I must say you put a little top-spin on that one, old turnip. (Don't ask, I saw it in a P.G. Wodehouse story.)
The 5th episode points out crucial perspectives regarding the erroneous ignorant finger wagging and blame shaming we see in society, and here on ATS as well when it comes to violence.
I really don't know if I'm truly interested, as I have no idea what it is.
if you're truly interested in the source problem of these manifestations in the world, . . . which like it or not is the core system model that we all live in.
I may have a bias which colors what I see, but I assure you that I had no intent to misrepresent.
But also the very reason I don't like making summaries of videos is exactly because of what you did here.Misrepresentation or misunderstanding of the original intended message, either by mistake or on purpose whatever.
Don't read into things in the wrong way, but in the way it was intended to be read.
I think our jails are horrible to. I feel that many of the misdemeanor crimes should be redirected towards cognitive behavioral therapy with a care plan in getting these people focused on pathways that lead to vocational or college training. We should be helping them break whatever cycle their in. Sitting on your butt in jail - isn't going to offer that. Dangerous sociopaths and psychopaths - deserve their confinement, in my opinion.
Originally posted by charles1952
So far, what I have is that Americans are more frightened than before, various sectors of society are benefitting from the increasing desire to be safe, and that, so far, not many Americans have been killed on an annual basis by terrorism. Especially Government gets powerful because of it.
Jesus, you scared me! But I guess that's OK, right? If you watch the news these days, there seems to be a lot to be concerned about. Nuclear war, terrorism, mass shootings, city bombings, corporate fraud, bird flu, bank failures, unemployment contamination, gangs, general crime and depending on your temperament and conditioning, perhaps you've already armed yourself to the teeth and are watching this show from an underground bunker somewhere waiting for the end of civilization itself. Whatever the concern, the ideas of protection or security from such woes are ever-pervasive today. Prisons, police, insurance, warranties, protection agencies military and domestic armament, airport groping, government surveillance, etc. reveals a culture of fear on many levels.
Not to mention that the modern trends of such security risks are certainly fascinating.thought of someone going into their workplace and wiping out a couple of people was a relatively remote concept. Today, we repeatedly see these acts of seemingly random violence not only in businesses, but in schools, churches, movie theaters malls, sporting events and other common institutions. As unfortunate as this dark reality of our human capacity is, it's perhaps not as unfortunate as the archaic methods we as a civilization have concocted in our attempt to counter such problems.
For instance, in the wake of growing US gun violence, the National Rifle Association will tell you that the problem is a lack of armed security at every turn. If only we'd just arm everybody like the Wild West problems of social violence would subside, while at the other extreme, folks will tell you that the problem is rather due to an ease of access: it's too simple to get weaponry and the removal of this easy access is now the correct path.
However, do either of these address the real issue, the source of the behavioral problem at hand? Where is the national discussion about, say, motivation and the sociological condition itself to which these acts erupt? I point this out because in a technological age, where people can now print automatic weapons in secret; with home 3D printers paving the way for an eventual nano tech revolution that will enable the public to create powerful weapons at home bypassing commercial regulation itself perhaps we need to rethink our sense of causality here; for unless you intend to outlaw scientific progress itself, regulation isn't going to amount to a damn thing in the long run.
Likewise, come to think of it, maybe we also need to step back and reframe what a viable threat to our safety really is. and how it measures up to other threats. On April 25th, 2013, bombs exploded during the Boston marathon in the United States killing 3 people, gaining global attention, almost like it was another 9/11. Yet in Iraq, on the exact same Monday, bombs exploded killing 20 times as many people yet no one in the mainstream media seemed to care much about that. You see, if you pay attention, you might notice that the true quantifiable magnitude of a threat or the actual toll of violence really doesn't mean much in the establishment perception. It's the idea, the context, the political spectacle that matters.
This might explain why America has spent almost $5 trillion on so-called terrorism when US citizens today and statistically have always been more likely to die of a peanut allergy or in the bathtub than in a terrorist attack. As the following episode will argue, the security fear industry stretching from the ever-exploitative news media to the military-industrial complex to the criminal justice system not only exploits sociological distortion birthed out of the very fabric of our deprivation, scarcity-driven social order it now appears to be accelerating in a vicious cycle. I don't know about you, but given all of this I'm beginning to suspect that maybe, just maybe the very foundation of our socioeconomic system is in play here no longer existing as a functional mode for human progress on this planet but rather as a conduit for a Culture in Decline.
Prison. From the dark dungeons of the Middle Ages to our modern industrial mass incarceration correctional facilities the prison system is a signature edifice of society today. The United States, the land of the free now has the highest inmate population in the world incarcerating over 2.3 million in fact. The US has locked up more people than any other country on the planet boastfully housing 25% of the entire world's prison population. with an 800% increase in incarceration in the past 30 years alone.
Based partly on the need to remove active threats from society coupled with an ever-bleak undertone of retribution and revenge the punitive, negative reinforcement tradition common to our justice system is now being challenged by some very basic realizations in the human sciences. We often forget that when it comes to human conduct true behavioral causality has historically been ignored. With the focus rather on spooky superstitious forces such as good and evil.
As convenient as such ambiguous metaphysical assumptions are, modern social science now places so-called criminal or anti-social acts in the context of public health, with real solutions resting in the arena of preventive medicine, not mere punishment. Of course, as with most rational perspectives in the world today, this view is rather agitating, for it shatters the glorified free will morally empirical traditional assumptions our entire criminal justice system is built upon.
However, let's put that aside for now, and point out the fact that, while most naturally do fear prison, its effect as a deterrent is actually quite weak. Considering US trends, we see a massive increase in incarceration over time so with this basic observation, the punitive threat of prison clearly isn't working, statistically. Likewise, prison is supposed to be some form of rehabilitation center, right? So does this system work to reform human behavior, taking in so-called criminals, and outputting mentally healthy, law-abiding citizens?
No. In the United States, two thirds of prisoners released re-offend within three years, often with a more serious and violent offense. Dr James Gilligan, former director of the Center for the Study of Violence at Harvard Medical School actually refers to prisons as graduate schools for crime and violence. So given all of this, perhaps we need to step back a bit, shake off the shackles of common perception and ask ourselves what other roles the judicial and prison systems really have. For if incarceration isn't statistically working as deterrent and those who get out of prison are more often worse than they were when they went in, something is clearly wrong. What else is going on here?
While the justification of incarceration is certainly viable with respect to true social threats, no different than the medical need to quarantine somebody who is a threat to society because of a contagious disease, the evolution of the prison tradition reveals some very dark truths. The best way to think about it is from a historical perspective, considering race conflict, class conflict in the context of economic and political expedience. The first thing to understand is that political power, like economic power is sourced in social inefficiency. In other words, politicians need something to fight, and to a certain degree, the more problems a society has, the more the citizens tend to feel the need to give up their power to government control with the most proven effective type of problem being fear, usually fear of some perceived identifiable external group.
Of course, this idea has been acknowledged for years such as by political theorist Karl Schmitt, in his 'The Concept of the Political' saying that political unity is achieved by defining a common enemy. Nothing new. The Nazis did this with the Jewish culture, The early US did this with the Native American culture, and so on. In short, the trick is to push the idea that some subculture usually in the minority, is the true source of all of society's woes, generating mass resentment, and thereby ignoring more accurate, yet politically inconvenient realities. And while direct racism and discrimination are certainly alive and well in the world today the more elusive yet relevant bias is actually economic.
The greatest threat to any political establishment is any challenge to its underlying economic foundation. As all political platforms are rooted in an economic bias one way or another. If you can brainwash the public into viewing the failures of capitalism as instead rooted in the poor moral virtue of a trouble-causing subsection of the population, rather than a built-in consequence of capitalism's elitist psychology and scarcity-driven structure, you can maintain control. This is where the 'common enemy scapegoat scam' comes into play.
We simply demonize the victims of this system, shifting blame away from the more relevant environmental, causal, social condition itself and in the context of the justice system, the war on crime is a perfect tool. All the war on crime is, is a war on the poor and economically irrelevant and if a society is conditioned to believe that a person breaking into their car to steal property is simply an amoral abomination with all the life choices in the world otherwise to make ends meet, then the causal shift is a success.
The reality, however, is that most of those incarcerated today are there almost always due to crimes born from deprivation deprivation which can be generalized in two forms: relative and absolute.
Absolute deprivation is when a person's most basic needs are simply not met and poverty is the lead source. The spectrum of disorder that arises from poverty is vast: from drug dealing, theft and prostitution in areas lacking employment opportunities to emotional loss, self-worth neuroses and illegal self-medication leading to complex and elusive chain reactions which can result in destructive antisocial behavior.
Today, one out of every 15 African American kids in the United States have at least one parent in prison, usually the father. It's bad enough that the father figure is important to familial survival as the historical breadwinner, but the proven emotional toll on children who must go without such an influential parental figure also has dark results, as those children are also statistically more likely to be imprisoned as adults, in fact. If you combine poverty with emotional deprivation you have the perfect recipe for not only the manifestation of socially aberrant behavior but the perpetuation of such distortions across generational time.
Relative deprivation, on the other hand, is when our sense of worth and self-respect is associated to our cultural perception of success. While absolute deprivation is measured by basic health concerns expressing the ever-important need for society to work to efficiently meet our immutable human needs for sanity and true security relative deprivation exists in the realm of subjective comparison and resulting de-humanization.
Likely the greatest example of this negative pressure is the state of class imbalance in the world. While it is true that the formally classified poor of the West today actually live, in material terms, better than the upper class a thousand years ago the dehumanizing wealth stratification occurring today continues to create complex, destabilizing psychosocial problems. Long considered an incentive for social progress, class difference and wealth imbalance has turned out to be a powerful public health issue. generating massive psychological and sociological distortion.
Want to be intellectually honest? The issues raised here have more to do with commerce than they do with the Second Amendment. A lot of people make a lot of money selling firearms and ammunition. The National Rifle Association has said the solution is to have armed security guards at every school. Certainly, every piece of security we engage in can be helpful. but it's foolish to think that only security is what we need. The great challenge is: can we prevent these tragedies?
Sorry to interrupt, Chief, but since you just brought up this notion of prevention which is of course the real issue here, right? I'm curious when this conversation is going to move to more relevant social science. For example, we have the NRA here. Hi!
Yet we don't have anyone from the pharmaceutical industry. Isn't it true that most of the mass shootings that have commenced have been done by people who were under the influence of psychologically mood-altering medications? Or better yet, where's the drug czar of this country? Since the war on drugs has commenced, there has been a massive increase in gun-related drug violence. Are we just going to ignore this causality as well? Or better yet, I almost forgot, I have here about a hundred years of data on the relationship between economic imbalance, specifically wealth imbalance and violence. The stats have become very clear now, that the gap between the rich and the poor creates more violence. The more gap, the more violence.
And crime on the whole, which might explain, by the way, why the United States, with the largest income gap in the world, also has the most violence and worst public health of any first world nation. Is this not worth a congressional discussion? With all due respect, you people can't possibly be naive enough to think, that the reduction of certain guns, as the left suggests, or the increase in armed security in public places, as the right suggests, is really going to have a long term effect on such deeply rooted sociological problems, right? A problem clearly rooted in structured dehumanization, and economic deprivation, that’s inherent to our social system? Is it not of some viable consideration to address this issue? No? Really?
And then we have the so-called war on drugs. When Richard Nixon declared the drug war in 1971 He asked for an initial 84 million dollars. In 2013, the national drug control budget requested 25.6 billion. With about a trillion dollars spent in total and the result over time has been more drugs, easier access, increased potency and more users. Today almost half of the federal prison population are non violent drug offenders. Often mere users in fact, clearly a mental health issue, rather than a punitive one. Draconian mandatory sentencing laws today can send kids to prison for decades for mere possession.
And it is no secret that this criminalized subculture has been mostly born out of the prohibitive underground economies necessarily sprouted in poor areas of the country, largely occupied by minorities. As an aside, we often forget how deeply racist the United States has been historically, assuming vast improvement, and yet today there are more African-Americans behind bars, than were slaves before the American Civil War. After segregation, the black community was strategically isolated into low income inner city ghettos, which systematically robbed them of economic opportunity. And as the national culture matured, with racism slowly dissipating through the civil rights movement, the economic oppression set in motion at that time remained, creating a powerful cycle ever since. Today, 1 out of every 3 black men are expected to go to prison at some point in their lives. And in effect, the real oppressive mechanism in the world today is no longer race, but economic class.
And the punch-line is brutal. Not only are the poor and forgotten of our society conveniently turned into criminals, rather than clear examples of the failure of our social model, capitalist ingenuity prevails once again, transforming these people into pure salable commodities, creating a massive profit industry out of an otherwise economically useless social class.
From thriving income generation, be it fines, tickets, bail posting and lawyers fees, to the now massive network of servicing the millions of inmates via health care, food production, security hiring, parole officers and the like, the prison and security industrial complex in the West is a thriving business enterprise, and positive factor on economic growth. The cost to imprison one person for one year in the state of California is about 47'000 dollars. Extrapolating that to the total US 2013 prison population of about 2.3 million, the incarceration service alone amounts to over a 100 billion dollars a year in income.
And this isn't counting the other 5 million currently being serviced on parole. Today, the Corrections Corporation of America, G4S Wackenhut and other private for profit security and prison firms, benefit their investors and shareholders when encarceration rates increase. Not to mention the now extremely common labor use or slave labor use, I should say, of the prisoners themselves.
And yes, we might feel some moral outrage when a Pennsylvanian judge gets caught sending kids to private detention centers for cash kickbacks. But then again, are we really surprised? There are even small towns in the Midwest where the majority are employed by the local prison. and if they don't have crime and prisoners, their town's economy is in the toilet. Not to mention that most police departments derive enormous funding from drug arrests and seizures. If the drug war stopped, the police department would lose billions in this country. And yes, the rabbit hole runs even deeper. If we step back even farther, we see a broader economic reinforcement here. You see, the drug trade is far from limited to your local street thugs.
Today, US and European banks launder about one trillion dollars in criminal, mostly drug money, each year. Drug money has actually become a very relevant part of the Wall Street machine. Even just recently, HSBC bank got caught moving about a billion dollars in drug money. Did the criminal executives get sent to jail? Of course not. Why? Because the legal system is mostly there to control the poor, not regulate the rich. HSBC paid a fine and moved on, likely working to reposition themselves again, like the dozen or so other major banks that continue to launder drug money each year.
Anyway, returning to our main point, this now highly capitalized 'blame game, common enemy' approach is not just there to dismiss the resulting poor, it is ubiquitous every turn. Whether common crime, terrorism, mass murders or anything destabilizing, we see the mainstream media, and even many in the so-called activist community, completely missing the point. Buried under the propaganda, of in the box establishment, self preservation, to one degree or another.
Final thoughts. We live in a social model based upon scarcity and inefficiency. This means that the more society solves problems, meets human needs and stabilizes itself by recognizing the potentials and limits of natural law, the less economically viable it is in the monetary economy. There is a reason why doctor Martin Luther King Jr's final pursuit, was a guaranteed income system in the United States. For he knew that racism was, in many ways, an extension of classism. And the existence of poverty and deprivation in a world that can create an abundance to meet everyone’s needs, was nothing more than structural oppression coming from a failed and elitist social system.
An impression that, in fact, generates crime and destabilization in a vicious cycle. You want to see a decline in prohibitive economies for drug sales, prostitution and black market, theft rings? You want to see society stop its enormous use of self-medicating drugs, both legal and illegal? You want to see an end of national war, an improvement of our social infrastructure so disease and accidents can be dropped to a relative fraction of what we have now? Or perhaps you want to see the end of school shootings, gun violence, and acts of terrorism, both in the context of state-funded black ops and real blow-back?
Then it's time the human family recognize its global potential to achieve a post-scarcity reality. Work to strategically share our resources, work to meet human needs directly, and focus collaborative energy on interests for true collective human betterment, hence removing the inherent warfare, unnecessarily built into our archaic socioeconomic system, along with all the resulting racism, hatred, dehumanization, oppression, and elitism it manifests. And no, I’m not telling you to go write your Congressman. If the social system is the disease, then those who appoint themselves to assist its operation are the tumors and lesions. Voting with ballots or assuming what you choose to spend money on is going to change the way this world works, is a delusion. It's going to take a new approach. A parallel uprising of power to shift the tide.
And whether we are aware of it or not, this is happening slowly, right now around us in the world. And the question is, where are you in this interest? And do you even care? If not, well, welcome to the Culture in Decline. And this show, as #ty as it is, is going to keep running. If so, then perhaps, maybe this terrible reality show may come to an end faster then we think. But until that happens, rest assured I'll be here, arrogantly pointing out that most everything you believe and hold dear is wrong. So, get back to your bibles, video games, internet porn, and AK47s, bitches, and have some fun out there in this dark circus we call normality. And until next time, I’m Peter Joseph, and whether you like me or not, I exist, as an agent and victim of a Culture in Decline.
On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge maximum security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jailbreak. -Robert Anton Wilson