Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Tag: prisons
Prisons and Primitive Accumulation
One important point my colleague Kevin Carson has emphasized repeatedly is that the prevailing labor relations in our society are not just a natural outgrowth of voluntary exchanges in a free market. Instead, they have resulted from pervasive state intervention that constrains the options of workers, thus leaving them in a worse position to bargain…
When Prisons Enable Crime
The dominant belief in our society is that prisons are a necessary tool to fight crime. Prisons are often thought to counter crime in at least three ways: 1. Deterrence: The expectation of a prison sentence increases the perceived cost of committing a crime, thus creating incentives not to commit crimes. 2. Incapacitation: By coercively…
On the Drug War, and Other “Mistakes”
In a new article at Harper’s (“Legalize It All,” April 2016), Dan Baum recalls a 1994 confession by former Nixon domestic policy adviser John Ehrlichmann, about Nixon’s motives in first launching the War on Drugs. Baum, interviewing Ehrlichman for a book on drug prohibition, asked a “series of earnest, wonky questions, that he impatiently waved…
Nancy Reagan’s Dark Legacy
Nancy Reagan died on March 6, 2016 at the age of ninety four. She leaves behind a destructive legacy that will likely be with us for some time — Just Say No. Her unfortunate contribution to the War on Drugs seldom gets the negative treatment it deserves. The Just Say No campaign is often looked at as…
The Significance of Ross and Lyn Ulbricht
This week, Lyn Ulbricht attended the International Students For Liberty Conference and graced attendees with a presentation on the appeal of her son Ross Ulbricht’s sentencing in the Silk Road trial. Lyn’s presence and tireless advocacy for her son and for the preservation of our rights is a blessing in the face of our unaccountable…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Prison Abolition at ISFLC
That’s right, I’m back! You can once again get your weekly dose of prison abolitionist opinion and analysis right here at the Center for a Stateless Society. Throughout my absence, my C4SS colleagues have presented excellent prison abolitionist commentary. For example, Nick Ford argued that despite Tutwiler Prison’s formal demise, the rape-filled prison system it represents…
Liberate gli Hammond
La chiusura mentale ha diverse forme. Si vede dal modo in cui oggi alcuni progressisti reagiscono agli eventi di Burns, nell’Oregon, dove un gruppo di persone ha occupato una struttura dell’Ente Federale per la Gestione del Territorio per protestare contro la condanna al carcere dei rancher Dwight e Steve Hammond. I due, padre e figlio,…
Resistenza Dietro le Sbarre
Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women di Victoria Law Quando si parla di prigioni solitamente si pensa a detenuti uomini. Comprensibile, perché i detenuti sono in gran parte uomini. Secondo Victoria Law, però, la popolazione carceraria femminile cresce a ritmi allarmanti. Tra il 1990 e il 2000 le detenute sono aumentate del 108%,…
Free the Hammonds
Bigotry comes in multiple forms. It’s evident at present in some progressives’ responses to events in Burns, Oregon, where protestors opposed to the jailing of ranchers Dwight and Steve Hammond are occupying a Bureau of Land Management facility. The father and son were convicted of two counts of arson on federal land under the draconian…
Resistance Behind Bars
Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women by Victoria Law Conversations about prison typically focus on male prisoners. This is understandable, given that the vast majority of prisoners are men. But according to Victoria Law, the population of women in prison has been growing at an alarming rate. The number of women incarcerated grew…
The Weekly Libertarian Leftist and Chess Review 61
George H. Smith begins discussing the ideas of Bishop Butler. Matt Peppe discusses the U.S. invasion of Panama. Patrick Cockburn discusses the torture report. Kevin Carson discusses the question that Michael Lind has yet to answer. David Roediger discusses the defenders of police violence. David Stockman discusses Wall Street crony capitalist plunder. Sheldon Richman discusses…
The Weekly Abolitionist: The Pernicious Consequences of Mandatory Minimums
Mandatory minimum sentences have been receiving a fair bit of scrutiny lately, largely due to the efforts of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM). And rightly so. Mandatory minimums remove discretion and context from sentencing, resulting in grossly unjust and wildly disproportionate sentences for minor offenses. Moreover, they’ve caused some troubling shifts in who has discretionary…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Why Abolition Must Be Emphasized
For this week’s Weekly Abolitionist post, I’d like to emphasize the importance of holding a specifically abolitionist stance on prisons. Getting rid of prisons is not just one more reform to tack on after we’ve accomplished everything else. It’s the primary goal, and all other reforms should be judged with that in mind. The key…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Prison Guard Unions vs. Private Prison Contractors
In a comment on last week’s post on The Labor Politics of Prisons, Steve Robinson said that my discussion of guards unions was “interesting given past posts about the for-profit prison industry.” He noted that while prison guard unions push for increased incarceration, they also are generally harmed by prison privatization, as private prison contractors have incentives to…
It’s Not Just About Michael Brown
It’s been interesting to watch information go back and forth on the shooting of Michael Brown, and to watch people’s reactions to that information. After initial reports that Brown had been shot in the back, early autopsies showed that the bullets actually entered through the front (one shot which grazed the hand may have come…
The Weekly Abolitionist: GPS Tracking as an Alternative to Prisons?
Dylan Matthews recently published an article at Vox titled Prisons are terrible, and there’s finally a way to get rid of them. Matthews’ article starts out strong, beginning with an explanation of the horrific costs of prisons. He describes the appalling rates of physical and sexual assault, the data on systemic racism, and the costs…
When the State Literally Invades Our Bodies
Brazil is a violent country. A sizable part of the population experiences many aggressions in its streets. However, violence in Brazil is present in prisons too. There, it can take very subtle forms, which very few people – except those who suffer from it – come to know about. Among these subtle forms of violence are…
Libertarianism and Private Prisons: Response to Gus DiZerega Part Two
This is the second part of my series on Gus DiZerega’s view of libertarianism and private prisons. Gus writes: Non-profits often pad the salaries of their top people, especially big ones. Padded salaries come from shifting resources away from other purposes, like that sheriff in Marion County. Just because something is a nonprofit does not…
Libertarianism and Private Prisons: Response to Gus DiZerega Part One
Gus DiZerega recently published a blog post about libertarian ideology and private prisons. He quoted a Facebook comment I left on a status update about the topic. This blog post constitutes a response to Gus. A comment will also be posted on his blog. The reader is encouraged to check it out. In said piece;…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Prison State Roundup
There’s a lot of news and information related to prisons, policing, borders, and other facets of the prison state. In previous editions of the Weekly Abolitionist, I have tried to fit multiple stories into one theme or analytic frame. This week, however, I’ve encountered a diverse enough range of articles relating to these issues that…
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