Re: The Limit as 𝑥 Approaches Infinity of Leftist Hypocrisy Extie,
"I wasn't discussing race"
You had the idea of prison as an extension of slavery in the post I responded to. Thats an old racist trope from our race-mongering Left in the US, so you must have unconsciously picked it up somewhere if ya didn't mean to focus on race.
The criminal justice system in the US is a very crude IQ test. I fell into it many decades ago for a couple days. That was minor, and not at all harsh - still, it made enough of an impression on me to make my think, usually, very seriously about any criminal risks.
That hardly ever came up in my life - but helped me enormously a few years later, when exposed to recreational drugs. Many dip into and out of that for years, and have no legal trouble.
At that time, where I was, it was almost totally open and very common.
My view of that was warped by young ignorance of how many people at that time and later were getting wrapped up in immense legal trouble with recreational drugs.
I specifically was tentative with the Mary-Jane I got involved with, due to knowing a little bit about the legal risks. Mainly due to that, I dropped it fairly fast.
I know of one distant family member who got wrapped up like that, and was incarcerated worse and much longer than I.
Now his life is warped by nobody wanting to hire him for any good job. He works hard, living in a truck, and doing very short contract welding work.
No way for him to build a good credit history and start with a small house.
Over time, though, if he keeps working harder than I ever had to, he'll do fine.
That kind of decision tree is out there for everyone over here, Extie. There's no "machine" forcing poor people to make bad choice after bad choice.
Thats why the overwhelming majority of US poor dont end up jailed.
Re: The Limit as 𝑥 Approaches Infinity of Leftist Hypocrisy Oh well since you keep bringing up race here is how my essay on slavery factors it in...
No essay on slavery can avoid talking about racial prejudice. After all, racism is often portrayed as being synonymous with slavery. But while there is no denying that an attitude of white superiority has existed, especially during the late 19th and early 20th century, we are wrong to suppose that blacks were enslaved simply because white racists considered them inferior. No, what actually drove slavery (or, at least, American slavery) was economics. Simply put, there was market pressure to secure cheap labour and profitable investments, and the commodity of slave labour just seemed a better deal compared to what was to be had.
As professor of Sociology, William Julius Wilson explained, “the conversion to slavery was not only prompted by the heightened concern over a cheap labour shortage in the face of rapid development of tobacco farming as a commercial enterprise and the declining number of white indentured servants entering the colonies, but also by the fact that the slave had become a better investment than the servant. As life expectancy increased...planters were willing to finance the extra cost of slaves. Indeed, during the first half of the seventeenth century, indentured labour was actually more advantageous than slave labour”.
European indentured servants were not only practically similar to slaves. Attitudes toward them were also similar. As civil rights professor Carter A Wilson explained:
“Colour prejudice against Africans was rare in the first two-thirds of the 17th century. Legal distinctions between black slaves and white servants did not appear until the 1660s...Interracial marriages were common in the first half of the 17th century and...at this time they provoked little or no reaction”.
How slavery became racist
So, if market economics and not racism was what caused slavery, how did prejudice end up such a dominant part of the practice? It seems as though racism and class distinction was deliberately stirred up as a means of exerting control. Around the last half of the 17th century, expanded agriculture in Southern states created a huge demand for cheap labour, and that demand was answered by way of the global African slave trade. That also obviously meant a dramatic increase in population size. Thus, it was around this time that public policy began to change, with the intent to create security through hierarchical dominance. The invention of division between poor whites and black slaves was carried out in order to achieve the social distinction necessary for hierarchy. According to historian Edmund S. Morgan, for example, a government assembly in Virginia:
“Did what it could to foster contempt of whites for blacks and Indians...In 1680 it prescribed 30 lashes…’if any negro or other slave shall presume to lift up his hand in opposition against any Christian’. This was a particularly effective provision that allowed servants to bully slaves without fear of retaliation, thus placing them psychologically on a par with masters”.
The purpose of this prejudiced-based bullying was to ensure the growing slave population remained subdued and controllable. As Peter Joseph put it, it was a move to “generate a culture of bigotry and dominance that echoes to this day. So, in a sense, racism has effectively been a system reinforcer to optimise slave labour by way of sociological manipulation”.
Even after slavery was supposedly abolished, there continued to be an interest in controlling minority and lower-class populations. Segregation played an obvious part here, effectively trapping people in areas and circumstances where political and economic oppression were ever-present. As Peter Joseph explained, “the legal system morphed from direct racial oppression to indirect by targeting the outcomes of historical and present socioeconomic inequality, rather than any specific group”.
Re: The Limit as 𝑥 Approaches Infinity of Leftist Hypocrisy The aftermath of the civil war left the South in a state of economic turmoil, and under such chaotic conditions authorities played fast and loose with the power to arrest and detain. There were vagrancy laws that were vaguely defined and other dubious reasons to charge folk (typically blacks and poor people). This actually had little to do with a drive to restore law and order. The purpose was actually to ensure prisons were kept well stocked. You see, forced labour as a form of punishment was still legal so anyone (a former slave, say) who got arrested and found guilty of whatever could be commanded to do what was to all practical intents and purposes slave labour. The practice even had a name: Convict leasing. So popular was this practice that, by 1898, 73 percent of Alabama’s total revenue was derived from convict leasing, and it took many decades for federal government to shut it down completely.
But, actually, an argument could be made saying the practice was never completely abolished. Even today we have private prisons and corporations exploiting the labour of inmates. Companies like McDonald’s and Starbucks ‘employ’ prisoners, who in some cases earn as little as 23 cents an hour. Also, there are contractual agreements between state and local governments and private prisons that require the state to meet prison-occupancy quotas or otherwise pay for empty cells. The practice of convict leasing resulted in corrupt arrests being carried out in order to meet labour demand, and this current practice of maximum occupancy of prisons regardless of a region’s actual crime levels has also resulted in corruption. There was, for example, the 2008 ‘kids for cash’ scandal in which two Pennsylvanian judges were taking millions in bribes from a for-profit prison company to increase the number of inmates. With a pool of labour for hire at mere pennies an hour, one can appreciate the economic incentive to keep prisons well stocked.
The prison-industrial complex
Having said that, the largest beneficiary of slave labour from prison inmates is not private business but rather the State. As was explained in the Storyville documentary “Jailed In America”, “when someone is convicted and moves from jail to a federal or state prison, the government now has legal access to them as a workforce. These prisoners work for almost nothing, making road signs...or just about anything the government decides”. They may also be put to work providing services the prisons require in order to function, such as doing laundry or maintaining the building’s plumbing. Incarceration is part of a massive prison-industrial complex, an industry worth some $265 billion a year. It could not exist were it not for inmates and so there needs to be a steady supply of new people. Hierarchical societies are structured in such a way as to ensure poor people face limited life choices that are highly likely to lead to incarceration. And the way such things as parole are conducted further adds to the idea that the prison-industrial complex is structured in such a way as to provide a supply of slaves. Being on parole comes with conditions which, if broken, lead to violators being returned to prison. These include such things as being homeless or out of work. Note that for everybody else these are not illegal. Nevertheless for those on parole being made homeless or losing your job (and plenty of other situations that are not law-breaking) result in your being thrown back into jail and the slave labour that often awaits.
Why do we punish the guilty?
When it comes to prisoners, we are encouraged to believe that inmates are just bad people who freely chose to commit crime. Such an attitude probably has its roots in monotheism and its portrayal of the human as an individual with free will who exists separate from the rest of nature. Although one should be careful not to absolve individuals of all personal responsibility, the fact of the matter is that what free will we have is easily overcome. Both magicians and fraudsters understand and exploit flaws in our ability to make decisions and process information, tricking us into carrying out actions of their choosing while believing we are exercising pure free will. There are also plenty of experiments that show how easily people’s ability to make independent choices can be affected by peer and authoritarian pressure. Environmental and social factors impact on our ability to freely choose, and these predominantly affect the lower classes. What kind of upbringing you had, the state of your education, the quality of your diet, economic factors and more can set people on a course that is more likely to end in a conviction compared to the life choices presented to others.
Again, I should stress that this is not being pointed out in order to argue that personal responsibility does not exist, because it does at least to some degree. But, equally, we really shouldn’t condemn those found guilty when we know nothing of the factors that may have influenced the way their life turned out. Crime is sometimes described as a ‘social disease’. Sometimes it is necessary to quarantine people who have a contagious biological disease. Note, however, that no moral condemnation is attached to such a decision. But when it comes to those who catch the social disease of criminality there does tend to be moral condemnation along with the need to separate such people from society. Any society based around competition for material advantage via whatever method you can get away with, and which also incentivises negative attitudes towards the losers of such competitive behaviour (being labelled as failures and so on), is just bound to create conditions in which some will succumb to the temptations of crime. In a neo-liberal free market where everything is a commodity with a price tag attached, how ethical you are depends on how ethical you can afford to be. Morality doesn’t really come into it. As Peter Joseph said, with regard to corporations exploiting the cheap labour of prison inmates:
“This pursuit of cost-efficiency is what notably defines market efficiency...This is simply the nature of capitalist logic, and the still-common idea that the rise of capitalism was somehow instrumental in the general ending of abject slavery on the structural level is little more than denialism”.
Re: The Limit as 𝑥 Approaches Infinity of Leftist Hypocrisy The reality is, Ex, if one wants a fix for these issues, one must do something either that works, or we acknowledge is diff and might work?
1. Values. If the values are the not concerned with bettering oneself, then nothing changes.
2. If the short-term goal is the only thing that matters, then nothing will ever be achieved.
3. If racial pride and "face" are the most important things in life, then this is the world they created. By the way, this is identical to the attitudes of white kluxer types, who have been self-marginalized in the USA.
*For the rest of us-
We, my oppy, need to be prepared to punish the globalists who bribe the politicians with cash donations to their campaigns, and promises of work as lobbyists, post political careers.
In an age of advancing machine intelligence threatening all middle class jobs, the peeps in the hood, had a chance to build up, and develop clout, against the pols, in a time, when jobs disappear. An educated (even somebody educated at a trade school) is more dangerous to the Ruling Class, and their bad governance, then a street dude with a gat.
So a unemployed CNC tool proggie, can at least do things like build weapons to harass the Dude$, than, Bubba, shooting Roger, over street drug sales territory. The later is easy to dispose of, while the former, has a brain, of whatever ethnicity.
Re: The Limit as 𝑥 Approaches Infinity of Leftist Hypocrisy Extie,
The Peter Joseph quote completely lost me.
The slave choice was more than economic. It was economic in a context of centuries-long pre-existing use of slaves, both indentured and chattel - slavery as we think of it is also called chattel slavery.
As far as we know, almost everyone everywhere accepted slavery.
In the US, todays two major Parties were, before Lincoln got elected and during the Civil War, part of a nationwide, widely held belief that Whites were either superior to Blacks, or at least different enough that they should be sent out of the US - most agreed that an African colony would be the answer if the slaves were ever freed.
Until it happened, nobody today has record of any plans for a war to free the slaves. Well - except for ol' John Brown. But the war was won by the side led by a Republican who was in favor of freeing them. He started doing so a little at a time late in the war.
The Slave South was led by Democrats, the forerunners of todays Democrats. After they lost their slaves, they created the Klu Klux Klan to try to keep the now-free Blacks suppressed.
Today, Black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean have a higher average wealth than White American. So do the incomes of both domestic and immigrant Asians, on average. That kills the "white supremacy" myth.
Blacks born and raised in the US have a lower-than-white average income. Their stats are dragged down by a mass of poor Blacks ruled by todays Democrats in Americas larges inner-city school systems.
Keeping the mass of poor Blacks unsuccessful and resentful is successfully done by todays Democrats.
They do this by sticking to teaching them this way in those inner city schools: Teach very little of "the three R's" and lots about how the US is a White Supremacy conspiracy to crush Blacks.
The points you noted about corrupt judges and trials go along with lots of other Criminal Justice corruption we need to weed out.
It doesnt disprove even slightly the point I made earlier - convictions of those sent to prison match the race of the crime reports for the crime that convict got convicted on.
In other words - what appears to cause the "Mass Incarceration" of way too many Blacks, is that lots more Blacks, way out of proportion to their number in society, commit lots and lots of crimes.
Until we solve why that happens - and those Democratic "looser factory" schools are number one om my list - we simply have to lock up criminals of various crimes.
The recent move by the President to agree to a long-running goal of several Black activists to release many Black convicts early because of the "Mass Incarceration" idea shows the power of advertising.
That "Mass Incarceration" concept is disproved by what I pointed out about the match of races of the crime reports and convictions.
But it has been pushed so hard, that you are far from the only person that bought it.
Re: The Limit as 𝑥 Approaches Infinity of Leftist Hypocrisy That was interesting thanks.
However, the idea of the US being a two-tier justice system is not really based on race. It is not saying that the likelihood of you receiving a harsh prison sentence is determined largely by how black your skin is. It argues instead that it is wealth and connections that influence the likelihood of you winning a case.
It is true that slavery was largely accepted (but only in the way war is, which is to say it is recognised as a bad thing but considered unfortunately unavoidable). However, slaves are not always considered intrinsically inferior to their owners. So it’s worth asking why prejudice should have surfaced in those situations where some are viewed is intrinsically inferior and not just reduced to slaves through misfortune like being captured in war.
Re: The Limit as 𝑥 Approaches Infinity of Leftist Hypocrisy An excerpt from the book “Liberty And Justice For Some”.
In the US, the lack of accountability for elites goes hand-in-hand with a lack of mercy for everyone else. As our politicians increasingly claim the right to commit crimes with impunity, they simultaneously escalate the severity of punishments imposed on ordinary Americans who have broken even minor laws.
As a result, precisely what the founders most feared has come to exist: a two-tiered system of justice in which outcomes are determined not by the law itself but by the status, wealth, and power of the lawbreaker. And these days, the people advocating for elite immunity are often the same ones who emphatically insist upon rigid, unyielding enforcement for the rest of us. Indeed, when it comes to crime and punishment, the trends for powerful and ordinary Americans have been heading in completely divergent directions. During the same four-decade period in which the nation’s political class has expanded legal immunity for political and financial elites, it has imposed ever-harsher prison terms on more and more of the nation’s citizens.
The United States now imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation in the world, both per capita and in absolute terms. The numbers are staggering. The US has only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet nearly 25 percent of all prisoners in the world are on American soil. “Simply put, we have become a nation of jailers. The American prison system has grown into a leviathan unmatched in human history”.
So why do Americans tolerate such a draconian legal system, one which imprisons exceptionally large numbers of people for no good reason? The answer is clear: because most people believe-correctly-that they themselves are unlikely to be sucked into its vortex. They are right to believe this because the two-tiered justice system that separates elites from ordinary Americans intensifies as one moves down the rungs of power and privilege. The rich and powerful are able to commit crimes with impunity far more easily than middle-class Americans, but similarly, middle-class criminals are far more likely to escape unpunished than the poorest among us.
By imposing the brunt of criminal punishment on the most powerless and marginalised groups, the legal system ensures that people who suffer the most from its injustices are the ones least able to subvert it. Many Americans acquiesce to the prison state because neither their families nor their friends are at risk. That’s what allows the population to largely tolerate and even cheer for a system that imposes extreme punishments for the pettiest offences. Only a person with little power, money or status is likely to feel the full brunt of America’s harshest laws. Indeed, given the severity of its provisions, the contemporary American criminal justice system would be unsustainable if it were applied with equity across the population.
Anyone who has ever interacted with the courts in the United States-whether as a lawyer, an accused criminal, a plaintiff, whether in criminal proceedings or a civil suit-knows that the outcomes are determined at least as much by the wealth of the parties as by the merits of their positions. In criminal court, wealthy defendants can amass large teams of lawyers who will devote themselves to months or even years to winning an acquittal. The indigent, on the other hand, are assigned public defenders who are almost always so overworked and stretched so thin that a full-on defense is impossible, resulting-at best-in substantial pressure placed on even the most innocent to plead guilty and accept long prison terms.
In civil suits, meanwhile, poor parties are often unable to obtain counsel at all, forced to navigate the complexities of the judicial system prose, often against wealthy corporations with multiple lawyers. Proceeding without counsel is usually a ticket to being marginalised, patronised and defeated, regardless of the merits of one’s claims. Indeed, even most middle-class Americans cannot afford to hire high-quality lawyers for protracted litigation, enabling the legal interests of the wealthiest and most powerful factions in America to prevail more or less by default…
In 2010, the World Justice Project published a “Rule of Law Index”, which compiled “indicators on the rule of law from the perspective of the ordinary person” in nations around the world. In terms of access to legal counsel for civil proceedings, the United States ranked twentieth out of thirty-five nations surveyed, below countries such as Mexico, Croatia, and the Dominican Republic.
The severity of this problem was underlined by an October 2010 New York Times editorial aptly titled “Need A Lawyer? Good Luck”. Across the nation, the article noted, programs designed to provide legal services to the poor “are so cash-strapped that they are turning away numbers of people”. Even people with the most pressing legal needs-say, those trying to stave off fraudulent home foreclosures or obtain protection from domestic violence-“often navigate the judicial system on their own or give up”. The political class’s strident demands for budget cuts and austerity measures are almost always targeted at America’s minorities and the poor; government-provided legal services are thus certain to decline further even as the need for them continues to increase.
Laurence Tribe of Harvard, as a DOJ adviser charged with ‘increasing legal access for the poor’...lamented how little was being done to facilitate basic justice for the poor. He delivered shocking statistics: public defender caseloads were “often 5 to 6 times that of the ceiling” recommended by attorney monitoring groups, and “some defenders in New Orleans averaged 19,000 cases a year, allowing an average of just seven minutes per case-a mere seven minutes to talk to a lawyer about a life-altering decision”.
Re: The Limit as 𝑥 Approaches Infinity of Leftist Hypocrisy I guess you could compare Steve Jobs’s role to that of a conductor.
It might be difficult to see why an orchestra should require a conductor. After all, those musicians are all very talented at their craft and have no doubt practiced compositions to the point where they can play them from muscle memory. And if they do need reminding of what to play next they have the sheet music in front of them. So, given that they could play that music without needing anyone to tell them how, doesn’t that make the conductor’s job kind of redundant?
But actually the conductor is not there to tell them what to do but to help get the best performance out of the orchestra. You might just notice the difference between an orchestra playing without a conductor or under the direction of an inferior conductor, and an orchestra being conducted by a world leader in the craft such as Sir Simon Rattle.
Similarly with Steve Jobs and other noteworthy CEOs. No, he did not invent the iPhone all by himself any more than a conductor can magic music out of nothing with a wave of her baton. And, it was not so much that he just bossed around a bunch of scientists and yelled ‘make a gizmo that combines a phone with a camera and a web-enabled computer or you are all sacked!, rather it is that he had the ability to bring together the necessary brain power to pull that off and make it commercially successful. People that talented can probably pick and choose who they work for. He was an inspirational team leader and he deserves credit for that. Not all CEOs guide their companies to a multi-billion dollar valuation just as not all conductors tease a sublime performance out of a bunch of musicians.
Re: The Limit as 𝑥 Approaches Infinity of Leftist Hypocrisy Yeah, I think Jobs actually likened himself to a conductor.
The thing with the conductor, is their contribution is more in the practice and refining of the final performance. I think by the time they get to a concert, they don't actually need the conductor for much in that moment.