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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  December 2008

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE December 2008

Subject:

Re: U.S. war on drugs has failed, report says

From:

mart <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 2 Dec 2008 06:38:29 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (161 lines)

maybe the Prison industrial complex thing is like slavery----takes about 100 years to get over social inertia and try to correct it, but also it seems like an old 'meme'. from that view, maybe 'reframing' the issue might be considered.  (mumia abu jamal among others has gone over this stuff for years.)

i view it as a jobs program, as well as a way of keeping the competetive spirit alive (do the right thing or else  you'll be locked up).  one also 'socially constructs' a demonized class, and this class (eg via hip hop videos---check out plies or biggie on youtube) itslef becomes part of the social product (GDP), and a real problem (mostly affecting neighbors and relatives).   one also creates a dual somehwat elite academic 'justice studies' track (broken windows and AEI, and the left wing of the faculty club) and since education is so difficult and costly, a place for the lessers who get to actually staff the prisons (and form unions, later get jobs in iraq with haliburton etc.).  there are the 'critical resistance' things, too, for the alts.

counterpunch has so many articles, many with little nuance (the 'ron paul' types)  its hard to know what to make of it, any more than the NYTs.  its a flood, so can an 'optimal foraging theory' exist to determine what to pick out to read?  (my take on that is from  when bush declared war on iraq; cockburn was so stressed he went out and bought another vintage benz or something.  maybe the soldiers might want to do that instead? or would they want humvees? )

as for the article, some numbers maybe are missing.   california has about 30M people; is 173g prisoners too many or too few?  do they have the right ones in jail?  (i like the 'job rotation idea'.  3 weeks governor, 3 weeks convict, etc.)  while they spend only one fourth to one third for students, how many students are there in Ca? (probably like 3-5 million).   how many staff work in schools, versus in prison industry (maybe even including construction)?     what do people train for in schools? studying prisons? working in prisons?  designing prisons? creating hi tech prison/crime surveillance/control technologies? selling hip hop videos and guns and 40's and camcorders to prisoners and the fearful and envious general public?  

the 'ruling class' at times does have regrets i think.  (lots of people have been saying prisons are going to bust the budget; now how to deal with ex-offenders is another emerging market.)  


 

--- On Mon, 12/1/08, Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> From: Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: U.S. war on drugs has failed, report says
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Monday, December 1, 2008, 3:33 PM
> Thanks for this, Phil. It looks like the the kind of well
> researched and
> well informed analysis that can make progressives more
> effective rather than
> less.
> 
> MB
> 
> On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 12:21 PM, Phil Gasper
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> > I cite some of the evidence that the war on crime in
> general and the war on
> > drugs in particular had conscious political and racial
> motivations in this
> > article:
> http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/isj66/gasper.htm. I
> also
> > recommend Beckett and Sasson's *The Politics of
> Injustice: Crime and
> > Punishment in America* (
> >
> http://www.sagepub.com/booksProdDesc.nav?prodId=Book225588).
> >
> > However, I don't agree that these policies have
> been some kind of
> > unmitigated success for the US ruling class. They have
> proven enormously
> > expensive and threaten to increase rather than reduce
> the level of social
> > instability. I think this is one of many instances
> where an ideology that
> > has been dominant for several decades has come into
> partial conflict with
> > the material interests of people at the top, and is
> one reason why the
> > pendulum has now started to move slightly back in the
> other direction. I
> > have some thoughts on this here:
> > http://www.counterpunch.org/gasper03022007.html.
> >
> > --PG
> >
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 1:43 PM, Michael Balter
> <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> >
> >> While I agree with Carrol and Alex about the
> effect of the "drug war,"
> >> they might do better to come up with some evidence
> that this was the
> >> "purpose" of it, unless they are
> speaking metaphorically. Otherwise it comes
> >> off as rhetoric that would not be very convincing
> to most people, especially
> >> as it treats the "ruling class" as some
> sort of monolithic group--a
> >> characterization that sophisticated leftists got
> past about 40 years ago.
> >>
> >> MB
> >>
> >> On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 8:44 AM, Alex Wolf
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Another purpose was to fill the prisons,
> mainly with black and Latino
> >>> men, in order to 1) further terrorize that
> population of the working class
> >>> and 2) to provide extremely low-wage labor for
> the various companies that
> >>> utilize prison labor, and they are legion. To
> agree with Carrol, this has
> >>> been a rousing success for the ruling class.
> And to agree again, I would
> >>> expect this to continue, until racism is
> destroyed.
> >>>
> >>> On Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 10:57 AM, Carrol Cox
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> The headline of this article calls for
> comment independently of the
> >>>> article's content.
> >>>>
> >>>> The headline seems to assume that the
> purpose of the "war on drugs" was
> >>>> to reduce drug sales and/or use. But of
> course that never was its
> >>>> purpose. The purpose of the war on drugs
> was to have a war to conduct,
> >>>> whether at home or abroad. It provides a
> budget for police forces at
> >>>> home and counter-insurgency abroad. In
> that it has been a pretty
> >>>> complete success, and I would expect that
> success to continue
> >>>> indefinitely. The rise of a new mass
> political movement (as in the '60s
> >>>> or the '30s) might include putting a
> stop to this war.
> >>>>
> >>>> Carrol
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> ******************************************
> >> Michael Balter
> >> Contributing Correspondent, Science
> >> Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
> >> Boston University
> >>
> >> Email:           [log in to unmask]
> >>
> >> Website:       michaelbalter.com
> >> Balter's Blog: michael-balter.blogspot.com
> >> ******************************************
> >>
> >
> >
> 
> 
> -- 
> ******************************************
> Michael Balter
> Contributing Correspondent, Science
> Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
> Boston University
> 
> Email:           [log in to unmask]
> 
> Website:       michaelbalter.com
> Balter's Blog: michael-balter.blogspot.com
> ******************************************


      

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