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View Diary: Slave Labor, ALEC, Koch and their Conservative Agenda identified and exposed... (80 comments)

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  •  They don't do it for the money. (9+ / 0-)

    They do it for the power over people it gives them.  The money is just a marker to indicate whether the power is going up or down.

    Humans are a peculiar species in that they kill their own kind.  However, some have discovered that killing what you don't eat is both pointlessly terminal (no ongoing satisfaction) and liable to being avenged (personally hazardous).  The response as a result of these observations is human husbandry, formerly known as slavery or, after the adoption of the Constitution, deprivation of rights under law.  
    Deprivation of rights, which is what every criminal act basically is, is now no longer legal, except as a response to criminal acts, after they have been proved against a person through due process.  In other words, slavery is legal as a form of punishment.

    Deprivation of rights under law reverberates throughout American culture.  We not only have the recent example of a resurrection in DADT, but involuntary servitude by inoffensive people persists in the military draft (waiting to be activated at any time).  And then there's the fact that, under the law, children are the property of their parents until their emancipation at age 18.  Deprivation of rights under law is a hard thing to surrender.  That it flourishes in the prison industry is not a surprise.  Neither should it be a surprise that deprivation under cover of law (most commonly in the interest of national security) is also flourishing.  Respect for human rights has always come in as a poor second even to respect for property rights.  Had to, otherwise slavery (people being owned as property) could not have been justified.  For many people, the rule of law means making deprivation of rights (crime) legal.

    Personally, I am less concerned about the effect of incarceration and slave labor on the victims than I am about what it does to the perpetrators of this system.  While it may not harden these people to the plight of their own kind, keeping slaves is debilitating and morally corrupting to the people who do it.  By depriving some humans of their rights under law, they are degrading the law itself and, to put it simply, engaging in abuse and torture, behavior that places them squarely in the category of predators and parasites, only worse because they are doing it to their own kind.

    IMHO, we pay too much attention to life and death in this country and not enough attention to guaranteeing the necessities of living and preventing deprivation.  It's a bit difficult to argue that people convicted of crime should not be deprived when the vast majority of the population exists in a state of deprivation (deprived of food, water, shelter, health, peace of mind) under the rubric that there shall be "no free lunch."

    You could say that equality is the great deceiver.  For people into exercising power over other people, equality is the enemy, but only because it's a principle that prompts people to demand that their rights be respected.  However, what the proponents of power over people have discovered is that it is quite possible to deprive almost all people equally.  The real opponent of power over people is human rights and human rights have never been foremost in the American agenda.  Indeed, Americans have long been put off insisting on human rights being respected (not just not restricted as the Constitution demands) by the sop of property rights.  Getting to have exclusive use of things is supposed to distract us from the fact that our human rights are being disrespected and abused left and right.  That's why we are an "ownership society."  Remember that phrase?  It's what Dubya announced in 2001.

    It's not unusual that part of a phrase almost seems designed to distract or even negate the other part.  Indeed, just as in "equal rights" the equal tends to cancel the rights, in the phrase "national socialism" not only is the social nature of humans degraded, but the nation, an immaterial and impersonal figment of the imagination, is elevated to a position of supreme importance in whose interest the rights of natural persons are effectively wiped out.  We have all been equally subordinated (or enslaved) by the rule of law to an imaginary secular being.  It's happened before, during the last century in Germany.  When the rule of law is used to subjugate humans, it's a more implacable tyrant, if only because immortal, than any flesh and blood ruler whose head can be offed.

    "How do I dominate other humans without them knowing I'm doing it?  Let's pass a law."  

    The prison system is an obvious example of what's being surreptitiously on us all.

    "What you do to the least of these, you do to me."

    Men should not want to have earthly kingdoms.  Rotating the personnel and limiting their terms does not guarantee the effort to create kingdoms on earth won't be made.  It has always been Satan's aim and his minions are ever eager to comply.

    by hannah on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 03:01:47 AM PDT

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