Monday, March 30, 2009

Reforming the criminal "justice" system

Glenn Greenwald praises Senator Jim Webb's (D-Virginia) effort to reform the criminal justice system:
Jim Webb's impassioned commitment to fundamental prison reform is ... genuinely courageous and principled. ... After decades of mindless "tough-on-crime" hysteria, an increasingly irrational "drug war," and a sprawling, privatized prison state as brutal as it is counter-productive, America has easily surpassed Japan -- and virtually every other country in the world -- to become what Brown University Professor Glenn Loury recently described as a "a nation of jailers" whose "prison system has grown into a leviathan unmatched in human history."
Webb will, of course, fail in his efforts. At best, he'll smooth out a couple of rough edges; perhaps he'll get a better brand of beans in some hellhole in Georgia. But the American criminal justice system serves the needs of the bourgeoisie. It's profitable in and of itself, and they need a police force that more closely resembles — for anyone outside the mostly white male bourgeoisie and their mostly white male privileged lackeys — an army of occupation and oppression, an army of occupation that has the full support of the supposedly "liberal" and "progressive" managerial/professional middle class.

Who will the bourgeoisie support with their campaign contributions? Webb? Hardly. Look for Webb to lose the next election in 2010; it's possible he might even lose the Democratic party primary to a "tough-on-crime" challenger.

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