It's not news that the United States is the incarceration capital of the world: The 2.4 million people behind bars in the U.S. today is, as Matt Ford at The Atlantic noted, "more than the combined population of 15 states, all but three U.S. cities, and the U.S. armed forces." As Adam Gropnik wrote in his compelling 2012 piece, "The Caging of America":
The businessfication of all things continues to pull our society down. Profit making and taking from students, government workers, prisoners, soldiers and the poor, to name a few classes is repugnant. People such as these were pursuing intangible goals of the common. Unfortunately, much like the planet herself they and their toil has been sucked into the exploitative economic model of explosive expansionism, which shall be won by the person who finds the last potable drop of water…
I rarely put up “Right on!”, “you got that right!”, “well said,” “you nailed it with this one!” posts, but I will do so for this WiseOwl missive. “Businessification” is a great word. I once wrote and self published a book (that went nowhere) blaming everything on bureaucratization, and tried to show how government institutional bureaucracies and private enterprise bureaucracies were alike, functioned similarly, and are equally insidious. I have worked in both.
But “businessification” is a better descriptor of what’s going on than “bureaucratization” or “financialization,” both of which accurately characterize the world that the elites have brought about and continue to defend and push to expand.
The need for something like a new, world sweeping religious revival that revises the ways of life and value systems of people throughout the developed world, in particular changing the hearts and minds of the movers, shakers, and decision makers. But they are, at least as of now more than ever, embedded in and passionately dedicated to the business of businessification. Many of them are quite willing to sanction summary executions for anyone who has any success, however small, in opposing the money mad death march.