It is challenging to claim that punishment can serve a positive social function. Arresting law-breakers may be positive, incarcerating convicts may be necessary yet punishment, or retribution rather than correction, is of dubious social worth. In Saudi Arabia they cut off the hands of theives not just to mark them, but to make it more difficult for a thief to take something quickly with a hand. The U.S.A. is not so extreme as that however the example of punishment incapacitating the ability of a criminal to repeat a crime is not often provided. Hence psychological or at best time-control benefits are inferred.
I will say that prison, like mass education, serves to prevent chaos in modern mass society. It gives serial killers a place to go without disturbing or dismembering people. It creates jobs for people that might have been criminals, guarding criminals. It stops a lot of people from driving cars and contributing to global warming with greenhouse gassing.
Punishment allows politicans the oppoortunity to arrest wild and crazy guys on Wall Street that use super-computers for dark pool trading so corporations can be free from tech-software predators that disrupt the invention and manufacturing stability of U.S. corporations (just kidding).
Punishment in prisons can help control the wildness of criminals. Malcom X said that every thief expects to be arrested, it’s just how many burglaries one can get away with before that destined day that matters. When theives finally are arrested for theft, it may stop a lot of future thefts by the same guy (or not).
Some believe that punishment in prisons prevents blacks from being good citizens with good jobs; and for Hispanics too. If they wern’t arrested and convicted they woudn’t have criminal convictions and then would not be discriminated against by employers. Hence minorities are controlled by convicting them on weak, petty crimes or misdemeanors so they are sent to prison to be disqualified from working or voting.
Punishment stops people from destroying congress for putting up bad budgets every year and creating 20 trillion dollars of public debt. No one wants to go to a supermax prison or death row for attacking DC .
I am trying to think of more things that punishment does to control society. The media controls society too, and people want to drive around in their ‘shiny metal boxes’, and charge things, pay a mortgage for decades so big banks can forclose on it etc, and everyone deserves a chance to greenhouse gas and fast food too.
Punishment such as a six game suspension like Zeke Elliot got will let him rest for the Cowboys until mid-season when he will be fresh for the last half. It will also force Dak Prescott to play better without just handing the ball off to a great fullback to get out of a jam. He will be a better QB for the experience.
Implicit bias may bring people to assume that mass incarceration is intentionally racist across the U.S.A. Because the southern heritage does have a history of lavery and then lease convict labor, it has been conflated in modern viewpoints with the problems of crime, poveryt and race. I had never though about convict lease labor or even heard of it until recently . I have worked in several states and like to compare national, regional and various states’ ideas and biases. Once working for a contractor in Georgia I was fired, I think, for not laughing when we saw a black kid do a flip and a co-worker said; ‘just like a monkey’ Later, a dump on a truck would not drop (I was inexperienced). If I had not kept a straight face, maybe it wouldn’t have got ‘stuck up ‘. In Alaska an Aleut thought I was prejudiced because i thought he was Hispanic (in error). People often read predjudices into the thought of others that doesn’t exist. Espcially if one is simply existentially observant of phenomena and tries to interpret and corroloate that with best-data historical criteria.
Implicit bias retraining on police departments may be somewhat off-the-mark. A better investment of time might be educating them is classical and symbolic logic. Policement should have a dual-processing ability to think logically simultaneously as they think objectively abbout the facts historically and the live situation. Like gambling and poker playing a policeman addressing a suspect or dangerous situation should be able to contemplate instantly the odds and the values of the cards he is holding as well as what the other players might have. If the policeman is wrong about a suspect being dangeorus he just might end up shot or alternatively charged with a crime. Accuracy matters.
Frankly, many white people just expect black people to act like white people and not commit crimes. Blacks are expected to have a low crime rate like whites did in the 1950s or 1960s perhaps, and find work. Whites were never reluctant to send whites to prison for crimes, or even for one marijuana seed in Texas famously, and so the solution to blacks committing crimes is thought to be to send them to jail.
One may wonder how cities may be like zoos with millions of poor, underemployed minorities, or pig farms perhaps, with copious dope use, promiscuous sex, atheism, crime, guns, illiteracy, poverty and poor housing and not produce friction, conflicts and crimes with incarceration? It is just a moment in history where many parts are not working well together, and where impractical design of infrastructure an economics and left a lot of people down. One wonders if classical virtue, if Plato and his books, are read much by Afro-Americans, or if they are listening to 50 cents? How can people with little exposure to Jesus Christ and Socrates be expected to have ideas or aspirations or silly notions like poor and honest doesn’t mean ‘chump’ or ‘prey’?
Ordinary people and their ordinary politician from outside the south usually don’t have the education in sociology or history to understand the mass social problems that influence large numbers of blacks to commit crimes. Though that may be a serious political inefficeincy, it is also off-the-mark for blacks and Hispanics to assume that it is the result of racism. It is an intertidal mixing zone in one historical paradigm, yet the causality for the north may differ than for the south. Most people are not aware that people can serve jail time for minor offenses or that such offenses can prpevent employmment with records that never go away. Even getting mental health treatment without any criminal record can be enough to prevent employment for life. Mental health treatment is the equivelent of a criminal record for many purposes. One should avoid mental health treatment equal vigorously as not committing crimes and getting a prison record.
Prison as a method of social control is and odd concept.
Prison as a method for punishing crime differs implicitly from prison as a method of social control. Mass social control could be applied to evicting the werhmacht from Polan and France durring WW II. Mass social control has a pejorative and onerous connotation about it, as of there should be an absence of legal authority to ‘control’ or prevent people from breaking laws.
Most of the nations cited for comparison to the United States that have lower rates of incarceration were preponderantly mon-cultural rather than multi-cultural nations. How much alike can people believe Finland is to the U.S.A. demographically? In a society with tremendous racial and cultural integration issues exacerbated by the number of illegal aliens transiting the U.S.A. the comparisons to old Europe are rather superfluous. Russia; the second highest rated nation for incarcerations per capita, also has ethnic issues.
Prison and punishment was obviously used as a way to comtrol post-civil war southern black freedom.
Even the word surveillance was used with deprecation. Apparently some believe that the poor, on parole and or welfare could be the only people free from surveillance. Unfortunately that is the modern world; London has its cctv and everyone should always expect to be on camera when not in a private space; and even then privacy is not certain at all. One may not like it, yet who would give up their Iphone or android and return to carrier pidgeons?
The people of the United States have no obligation to pay for public housing. Building public housing is at odds with the political philosophy in which western civilization grows. Theoretically anyone should be able to construct their own shelter and afford enough land to site it.
Individual ownership is the fundamental principle of housing and it is to that direction public housing must return.
The U.S. Government implicitly is rather minimalist. It will expand the size and scope of a bureaucracy once it is brought into existence, lie most human social organizations that become established inertia drives them forward. Some governments especially in Europe and Asia evolve from a top-down tradition of authoritarianism in contradistinction to the American bottom-up heritage of individual and de facto ideological libertarianism. King George III wanted top-down social control while American revolutionaries wanted bottom-up
From its beginning the United States’ political philosophy was to let people be free to go about their private interests and for government to do the minimum that is necessary to conserve the freedom of the people to go about their private interests. Unlike a private entrprise led by a creative thinker such as Tesla and Elon Musk who may take quite a while to develop some sort of idea into reality, the U.S. Government should not in theory hire think tanks of geniuses to sit around inventing things that would be good for society to develop; government is not suposed to compete directly with free enterprise.
Thus people at heart probably expect urban blacks to help themselves and solve their own problems concerning housing or crime. Government can expand existing bureaucracies and incarcerate poeple en massse to control crime, yet government should not be expected to innovate creative ideas to obviate recidivism after incarceration, comprehensive literacy amid prisoners, or housing and transport for all.
Though President Richard Nixon advocated a guaranteed minimum income for all American families-that sort of idea got no traction. Government minimalism means that the practice will be to fix problems only when required to, and with the minimal change or creative thought required (though perhaps at great expense to taxpayers).
It is true that advantaged people press their advantage sometimes unconscionably in a free enterprise social environment. Americans recognize that individuals may require relief from oppressive social conditions. Government programs exist that allow Americans to be free from degradation, exploitation and peonage that could be forced through the advantaged levering the poor. People may run roughshod over disadvantaged individuals and drive them out of their own private property with pressure in order to concentrate wealth for a set of people with similar economic goals.
If one considers places such as Detroit that had a surfeit of housing that became fire traps and areas of high crime after an economic slump it is evident that the lack of employment rather than an intentional displacement of poor people in public housing in order to prosperous white people to move in is the basic problem for the urban poor. As Detroit auto making collapsed it was like a soufflé that collapsed and a pervasive slump that crossed racial and class lines followed.
Wealth is concentrating in the U.S.A. The poor and middle class are stuffed with obsolete social and economic theories about jobs, earnings, and poverty, crime and national security and have become incapable of even voting in their own interests. Its hard to say where that all will go. Certainly there is a minority movement to blame white people generally, and the fewer than 25% of the population that are white males in particular, for every wrong and disadvantage they experience.
In a way, concentrated poverty in urban areas is a paradox. Urban areas are the most costly places for real estate because of their central location in high-finance and business areas, and the sole way that the poor or even middle class could afford to live in such desirable locations instead of in some distant rural spot far from business and jobs is to have a ghetto that stinks and has crime making it too dangerous for the prosperous to be comfortable in. As the poverty is relieved through various program and policies the poor are bumped out or replaced by those better able to afford the upgraded housing. There are many paradoxical relationships involving economics and public housing.
“Sex with multiple partners is so entrenched in Southern Africa that it is a religion, a basic moral philosophy for most people here. It is often simply called culture or, specifically, African culture. Political leaders who marry an increasing number of wives and royalty that flaunts an equal number of wives and concubines are highly visible.”-A Mail-Guardian Reporter in 2009 https://mg.co.za/article/2009-02-11-pressure-to-be-promiscuous
“That the Negro American has survived at all is extraordinary—a lesser people might simply have died out, as indeed others have … But it may not be supposed that the Negro American community has not paid a fearful price for the incredible mistreatment to which it has been subjected over the past three centuries.” – Daniel Patrick Moynahan – The Moynahan Report
Moynahan predicted the disintegration of blacks families in the years ahead and he was completely right; today 72% of blacks are born out of wedlock compared to appx. 25% or fewer in 1961.
Slavery taught blacks communism in that they were not permitted to own private property.
Many black families on private property after the civil war could produce much of their own substance for living in closer approximation to the ordinary rural lifestyle of whites when fewer people had concentrated wealth. As they left the south to urban north for various reasons including forced incarceration for lease-slavery or peonage to southern capitalists family structures were challenged to remain together.
It should be observed that African kinship systems and promiscuity were possibly imitated by the return to African roots movements of the 1960s when urban black behavior was restive, sometimes riotous and expressive of discontent with the lack of ready avenues for economic promotion and integration with the sedentary urban class of whites outside the south.
It is natural to wonder if the feminist movement hasn’t acted to reinforce the decline of marriage where males are the head of a family traditionally. The recent Supreme Court decision to debase marriage as a heterosexual relationship primarily to support raising children and expand it to include homosexual relationships seems another indicator act toward the destruction of the nuclear family not only for blacks; for all.
In Africa traditional kinship structures as well as nuclear families are being degraded by the demands of urban globalism that would ideally, within a capitalist paradigm, prefer civilians to be individuals with a direct relationship to TV, the state and programming commensurate for consumer-proles. Those transitions for American urban blacks are possibly far more advanced. It is more likely that urban blacks would evolve toward a Brave New World construction along with whites than to ‘regress’ toward a stable nuclear-family prevalent social structure with good middle class, ecologically sustainable jobs for all that want to work.
African rejection of Christian culture as a white religion occasionally may have supported the taking up of the Muslim religion and change of names that was common in black America of the 1960s with the most famous example being that of Cassius Clay- Mohammad Ali and second; Lew Alcindor-Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
The urban black Muslim and African axis toward the Middle East and view of Islam as an African religion brought black Americans into an unfortunate juxtaposed concurrence with global terrorists from the 1960s to the present with Isis and Al Qaeda. Somalis from the upper Mid-West were arrested for seeking to travel to fight for ISIS and the Islamic State.
The black movement toward Africa shared a leftist flow toward anti-Colonialism that was in turn regarded as a white, European phenomenon almost exclusively. Muhammad Ali famously refused to serve in the Vietnam war claiming to be a conscientious objector. Malcom X was given a draft deferment to the second world war because at the induction center he said he wanted to enlist in the Army so he could shoot white people.
The black movement toward anti-white, anti-colonial global left-leaning causes is in sharp distinction toward the pro-American, anti-immigrant U.S. nationalism that is in the interests of the poor and middle class who are U.S. citizens. Black anti-colonialists view that as a racist white-nationalism movement and the left-leaning mainstream media presents the narrative that way too.
Many of the left seem to want to universalize their own national economic causality globally as a remedy rather than to comprehend and reinforce their own national polity and real economic factors such as labor supply and demand.
Global plutocrats would be too happy to keep Americans divided and continue to flood the nation with new and cheap illegal foreign labor to replace the blacks that aren’t available for such low wages any more. It is worth recollecting that white Americans fought to liberate blacks from slavery in the U.S.A. Keeping a sovereign democracy and wealth from concentrating and uniting in a planetary aristocracy requires nationalistic free-enterprising supporters of democracy with adequate taxation on the rich to keep them from owning politics.