Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wobbly times number 132

It's the "Hooray for me, fuck you" narrow individualist principle of 'freedom' 
which has run amok in the USA.  As long as freedom is defined negatively, 
as top down political power of one over the other, all sorts of physical and
psychological interpersonal violence will be taken for granted as being 
somehow, 'natural'.  

Dominance and submission between humans is endemic within the greater
whole of class society in the world, from social relations between men and 
women, to power relations between workers and their employers.  
Dominance and submission ideology is actively expressed in 
racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia.  It also plays out in acts of 
violent crime between people--most of those people being
from the working class and lumpenproletariat. 

The above is not meant to deny that war is probably the greatest State 
legitimised interpersonal violence, all ordered by ruling classes and 
murderously obeyed by the ruled, mostly against each other inter-nationally.  
Finally, the greatest legitimised robbery in history is based on the wage system,
where in the USA 88% of the wealth produced by 90% of the people 
(aka the working class) ends up under the ownership and control of 
about 10% of the population (aka the ruling class). 

But on to the matter at hand, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT:

1.35 million people are prisoners in the USA.  Are they all violent criminals?

102,580 50.6% Drugs
30,756 15.2% Weapons, Explosives, Arson
24,311 12.0% Immigration
10,480  5.2% Extortion, Fraud, Bribery
  9,697  4.8% Sex offenses
  8,403  4.1% Robbery
  7,161  3.5% Buglary, Larceny, other property
  5,563  2.7% Homicide, Aggravated Assault, etc.

Drugs, Immigration, Extortion and Burglary categories aren't necessarily violent crimes at all. Immigration is a mixed bag: it's a growing category in part because it's easier to get a conviction; you arrest someone under suspicion of some other crime, then find out they are undocumented and file those charges instead.  How many of them are violent criminals?  No way to know.  Is it 0%?  Unlikely.

OIC, here's the source:

Sex crimes are not counted as being violent? Probably not.

See USC 18.109, 18.110 and 18.117 for details.

Anyway, there are three times as many violent criminals in the state prisons than there are in the *entire* Federal prison system.  The Federal system, while at historic highs, is a relatively small piece of the picture (15%?).

There are entirely too many people in jail and prison in the US; but, we must remember that more than half of them are actually pretty violent criminals.  Violent crime is a problem in the USA AND so is the 'War on Drugs' (begun during the Nixon Presidency) in terms of locking people up who should have the right to use whatever they want to use to have non-violent fun. 

The roots of contemporary, violent, interpersonal crime lie in the culture of narrow individualism, a culture which springs from the social relations of dominance and submission which pervade class society as a whole. I maintain that a classless society, where common ownership of the collective product of labour would be the norm; where the product of labour would no longer dominate labour as a commodity, alienated from the source of its production as a power over labour i.e. Capital, that such an association of producers would be free of most of the violent crime we experience today and certainly free of puritanical sadists running political States bent on punishing those who wish to live wild, free, libidinous lives. In such a society, equal political power between all men and women would be the norm. 


  1. I think burglary is considered a violent crime, especially when it entails breaking and entering a dwelling with the intent to commit a felony therein.

  2. Lest we forget, the greatest robbery in history is going on everyday day we work for wages and the capitalists appropriate the lion's share of the product of our collective labour. Always remember that the wage system results in 10% of the population owning/controlling 88% of the wealth 90% of the people produce.