Monday, April 7, 2008

The USA is fundamentally uncivilized

The great Russian author Dostoevsky once wrote: "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons". By that measure, the United States cannot be considered a civilized society.

Anyone doubting this should carefully remember following:

Dozens of 13 and 14 year old children have been sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole in this nation. In a new report called Cruel and Unusual, the Equal Justice Initiative has documented 73 such cases. The United States is the only country in the world where a 13-year-old is known to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. In fact, over 2225 juveniles (age 17 or younger) have been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole in the US. Read the full report "Cruel and Unusual" just published by the Equal Justice Initiative.

You can also listen to the excellent interview of Equal Justice Initiative's executive director Bryan Stevenson on Uprising Radio.

The USA has the highest incarceration rate on the planet. The USA employs 3.5 full-time law enforcement employees per 1'000 habitants (also one of the highest rates on the planet). These law enforcement employees are backed up by 16 (sixteen!) "intelligence" agencies which, in turn, are backed by a huge private intelligence network system.

Unsurprisingly, the Blacks are far more likely to be jailed than Whites. Equally predicable is the fact that most incarcerated inmates are nonviolent drug offenders.

The USA prison system also is unique among all the prison system in that is systematically uses rape (certainly a form of torture) as a form of punishment and coercion. The the full Human Rights Watch "No Escape: Male Rape in US Prisons". Even worse is the fact that rapes are something which the US society not only accepts, but *expects* to take place in prisons.

Imagine being a 13 year old boy in such a prison system!

"Bubba is going to make you his girlfriend" is something which you can see in American movies, books, and conversations. Inmates are supposed to "stand up for themselves" and those who are raped are considered as unworthy of respect. Needless to say, the vast majority of Americans are absolutely convinced that the kids of things which happens in US jails and prisons also happen in the rest of the world, they are absolutely incredulous when they are told that this is not at all the case.

In every single one of its aspects, and I have touched upon only very few here, the US immense prison system is an obscene affront to civilized mankind and can only be compared to the Soviet Gulag in terms of cruelty, inhumanity and lack of civilized norms. The big difference is that, unlike its Soviet counterpart, the US "Gulag" is also immensely profitable as it provides the government with a slave force of 2'000'000 inmates who are totally deprived from even their basic human rights. Not only that, but an increasing part of the American Gulag is now being run by private companies who pocket billions of dollars of taxpayer money and who provide the US government a 'cost-effective' black hole in which all the undesirable elements of society can be thrown.

Take the example of Marijuana laws. I won't even bother explaining that Marijuana is a totally harmless substance, or even that it is highly beneficial in many cases (if you do not understand that you are reading the wrong blog). I ask a simple question: is there a point in incarcerating millions of people solely because of their use of this substance? I believe that there very much is one: the point is to take those who are too critical of dumb laws, or those who do not unquestionably obey the government, off the streets while scaring all the others. This is just a social variation on the idea that the USA should bomb some small nations into smithereens every couple of years or so just to frighten everybody else. Add to this the ever present (and taser-carrying) cops and you will see why Americans are as passive as sheep and why they cannot even throw a decent riot when an arrogant dimwit steals the presidency.

Oscar Wilde famously said that "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between". Well, if "the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons " then the US prison system is the best proof that the USA is a fundamentally uncivlized country, a country which is barbaric for its poor and decadent for its elites.

That a country which fancies itself the "leader of the free world" endowed with a "manifest destiny" to lead mankind to a better future can sentence a 13 year old child to life without possibility of parole would be laughable if it wasn't so tragically sad. That this can happen in the quasi total indifference of everybody else is outrageous.

How can a presumably Christian society forget the warning of Christ "whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me, but whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matt. 18:5-6)?