“Times were hard in 1676. There was genuine distress, genuine poverty… Governor Berkeley in his seventies, tired of holding office, wrote wearily about his situation: How miserable that man is that Governes a People where six parts of seaven at least are Poore Endebted Discontented and Armed.”
“By the years of the Revolutionary crisis, the 1760’s, the wealthy elite that controlled the British colonies on the American mainland had 150 years of experience, had learned certain things about how to rule. They had various fears. But also had developed tactics to deal with what they feared.”
What they learned is today called social engineering. The ruling white class didn’t want the poor, Native American and “negro” to join forces. So what to do to keep that from happening? Create a middle class, a buffer. “It was… a middle class society governed for the most part by its upper classes.”
There was little change in the arrangement except for the size of the disparity between the haves and have-nots. That was a condition that found the top 1% firmly ensconced in its top position and the rest of the population subjected to the egregious brunt of the ups and downs of the economy through cyclical recessions and depressions for more than two centuries.
Then beginning thirty years ago the very small, very rich upper class, the 1% began systematically dismantling and undoing what’s been called the grand bargain between the rich and everyone else. In the 1970’s the very rich earned 25 times more than everyone else. Presently that’s 325 times more. The bargain is broken and what little safety had been built into the system during the 1930’s has been undone.
Additionally, a new form of social engineering emerged at the end of that great force of social upheaval, the “Vietnam War.” Up to that time the prison-industrial complex population had remained at around 300,000.
What occurred over the next 30 to 40 years was an explosion, a burgeoning of the prison-industrial complex’s population up seven fold to 2.3 million. It seems natural that the reasonably prudent person would ask, “what happened?”
A number of elements conspired to provide a viable means for dealing with the “surplus population.”
First given this nation’s conservative faction’s infatuation with war, the demands of the military-industrial complex for profits and its miserable experience with “war termination” it was not long after the end of WWII that there were lesser wars in Korea and Vietnam.
Fear and angst among reptilian brained leaders led to the expansion of the Vietnam Conflict that required a larger military. To meet the demands of the military-industrial complex a “lottery system” called the “draft” pressed hundred’s of thousands and into the millions of young men into compulsory military service. That system compelled those not attending “an institution of higher learning” into military service.
Today only 3 of 10 white high school graduates go on to college. In the 1960’s it was no better. The only way to be exempt from the draft was to be a college student. So the children of the one-percent were safe. Poor whites, Blacks and Hispanics on the other hand were vulnerable and susceptible. This was a lottery meant for the “poor, the tired the huddled masses yearning to breath free.” Therefore there was little need to fill prisons. Vietnam served as a surrogate prison. This is a very Euro-Anglo-Jew practice that made prisons of Australia and what is now the U.S. state of Georgia.
Perhaps, equally important if not more so, was the existence of the left leaning movement that had begun to grow among boomers reaching voting age in the 1960’s. The military draft was the most viable and effective means of dealing with the growing leftist movement. The draft was effectiveily used to break the back of the leftist movement and the anti-war protestors.
In the end despite the fact that the youth fueled social revolution of the 1960’s and 1970’had been quashed its anti-war sentiments had finally brought the Vietnam Conflict to an end. Back home the surplus population of the poor, the tired, the huddled masses yearning to breath free once again began to build.
Notwithstanding, for the better part of an entire generation warmongers, were without significant military involvement between the end of the Vietnam Conflict and the “First Gulf War.”
As a result of the scandals of the Vietnam Conflict the nation had moved to an “all volunteer military.”
That meant that one of the great tools for dealing with the surplus population was no longer available.
However, while one door had closed another opened. The recession prone 1980’s and the tech driven 1990’s changed the landscape of the economy.
The all volunteer military would have plenty of economy inspired “volunteers.” Those not so inclined would find themselves herded by the mantras of ultra conservatives (“three strikes and you’re out) into the holding pens of the prison-industrial complex. As the numbers of those being herded grew exponentially the market saw an opportunity to expand and profit.
Office seekers and elected officials alike soon saw the benefit in the likes of organizations such as ALEC. It was one hand washing the other.
ALEC is an organization that’s something of a “non-lobby-lobby.” The American Legislative Exchange Council, has been “very instrumental in passing a number of pro-bail-bondsman laws throughout the country.” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Seems things don’t really change, they just assume a new identity.
From Texas Red: a cratered landscape of prisons, deplorable apartheid public education, lack of healthcare and politicians and majority population intent on keeping it that way…