PRISON POPULATIONS SPEAK VOLUMES

 

REVOLUTIONS

Revolutions are born when the greed of the plutocracy has become unbearable to its citizenry: when the gap between the rulers and the ruled has achieved obscenity.  The American war of independence from the British aristocracy began in 1775.  The French revolted against their own particular brand of oligarchs shortly thereafter, in 1789.

Revolutionary foment had, of course, been in the air earlier, as it was also in Britain towards the end of the 18th century.

However, the brilliant young William Pitt, prime minister of Britain at the tender age of 24 years–just as the war of independence had been won by the Americans– juggled a war with France, engineered necessary social reforms, and set the nation up for the new century, first, by jailing its revolutionaries, then managing its overflowing prisons by sending 759 convicts out to Australia in 1787.  The first fleet arrived to establish the new colony at New South Wales in 1788.

It was a close run thing, but Pitt the Younger had forestalled a revolution at home.

It is clear a similar revolutionary environment is gradually developing across the world.  We’re witnessing the collapse of world financial systems, revolutions in the Middle East, and growing poverty and dispossession in the west.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is proving to be no William Pitt.  Social and economic reform is not on his agenda as he denies any link between poverty and the London street riots.

The 0.1% never understands when enough is enough.  Its greed knows no bounds, and politicians are its minions.

When the poor and dispossessed strike out in frustration, they are jailed.

237 years after the American revolution, the land of the free and home of the brave now has the greatest incarceration rate in the world (743 per 100,000). Its jail population, being greater than that of Houston and less than Chicago, makes it the 4th largest ‘city’ in the US.

It’s safe to say American jails are NOT full of the 0.1% who sponsored this worldwide economic depression.  They’re full of the poor, again, and social reform is necessary if the west is to avoid revolution, or embracing fascism.

But politicians fiddle as social cohesion is being whittled away.

Let’s start by abolishing tax regimes that enrich billionaires. Regardless of the 0.1%’s claims, this is NOT class warfare.