A seminally brilliant but horrific documentary on Americas unforgivably monstrous industrial prison complex & sick conjoined-twin – The War On Drugs. Despite this film being six years old, & the malignancy of these ‘industries’ only expanding & embedding since its release, this is still a tremendous piece of work that brings acute power & clarity to this dreadful’ dreadful crisis.
So let’s make money out of jailing our own citizens. Not in isolation, not in stints, not short-terms but whole-sale, mass-roll-out (with the poor being the obvious casualty fodder). Let’s approach the whole sphere of correction-justice-incarceration with a ‘business’ mindset, a mass commercialized entrepreneurial commodification with the singular priority for profit. Let’s tether it to think tanks, massive lobbying operations, conglomerates, jobs, community & economic opportunity.
Economic exclusion, neglect & prejudice, income inadequacy, repulsive inequality & a barely receptive welfare provision have long since rendered America the shittest, lowest & cruelest western nation of them all (often by ginormous margins) in terms of the safeguards & quality afforded to the majority of its populace/general living standard. As if this civil dereliction & callous insouciance was not extreme enough, now it is not a case of “fuck-off and die” but an all new predatory model that wants to prey-on, criminalize, prosecute & intern, all to the tune of a substantial profit via a privatized market strategy.
Being poor is practically a criminal act. The unacceptable dearth of available options to survive at even a base-level practically necessitates low-level criminality (outside of a draconian capitalist system other contingencies would be available).
Even lowering the ceiling, embracing thralldom & working the slave-counter – the financial returns are grossly inefficient (in work poverty) for maintaining even the bottom-bracket. Surely? – SURELY?! – making it necessary to endow subsistence-living through criminal activity is in itself criminal??? Surely greater so? As the primary offender & the catalyst for the concomitant criminality? The answer is of course yes! absolutely. But America itself being the world’s greatest engine for standardized state-level crime, who fuckin’ cares? What’s to stop it? A neo-market is gaping off the back of this newly warped criminal abomination & super-injustice. Making a fortune out of unnecessarily jailing your own citizens. God bless America.
The 45-year-plus War On Drugs is yet more turbo folly. Dead-deceased-decomposed-disproved & done-for a trillion times over. It’s a fully-fledged repeat failure, free from any inconsistency in its abject travesty. Forget ‘eradication’, forget ‘reduction’ even, narcotics, at all levels, have increased exponentially despite almost 50 years’ worth of combined efforts & trillions of dollars flushed into oblivion (or some fuckers off-shore account). The prevalence, potency & variety has continued to expound gigantically, as well as the price for such substances continues to shrink.
Meanwhile, the dependence, profits & ‘jobs & growth’ that illicit drug economies provide has also skyrocketed dramatically, perhaps most notably with the development of the so called “narco state”. From any angle you care to look, its wall-to-wall failure in complete & indisputable totality (much like the equally ridiculous War On Terror. noticing a pattern here?). absolute & stunning defeat.
& yet somehow, this ludicrous zombie inanity staggers on. Why? Politics & private-profit. If the status-quo can deliver failure so immeasurably, for so long, there is blatantly a covert counter motive. Anything else would be intellectual suicide. You are being conned.
The most disastrous, stupid, insanely-nefarious, indescribably damaging platter of pointless illogical lunacy & false-intentions to crawl out of 20th century Americas poisoned arse-hole. A policy of ongoing failure.
The House I Live In demonstrates this with truly brilliant form, from so many directions & from a wealth of perspectives & experiences. There is so much proficiency in the investigative exposure, analysis & dialogue – including even from ‘pro correctional’ prison employees such as Mike Carpenter, who provides extraordinary statements. It is an exceptional milestone of cinema & investigative revelation.
The industrial prison complex is completely out of control. America is the most immoral, damned, sick & fundamentally-corrupt country on earth. I am fucking sick of it.
Eugene Jarecki, 2012, Dogwoof/Charlotte Street Films