It also provides grant funding for states to create more administrative rules, municipal laws and codes, penalty enhancers, and other nonsensical statutes like truth in sentencing. same thing for all the counties, cities, towns and villages increasing arrest rates and conviction rates. It also provides for the unbridled expansion of existing prisons — new x-building dormitories, new segregation units, new program facilities, as well as the conversion of existing buildings into prisons. the appropriations statutes do even more than this. and what is even more surprising is that congress is providing all this for a system that has more than proven itself not to work.
One reason is obvious when focusing on the bigger picture; the prison industry is providing a service and very necessary function for congress. they pay big for the states to create more laws, essentially creating crimes where there were none before. these laws even target younger groups of people — truancy laws for school children which allow school officials to refer kids to prosecutors for tagging — and sweeps up all other sorts of people who are not really criminals. All these people are guilty of is not staying in the additional lines designated by the government. and no one is asking why congress would need to have this information on its ordinary citizens.
The "why" has to be kept in context with and attributed to the bottom line governmental political and global agenda, and the fact they realize that the American empire will fall in time. history has taught us that all empires are inherently unstable, mainly because they inspire enemies rather than allies, and people naturally seek to live free of their influence. But empires fall as they must when there is nothing greater to aspire to — examine Rome, Byzantium, the Ottomans, Japan, et al. Those in power need to know who will likely revolt, who has the capacity to organize and motivate, who can use weapons effectively, who has them, who has the resources and wherewithal to finance and sustain opposition. By creating more lines and boundaries the government can and will tag us all. They have to. and it is nothing personal — the empire only recognizes itself, and cannot care one iota about wasting massive mounts of humanity. It has nothing to do with "corrections" or crime, although that is the spin the government has the media put on it.
People need to at least be aware of what is coming at them. They need to educate themselves to the government's own statistics. even the back-door statistics are striking, if not alarming. the number of people released from state prisons each year has been steadily increasing because of the increase of those coming into the system for tagging. in 2007 the numbers will climb to nearly a million releases from prison alone. Moreover, there is an estimated 15 million individuals released annually from jails and other detention facilities in this country alone. The numbers are staggering and the process occurs each and every year. People are being tagged at an unprecedented rate, and as the world population increases so, too, must the government step up the process if they are going to stay on top of their game. no matter the senselessness, no matter the cost in fisc or humanity.
Even with the billions of dollars congress has allocated for the states to expand the tagging industry, there are huge financial problems being realized by each individual state. Those fiscal problems are met with shortsighted solutions at penny-pinching, many of which will make prison life much more intolerable. It is basically open season on prisoners these days. the media continues spinning a negative slant on everything remotely dealing with the notion of crime. Prisoners and their families have no constituency or political clout. Term-limited legislators looking for any chance to appear tough on crime have little to lose . Any idea to cut costs without closing prisons, no matter how insane, will get a hearing. Their purported solutions to the financial problems will all inevitably lead to harsher conditions of confinement. there will soon be massive cuts in wages, food, programs, treatment, health care, and other necessities. And that will inevitably lead to endangered health and safety for all concerned. prisons are destined to become some of the most dysfunctional and dangerous places on the planet — warehouses that evict most convicts unprepared for anything socially constructive or worthy. Responding responsibly to the above will take rare virtues in compassion, politics, common sense and courage.
The reason society has allowed the prison industrial complex to progress this far has been slowly conditioned into the collective psyche for decades. Most do not have a clue about the ever-growing tagging process and, sadly, most have been conditioned to accept it as necessary in the name of national security. But if people are going to fight a thing that is worth fighting they must go for the source of the problem instead of attempting to deal with the symptoms as they have been conditioned to do. The one thing which separates the makers of history and those whose histories are made for them is the power to alter their environments.—
the power of change, people need to educate and de-condition themselves, their children, friends and neighbors. There needs to be more homeschooling-educating people to what matters most in the world, becoming more self-sustaining, growing food and livestock, and becoming free-thinking people of substance with integrity enough to stand against the beast.
ron schilling #32219, oci