When looking at the state as a whole and its issues not entirely unique from its neighbors, many questions are raised and the answers are alarming. Tackling social problems from the perspective that I can’t help but using, I see a state that is coming more and more in line with Mussolini’s Italy and people carted in the “carcel” (Spanish for jail) at an alarmingly high rate. In China, where people are locked away for political dissent even they have a lower incarceration rate. Even under regimes that we claim to fear (i.e. Iran) they have a lower rate. I will not bore you with the numbers, but I assure you, it is indeed true. Hey, I went to college, I know the fundamental importance of backing up research. But, if you must question my motives or ethics check out the report (BJS, 2006).
How, you may ask do I equate people being arrested with Fascism, by the way? Easy. Like I was saying, I studied so much in college that I actually remember things. I annoyingly use these things in an imaginary dialogue I hold with Hannity and/or Colmes almost nightly. So, when I sniff out moral trespass of some kind, I go to my happy place-theory. Here I say ha-ha, this explains it. Its like when Charlie Brown proclaims something deep in his “Peanuts” world saying “That’s IT!” and someone like Lucy or Linus topples over. So, I feel like I have gotten somewhere pretty deep with this privatization business and I will use the loaded word; fascism and the confusing word; hegemony to explain it. Many prisons are state-run, but privately owned. This type of privatization is big money for the state and in a campaign year, a source of substantial contributions. Similarly food service companies like Aramark Corporation have succeeded in winning a private bid to run many local jails and state prisons with the promise of lowering costs. Health care services are also on the list of private companies working for state agencies with big budgets to grease the political machine. With more prisons, there are more bids, more bids and more beds. With all those beds, someone has to fill them, right? (Oh! But you may say-these are criminals, who cares?). What are we militant Communists like the Chinese, who believe in “re-education” i.e. torture, oh, I forgot, we lock up more people than the Chinese, so we must be something different. On that note I must quote the late great FDR.
“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism–ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power”.
Well, this is a bit telling to say the least. But, there are differing views as to what constitutes Fascism and private governance is not the only telltale sign. Things like
internal cleansing (immigration reform) and violence in the form of revenge to some wrongs both in our communities and internationally (the war on drugs and the
War on Terror) and even lack of restraints to what is moral, legal, and ethical (tasering, arrest without cause, the Patriot Act, etc…etc…). I may be stretching here
or I may be pandering, because I think this needs some serious thought and I don’t want to lose ground. I wouldn’t willy nilly call someone a Fascist, but I
wouldn’treat people like the private property that prisons do either.
Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Prisoners in 2006”. Last accessed 20 January 2007. Accessible online < www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/>.