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Corporate Capitalism Is the Foundation of Police Brutality and the Prison State


#1

Corporate Capitalism Is the Foundation of Police Brutality and the Prison State

Chris Hedges

Our national conversation on race and crime is based on a fiction. It is the fiction that the organs of internal security, especially the judiciary and the police, can be adjusted, modernized or professionalized to make possible a post-racial America. We discuss issues of race while ignoring the economic, bureaucratic and political systems of exploitation—all of it legal and built into the ruling apparatus—that are the true engines of racism and white supremacy. No discussion of race is possible without a discussion of capitalism and class.


#2

"This is by design."

Whenever we hear of another outrage committed by the PTB, we should remember that line.


#4

the present day declaration of unfair dependence...

when in the course of corporate events...
it becomes necessary to dissolve a people’s government...
which had connected democracy between one another...
and to assume among the power of now greedy coveters...
a separate unevenhanded station to which...
common laws get rewritten to enable the rich...
as this lack of decent respect for mankind’s opinion...
requires that the upper crust must declare their dominion...
through some sort of cause which impels them ahead...
in killing self-evident truths that were once held instead...
and now all men are not created equal...
for they are not endowed by the creators of this sequel...
nor allowed those certain unalienable rights...
once known as life and liberty and pursuit of delight...
hence to unsecure citizens’ rightful freedom...
oppression gets instituted among multiple countrymen...
deriving its power by rigging feigned consent...
through handy illusive manipulation of the governed...
so whenever future reform might obstruct these fixed ends...
it is the right of slick tyranny to increase unjust amends...
and to institute further unfairness for people...
laying its foundation on more devious principles...
and organizing its powers in such a form...
as to them shall profit through their own wealthy lords...
prudence will show that long established corporate influence...
hates being diminished for the sake of decent congruence...
and accordingly their experience has shown...
mankind is more prone to suffer while greed holds the throne...
than for greed to unseat its own self without outside help...
since its own groups run abuses and usurpations themselves...
pursuing as they do the same objects of control...
evincing a design to reduce commoners through greed’s rule...
it’s the profiteers’ privilege and duty to see this completed...
to provide that people’s constitutional rights be also depleted...
such has been unjustly deeds from previous one-upmanships...
as much more now too with such similar leadership...
in proceeding to eliminate truth’s fair and square efforts...
the current overall history of present government ventures...
is a collection of repeated unconstitutional events...
all seeming to have in direct object a goal of establishment...
of an absolute tyranny that propaganda keeps hidden...
through uncandid staged facts they submit to us citizens!...


#5

It's like a return to Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" here inside "the homeland." Always that colonial mindset builds its punitive structures upon the blood, trust, and resources of those that it incarcerates.

From the article:

"A municipality in Missouri is billing people for the Tasers used against them—$26 per Taser discharge. Roughly half of all states are now charging people for the services of indigent criminal defense. A 2013 Supreme Court decision said that extended families could be held responsible for the debts of those incarcerated."

Perhaps film director, Terry Gilliam IS an Oracle. In his brilliant satire, "Brazil," the film begins with an anti-terrorist team drilling a hole in the ceiling above the apartment of the man they wish to arrest for anti-govt. activities. Basically, the wrong man is arrested due to a technical error (glitch with an old typewriter); and he is interrogated by one gifted in the "art of torture." He dies in custody (as is reminiscent of today's tactics practiced by a dark slew of psychologists at Guantanamo), and his wife is presented both with forms to sign, and FEES. That's what ties in with this new protocol that charges prisoners for their time in jail and currently, additional fees. Mr. Hedges has done other articles on the costs of telephone calls and other usurious prison taxes.

While institutionalized racism is a huge problem, the one thing missing from this article is the impact of lobbyists in Washington. Correctional Corps. of America, a privatized prison-building/maintaining firm is very active when it comes to greasing politicians' palms with raw cash. In exchange for these legal bribes, political wannabes agree to build new prisons in their states. In order to make these ventures profitable, a steady stream of warm bodies must be produced and that's where the racist composition of prison inmate populations comes into play.

As many have noticed, it's not nuclear-armed states or even rich Western states that typically are attacked by NATO or naked U.S. imperial aggression. In parallel, the martial muscle of the prison-industrial complex aims at those with little power: The Black Community.

What's particularly galling is the stable of right wing radio shock jocks paid to insist that the Blacks deserve this fate, that they are all doing drugs, or that too many fathers abandon their babies... as if the high rate of incarceration is not designed to brutally break apart the Black family unit as much as the raids on "illegal immigrants" are bludgeoning the Latino community.

... First they came for.


#6

► What is PTB?


#8

I believe a lot of the problems with the police have to do with how a "crime" quota is being used (unofficially) in many areas. If you spend months tracking down a killer you get a "check" on an arrest blotter. If you pick up a kid for smoking a joint you get the same "check". So the police go after the low hanging branches.

Another problem is the complete lack of accountability of police. If, by some miracle, they are actually "punished" you can bet your bottom dollar their Union Rep will be there the next day to make sure the punishment is withdrawn and the officer receives back pay and a promotion.

As far as a "classless" society, I am not sure one has existed in human history...so good luck with that.


#9

Finally! A public discussion of the foundation of the war against nature.

No, wait, this is only about the war against human nature.

No, wait, is it only a discussion about Wall Street's investments in police states enforcing racism?

Whatever, it is a refreshing discussion with potential to connect to the movement Bernie is building, and with growing support leading from below across a broad spectrum of concerns and envisioning and organizing.

This is the dawning of another age of rebirth. It will grow as long as we can keep Wall Street's Chorus, Greed and the Major Casinos, from perverting it with spying, anarchy, sociopathologies, and their politics as usual. Wall Street is Gaia Enemy #1.


#10

Who needs enemies when liberals have Hedges and Murokawa to demonize us? Hedge's "liberal" examples, neoliberals like Clinton and Biden and the Democratic Party's DNC, are anything but liberals.

Left or right wing, all conservatives want dictatorship, not democracy. Left wing conservatives like Hedges and Murokawa may want "benevolent" dictatorships. Good luck with that. It has been tried and people just don't seem to want dictatorship.

There is not much difference between right or left conservatives. In this case, one is a theocrat which explains his conservatism, and the other a Princeton professor who should get her "liberal" and "neoliberal" definitions straight unless her intent is to rescue the atrocious reputation of neolibs and conservatives in general by demonizing liberals, a childish ploy from an Ivy League professor.

Money and power lubricate the slide from liberal to neoliberal and conservative. It happens to most people who are so "blessed".

I would like to see Hedges and Murokawa endorse democracy instead of conservative dictatorships of the left, but they are too far gone.

Further, it is ludicrous to blame liberals for the black holocaust that neolibs and conservatives brought about. Liberals are the ones fighting for racial equality, not for "humanely" incarcerating blacks as Hedges and Murokawa would have us believe.


#11

Powers That Be, i.e., the dolts that are running things.
;-})


#12

"A municipality in Missouri is billing people for the Tasers used against them—$26 per Taser discharge. Roughly half of all states are now charging people for the services of indigent criminal defense. A 2013 Supreme Court decision said that extended families could be held responsible for the debts of those incarcerated."
* Well, China charges the family for the cost of the bullet shot into the head of their executed prisoners. Maybe we are catching up with China.
* The prison system, in collusion with the Prison-Industrial-Complex, uses slave labor contracted out by the prison system.
* Soon, no doubt, there will be rent and food charged against the prisoners, and perhaps the families will have to pay these charges.
* The Third Reich knew how to do these things. I fear the Fourth Reich has just began to expand upon their efforts for total exploitation and control.
* As Jefferson said:
* “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."
* “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
* Friends, it is time to water the tree, it looks droopy.
;-})


#13

Several years ago a person involved in the fight to legalize pot and myself were researching the private prison industry. We did a quick look at who was putting up the cash to buy politicians and the names of the corporate monkies who were spreading the cash. We found over 400 donors in the corporate sphere and the politicial parties their money went to. The politicians then legislated laws that made private prisons ever more profitable. It is even more so today. I quit soft drinks and most house hold cleaners the day I saw the list on the printout of the database.

It is a shame that so many have died believing that the U.S. is worth defending. That so many take to heart the words of the Constitution not realizing it is a con job and a great scam.


#14

Thanks to SR, here. Finally someone uses the perfectly accurate " first they came for " trope to describe what is going down with the PIC, in the United States. The whole barrel is rotten, not just a few bad apples, needing to be discarded. When you vote for BIG Government this is what you get. A toxic conglomeration of the worst aspects of the American character. " It is very hard to be against something you are being well paid to be for. " I'd ( almost ) trade term limits and public funding of all elections for electing HRC in 2016. I said almost. Go Bernie, go.


#15

► Did Jefferson say they're coming to take your guns from you?


#16

As long as we remember that most of that design, as well as most of racism, and most related problems, are unconscious. Capitalism, racism and climate catastrophe are now more visibly linked by this article, and by Naomi Klein in This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, for example. They're also linked by psychology—they operate by many of the same psychological defenses—splitting and projection, dissociation, the resulting addictions… This is only really fixable, in the end, by healing the psychological conditions that cause all those things. In the meantime, while we desperately need to at least acknowledge the primacy of psychology in causing all our problems, meanwhile, we have to drastically speed up the logistical solutions to the greenhouse gas crisis (building solar and wind infrastructure to replace fossil fuels, and transforming agriculture and forestry) and the institutional problems that are the proximal cause of active, social-political racism.


#17

Knights of Malta lobbied for and finally got prison reform in Connecticut. They wanted to shift the emphasis from punishment to reducing recidivism by rehabilitation of prisoners: segregate the mentally ill, those charged with drug offenses, the alcoholics, and the plain criminals from each other by remodeling a state prison for each group. Once any problem with mental illness and/or substance abuse has been successfully treated, then provide tutoring or classes to make up any educational deficits (first literacy and numeracy to 5th grade level, then study for and pass GED test). then transfer to something like the workhouses of circa 1900 and bus prisoners from there to minimum wage jobs with 1/3 of take home for room, 1/3 for board, and 1/3 to fist pay off any debts then build up a nest egg. If and when a prisoner is promoted to job paying enough to live on, then release. I suspect it would make sense to have a parallel program that poor persons could enter voluntarily to get whatever treatment and or catching up on education they need and then by transferred to a similar "workhouse" to be bused to a minimum wage job as above until they can earn enough to make it on their own. Each prisoner or voluntary resident in a work house should have a small room to himself about like a monk's cell but with a lock controlled by the resident, and get meals in a common dining hall. I hope the voluntary parallel program could prevent trouble before it starts provided enough of it is provided to meet demand.


#18

“Only when corporate capitalism is demolished will the indiscriminate use of lethal police force and mass incarceration be reformed. And only then will we finally address white supremacy and racism.” Any class system is inherently sexist/classist/racist. Only socialism proposes a classless society where all would share equally.

The U.S. though is part of the neoliberal plan to globalize poverty by impoverishing all for the sake of the rich. The fastest growing minority in the U.S. are poor whites. The prison industrial system is the new Jim Crow but will soon enslave everybody that’s not rich. Probably growing mass incarceration will statistically reduce the 60% of inmates that are black. Our masters will probably crow about brutalizing more equally.

The U.S.A. is now a police state oligarchy. The U. S. Constitution has been reinterpreted till dead and superseded by the NDAA and The Patriot Act. Gone are Habeas Corpus and Posse Comitatus and the Bill of Rights has been rendered meaningless. In post-constitutional USA "rights" are now purely conditional privileges that can be taken away without evidence or trial. Secret arrest, indefinite detention, torture and assassination of U.S. citizens is now legal and can happen to any citizen merely on "suspicion”, no evidence needed. Every day the U.S. and the world more resembles a death camp.

Corporate capitalism must be destroyed and replaced with socialism before it not only impoverishes and enslaves us all but completes the destruction of the ecology and the human race.