Consider these grim statistics:
-There are 36,000 paramilitary police raids on private homes in the United States on an annual basis.
-The United States has five percent of the world’s population but twenty-five percent of the world’s prisoners.
-One in thirty-one American adults is in prison, on probation or on parole.
Are Americans any more inherently inclined towards criminality than any other national grouping? Probably not. Instead, the problem is one of gross overcriminalization. The so-called War on Drugs is the most well-known example of this, but there are many others including the use of prisons to warehouse the mentally ill or the homeless and the modern debtor’s prison system of incarceration for economic “crimes” like bad checks, non-payment of child support (even when there is no means of payment), fines, tax code violations, traffic “offenses”, as well as a penal code that turns ordinary, single illegal acts into an infinite multitude of felonies. As Peter Brimelow explains:
“In the old days punishments were harsh, but they were not arbitrary. You could be hanged for stealing a sheep, but you would not also be charged with conspiracy to commit sheep stealing, willful evasion of taxes on stolen sheep and diminishing the civil rights of the sheep owner. Attacks on property? Asset forfeiture, aimed at drug dealers when radically extended by Congress in 1984 but now covering 140 other offenses, allows seizure on “probable cause” – i.e., at the discretion of police and prosecutors. Proceeds go to the seizing agency, creating a corrupting motive.”
Indeed, mass incarceration has become a big business for lawyers, judges, police, prison officials, private prison construction and management companies, prison guards unions, and a wide assortment of public sector and private sector interests engaged in profiteering from this overcriminalization system.
Rather than trying to counter this with all sorts of do-gooder politicking, it might be better to simply shut the whole thing down using action as radical as necessary. Ideally, a National Resistance Militia should form, committed only to the single issue of completely exterminating the police state-prison industrial complex-legal racket, and drawing from the ranks of anyone committed to such a goal. Theoretically, this could include conservative patriots, leftwing radicals,Â black separatists, white separatists, radical environmentalists, Christians, survivalists, anarchists, gun nuts, gangbangers and anyone else who recognizes the common enemy. Such a national resistance militia would then drive the police away on a locality by locality basis (remember the disappearing acts pulled by the Los Angeles and New Orleans police during the Rodney King riots in ’92 and Hurricane Katrina in ’05?). Such a militia would then provide assistance to communities and neighborhoods in setting up genuine citizen patrol systems to deter genuine crimes (robbery, burglary, mugging). Likewise a new legal system will be necessary. The actor Omar Sharif described how things work in Arab countries:
We, the Arabs… We are not like [regular countries],” he said, explaining why he warned Bush against encouraging democracy in Iraq. “We are sects. This is how we have always been.”
“People like me prefer to go to the neighborhood sheik. I like going to him, and he resolves all the problems. If someone stole from you, you take him to the neighborhood sheik, and you say, ‘This man stole from me.’ The sheik says to him, ‘Return the money, or never come back to the neighborhood.'”
For more serious crimes, there might need to be a system of common law courts with formalized rules of evidence, procedural rights for the accused, maximum penalties that can be imposed and a system of appeal. What about the huge American prison population? We might look no further than the general amnesty declared by Saddam Hussein prior to the beginning of the current war in Iraq in 2003:
Iraqi television has been showing pictures of joyful prisoners leaving jail, shortly after the authorities announced an unprecedented general amnesty.
A nationally televised statement from the Revolution Command Council, read by Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, said the “full and complete and final amnesty” applied to “any Iraqi imprisoned or arrested for political or any other reason”.
The amnesty was intended to thank the Iraqi people for their “unanimity” in last week’s presidential referendum, the statement said.
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein won 100% support in the poll, in which he was the only candidate.
The amnesty also included “prisoners, detainees and fugitives… including those under sentence of death, inside or outside Iraq,” the statement said.
The exception, the statement said, was for murderers, who would be released only with the consent of the victims’ families.