[Marxism] Prison guards (was: Police unions etc.)

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Fri Aug 3 04:33:20 MDT 2007


You should identify who you're replying to, especially when there are a 
large number of contributors to a thread like this one.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Jscotlive at aol.com>
To: <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2007 6:26 AM
Subject: [Marxism] Prison guards (was: Police unions etc.)


> However, we do need police to nab those who run red
> lights or drive  drunk, for example. And there *are* sociopaths who
> commit crimes and should  be in prison. So, of the inmates in bourgeois
> prisons, a significant  percentage *should* in fact be there (and would
> need to be  guarded).
>
> Reply:
>
> The above is uncomfortably close to a reactionary analysis of crime and
> punishment in a bourgeois society. The overwhelming demographic 
> incarcerated in
> prison are the underclass, which in the US is disproportionately made up 
> of
> ethnic minorities. Most are in prison as a result of crimes motivated by
> poverty, alienation, disaffection, etc. Crime under such circumstances 
> should be
> viewed as an act of 'unconscious' rebellion against the system. Of course,
> violent offenders, those who prey on the weak and the vulnerable in 
> society, must
> be isolated while they pose a danger to society. However,  acts of 
> violence,
> a propensity to commit acts of violence, do not arise  out of thin air. 
> They
> are a result of material causes. Therefore it is  the system responsible 
> for
> violent crime, and crime in general, that  we must hold to account, not 
> those
> who are victims of the system.  Furthermore, capitalist prisons are not 
> designed
> to make social problems  disappear, they are designed to make human beings
> disappear. They are not  concerned with rehabilitation but with 
> retribution.
> They reflect the violence of  the economic system responsible for their
> existence. That the  American penal system is the harshest and most brutal 
> in the
> industrialised  world reflects the fact that America society is the 
> harshest and
> most  brutal.
>
> J
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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