Incarceration, Torture and War in the U.S.
The majority of Americans twenty years ago would agree that unwarranted, mass incarceration, torture and perpetual war are products of a morally corrupt society. The view of this in our society has changed drastically since. A façade has been set up to cultivate false fear in the minds of our population. We are indoctrinated to unquestioningly fear what our government deems as terrorism, mass drug addiction, and the crumbling of our holy capitalistic system which every American schoolchild is taught repeatedly to hold dear to their heart. Thus, through this, we find justification in these things that were once known as morally abhorrent.
Hollywood Bushera war propaganda, widespread neoconservatism, and politically propagated theological beliefs have glorified violence, torture of the accused, and mass incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders. A sense of Nationalistic pride is created through this, we feel as if we are cleansing our society, ridding it of danger. This is a very dangerous thing. Our government has sunk itself and its people into a massive hole of debt going to war with an idea and incarcerating the poverty stricken. An idea cannot be defeated. It’s a perfect enemy. It’s a never ending war for a nation’s people to rally around, unwaveringly following authoritarian instruction. It’s an excuse for our government to reach its authoritarian imperialist tentacles across our borders and even into our homes.
Incarceration in America today has evolved into a business, instead of a means of
protection for our society. We have moved to privatization of the prison industry. This poses a great threat to us. Like all corporations, privatized prison agencies have profit, not people in mind. Through campaign funding, lobbyists, and shareholders in congress and senate, these corporations have successfully tightened laws and imposed outrageous mandatory sentencing on even nonviolent drug offenders. It’s no coincidence that our single country houses over twenty five percent of the world’s prisoners. Substandard conditions and abuse are due to this overcrowding and lack of regulation. Incarceration is not the answer to drug addiction, a move toward rehabilitation and support is need to solve this problem. Never the less, Americans seem to have no problem with the lower class’ mass exodus into jail cells. We believe if we obey the law, go to church, and keep our heads down then we can do no wrong, but a question arises.
Who or what decides what is wrong and what is right? If we continue to not care, to not speak out and to unquestioningly obey what our government dictates, we are to be transformed to sheep, quietly subdued as our perception of right and wrong changes with our governments will. The eighth amendment to the United States constitution prohibits the use of cruel and unusual punishment, this includes torture. In our culture, torture has always been seen as a viable way for criminals, thugs, religious zealots and gangs to gather information and gain confession.
We see countless movies made in the eighties and nineties where this is depicted. There’s a shift in this as we move to the twothousands. As more movies are made telling the tales of the
“heroes” of our imperialist military, propagandists depict “the good guy” mercilessly torturing the always guilty confessionary. Because of the influence popculture has on our society, we begin to perceive torture as a morally and culturally acceptable means of interrogation. Our
government has been caught using torture as form of interrogation, but this isn’t a legal issue.
Bills such as the PATRIOT act allow our government to operate outside of the confines of the constitution. This bills allows indefinite detainment and torture of citizens and immigrants suspected of involvement or relation to our government’s ever