Friday, February 1, 2008

Authoritarian Prisons (imagine that) -- The Plantation Model [Revised]

Today, I asked this question of Bob Altemeyer on the Yahoo discussion blog dedicated to his most recent book, The Authoritarians:

Bob (or someone with an answer, plan, opinion or political cartoon),

Is there any Right-Wing Authoritarian [RWA] research being done – or planning to be done -- within the prison industry? It seems to me that this is one area of employment that attracts "RWAs" like flies around a Bush Poop Flag. There are literally scores of dissertations and random research subjects [very randomly] walking around in polished boots in an angry daze. I've never seen such rude and obnoxious assholes with a hard-on for people they concretely and dichotomously view as inferior despite their status as minimum security inmates in a system that fails or refuses to train its undereducated uniformed bootlickers to differentiate between those who commit rape & murder and those guilty of "conspiracy" to buy, sell, possess or traffic weed and again from those who immigrate to find work without first stopping at the international bridge to apply for entry visa, green card or citizenship, waiting months for a rejection letter while they waste away in the dusty streets of gang-controlled desert border towns or go to work for the trafficking cartels that were enabled, exploited and redirected by Vice President George H. W. Bush and authoritarian follower Colonel Ollie North, against the laws of Congress, in order to fund Dirty Little Wars of paranoia in their Latin American home countries against "Communists" who refused to embrace the continued status of "banana republic" and colonial docility or remain landless where they were born to pick coffee beans, weave baskets, eat mud cookies during droughts, hide in the jungles and shoot bullets at first one side and then the other and wipe their asses with the pages of the Book of Mormon given them by conservative white missionaries in white shirts and black ties who refuse to share their fucking bicycles.

Jeeze, do you know what it's like to live in Mexico without a bicycle?

Wardens must be at the top of the "RWA" scale if not the entire Plantation food chain. Many are right-wing religious conservatives, hell-bent on punishing society's reprobates, get their jollies talking down to everyone corporately subordinate or tattooed and wearing broad pinstripes, and sneering at chaplains, educators, counselors and the sundry “bleeding heart liberals” who would waste their time on the damned.

Can any of you remember that sardonic little chicken shit sneer Governor George Wallace had on his face standing in the doorway of the University of Alabama in the sixties? What a Kodak moment! In the movie, when Forest Gump asked, “What’s going on?” and a student demonstrator replied, “Those Negroes want to go to school with us!” Forest expressed his now classic ironic incredulity, “They doooo?”

Well, ever since I asked our warden why he slashed our substance abuse education budget to $Zero.00 and he responded, “I don’t care if you give them a Big Book {of AA} and send them back to their cells,” I’ve been asking myself why the hell I accepted a job in a private prison -- in West Texas -- that warehouses foreign nationals for deportation (and money); and what the hell possessed them to come to the United States, of all places?”

While addicts and alcoholics seem to be the scapegoats of choice by the proponents of Law & Order Fascism ever since the Reagan years, there is a growing authoritarian obsession with "those criminal illegal aliens crossing our borders," especially in this election year. Migrant workers are now facing felony charges and prison terms for simply crossing the Rio Grande despite that recent research reveals they are more law abiding than the general population of U.S. citizens. I suppose they are trying to “fly under the radar.”

If “survival of the fittest” has any worth as a scientific principle, migrant workers should be grossly overpaid to stud California “valley girls,” both having survived the desert southwest -- geographically on the part of the masculine former and culturally on the part of the feminine latter. While having to endure hoots, hollers, shouts, whistles and jeers or being shot at, flipped off or hosed down in turn by deer riffles, middle fingers and spewing Budweisers, and while avoiding rednecks, border patrol agents and tobacco spitting Minutemen, both valley girls and migrant workers...ummmm, like totally clung to a native language that confounds evangelicals and pandering politicIANS??? Think of the super race the Nazis would have created could they have conquered L.A.

Forgive the side trip into right field.

Private prisons, such as those run by CCA and The GEO Group, by seeking more and more ways to squeeze the budget for profit, are gutting education, substance abuse treatment and job training programs, resulting in enormous increases in recidivism rates.

And why should they care? Recidivism means their “customers are coming back” – great for bid’ness! In California, rates are so high and available “bed space” so low that the “Gubanator” had to start paroling inmates at a rate last month that is scaring his poor "RWA" sheep (Right-Wing Authoritarian Followers) into dead-bolting their amygdale glands. This most recent strategy comes in the wake of last year’s failed strategy to stack a third bunk on top of the two already in each cell. No doubt, the latter strategy sent medical costs soaring (as well as the wasteful expenditure of liquid assets), due to an increase in ceiling-burns incurred while masturbating in the top bunk.

So now, it’s either turn them out or face the ire of federal judges determined to enforce humane overcrowding laws at the same time preventing the housing of inmates in tents and the exploitation of their labor – acting against the example of notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Phoenix, who issued Maricopa County inmates pink underwear and put them on chain-gangs to boot.


Prisons are being built at a staggering rate that states can no longer fund now that we are tied-up with the economic burden of projecting our authoritarianism at the level of world empire, Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib notwithstanding. Some are now even calling the U.S. a "prison nation." I just came from another thread wherein an academician voiced his fear of saying too much least someone figure out his real world identity and turn him into the American thought-police at NSA.

Conversely, based on anecdotal evidence derived from my direct observation of inmates, it seems that prisons are being crammed full not just with addicts and alcoholics who should be in treatment programs instead; but also, with youthful personalities not presenting the traditional “anti-social personality disorder” expected of them, but who are simply in a life-long “rage against the machine.” Civilization and its Discontents are becoming increasingly rebellious in the face of abusive authoritarian personalities obsessively attempting to control every dimension of their lives – in the family, in schools, in the workplace, in government, in the media, in the bars, on the courts, out cruising, in their dreams and even in churches. In the name of Jeeezus, James Dean can’t even get attention for all the acting-out going on.


"Now you do what they told ya!"

Ironically, it has become a battle in the streets for the very psychological autonomy that was once held to be the highest goal of the American Spirit….when not chasing the dollar.

So much for The Enlightenment.

[Steps down off soap box of righteous indignation while still enjoying his day off against the will of the deputy warden and returns to the question]

Is the prison venue being considered for research on the "right-wing authoritarian follower"?


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