Alex Trotter uburoi at panix.com
Wed Mar 8 11:32:12 MST 1995

Perhaps the use of prison labor under capitalist regimes can't be equated
with the private ownership of slaves under hereditary, permanent
conditions, but surely forced labor of prisoners is nonetheless a form of
slavery. And when you consider the vast scale on which it was used in
Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, it has to be said that a significant
sector of the economy in those societies was sub-capitalist. (If the
Nazis had won, don't you think they would have made permanent, hereditary
slaves out of, say, the Slavs if not the Jews?)
	Apropos of what someone on the list, bringing up Trotsky, said
about "combined and uneven development," why shouldn't it be possible for
capitalism to resurrect (and coexist with) some form of despotism that
does not deal in free (i.e., wage) labor?
	And one more thing: I certainly hope that one of the goals of
socialism, if indeed there is to be such a thing as socialism, is to
abolish prisons altogether. I'm not going to support any "mode of
production" that doesn't!


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