Abby Martin: Tortured and Enslaved: Enter the World’s Biggest Prison

Witness Against Torture: Captive Hands

Image by Justin Norman via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

Empire Files on Sep 19, 2015

The Empire holds by far the most prisoners than any other country on earth, in both absolute numbers and per capita. Abby Martin explores the dark reality of America’s prisons: their conditions, who is warehoused in them, and the roots of mass incarceration.

Featuring interviews with Eddie Conway, former political prisoner unjustly incarcerated for 44 years, and Eugene Puryear, author of “Shackled and Chained, Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America.”

From the archives:

Chris Hedges: The Revolutionary, Caged + In Landmark Ruling, California Prisons Halt Solitary Confinement

Chris Hedges: State Violence and Counter Violence

Chris Hedges: How Prisons Rip Off and Exploit the Incarcerated, Part 2

Chris Hedges: How Prisons Ripoff and Exploit the Incarcerated, Part 1

How Is a Prison Like a War? by David Swanson + Chris Hedges: Poverty, Racism & Policing, Mass Incarceration, Resistance and Social Transformation

42 thoughts on “Abby Martin: Tortured and Enslaved: Enter the World’s Biggest Prison

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  24. This is pure power abuse. clear and simple.
    Though if there guilty one should not be treated like a damn toddler on a school trip. At the end of the line one does not be in jail for being such a good boy. (yes I know not all are guilty)

    In the end it is finding the spot where we are failing. And it may than be concluded that in every layer of the the flaws are pretty much shoved under a rug. It is not just a justice system it is out side the so called ‘free’ world as well.

    It is sickening to see this. It does show us in more than one way the people we have become. And not just the US.

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  26. Did Abby leave anything important out of the discussion? Nothing that I can think of. A huge amount of information cogently analyzed and brilliantly presented . . . an indictment of American capital . . .

    This inhumane and inhuman prison system is precisely what Eugene Puryear says that it is: the direct excrescence and extension in modernity of the institution of overt American slavery, a brutal form of social control, a way of discarding and warehousing surplus labor while nevertheless viciously extracting from it surplus value and neutralizing by the force of incarceration its potential for righteous rebellion.

    Marx concludes ‘Chapter Thirty-One’ of Capital by writing that if “.. money, according to Augier, “comes into the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek,” capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.” An apt characterization of America, both past and present . . .

  27. What an abomination!!

    This is sickening beyond words. Treated like animals, or “worse than” says it all. At what stage in our social evolution was it determined that even animals should be treated with such psychopathic indifference and pathological cruelty? I mean racist abuse is an understatement of gigantic proportions. The etiology of perverse humanity is beginning to look like a chronic generic affliction.

    Excellent work Abby, profoundly disturbing. Brilliant interviews. It’s taken me hours to stomach this.

    The world at large needs to be thoroughly disabused of Hollywood-Intel pro-corporate propagandist illusions about the reality of America 2015.

    donwreford calls the westernised status quo a dysfunctional society, doctom describes the US as a shocking dark place.

    What is happening here, where is it heading? If this here-and-now is already horrific, what’s next? Can it get even worse?

    Notwithstanding the excessive histrionics of a lunatic fringe that prospers high-profile celebrity confusion, via profitable careerist tabloid conspiracy-webcasts & blogs, it is surely now rationally substantiated that evolutionary psychology is indeed being manipulated by powerful elites….weaponized anthropology, fake-food chains, drugs both “legal” and proscribed, psychic driving, indoctrination, climate engineering, cloning, eugenics, nanobiotech, mercenary disruption, proxy deceptions, Reagan-redlining, domestic sacrifice zones, reservations and labour camps, rape, torture, snuff-porn, gratuitous slaughter ~ the entire globe is being transformed into a US-led & articulated, corporatized battlefield nightmare….not to mention space.

    Evil does not even begin to describe this. It is insanity, for sure. So what ought sane look like?

    With America firmly in the saddle (….the cockpit, at the helm, in the drone seat or whatever sad analogy suits….) these emergent new forms of phantasmagoric social controls are indicative of something deeply quasi-esoteric & very profoundly troubling ~ designed to maintain and reinforce the vulgar, pseudo-ideopathic drivel of the likes of Leo Strauss (backed-up by Bernaysian trickery) & peddled by eager cohorts of sophist, post 9-11 dominatrix neo-cons; as John McMurtry has explained well here….

    Click to access 2013McMurtryVol35Feb.pdf

    ….the whole gimmicky shambles is ramped up and jerry-built; thrown together by the fanatical greed and stupidity of hereditary dynastic illiterati. Sick specimens.

    Everything in US life seems to spin ferociously around childish pop-art “fear & loathing” gestalts, that guarantee an eviscerated soul-life of barren “consumer choice,” eked out in paranoid misery under the shadowy thumb of paralysing institutions, all driven by an obsessive belief in solipsistic fairy tales and the inevitabilities of sado-masochistic “success.”

    America surely needs some powerful existential medicine, to cure its steroidally-bloated lack of planetary imagination, to reconstruct & restore its abysmally restrictive shrunk-wrapped spiritual stature.

    Could this possibly turn out to be about the ecological (quantum coherent) relationship of the gut, the brain & consciousness? If so, are we perhaps witnessing a dawning emergent age of the “neuro-cosmic” microbiome?

  28. Last time I checked America’s prison population of 3% incarcerated and varied forms of detainment, so why so high? the capitalist system makes money out of this culture, as in Australia, the varied service providers make money from detaining people, also imprisonment serves the purpose of class division with the lower class or marginalized individuals targeted, the well off have more license for criminal advantage in terms of knowing the system and having legal contacts for lenient sentencing or charges dropped, this system serves the general public of the masses requiring incarceration to appease the fears of a society in conflict subject and being victims of slogans as “we will keep you safe” government calculating to control the public’s vote for election and a cohesive ideology to answer the call for the illusion of cohesion rather than what it is, a dysfunctional society.

      • Whilst we consider the incarceration of some three million Americans? the implication is we all share to some extent in our all being incarcerated whether by physical or existential imprisonment? I refer to Egyptian sea water flooding of tunnels within the area of Palestine being the last vestiges of freedom of incarceration the Palestinians had, I venture to say the present government are their by default on account of pressure from the Imperialist nations and the overthrow of the previous government democratically elected by the Egyptian people being not desired by Western influence! I suggest not only is this formidable incarceration of Americans that is questionable as to justice being seen to be? but the tentacles of this incarceration extends far beyond the borders of American shores? the fact that sea water is not just flooding the tunnels but what little land Palestinians have to grow food in their gardens, the slow destruction of a culture by imprisonment of a people whom are innocent of a political crime deserving this fate, it is no less than genocide.
        The Palestinians are now the meat in the sandwich between Israel, Syria, and Egypt, having no space to go and unable to leave by sea? I am sorry to have extended this ideology outside the perimeters of what began as incarceration within America, but I am a victim of my conscience.

        • It just goes to show how far removed “realpolitik” is from true humanity.

          Makes you wonder whether empathy is now seen only as a feeble aberration and therefore a sign of utter weakness by these paragons of pragmatism ~ so why should we feel obliged to emulate and applaud the lock-step professionalism of these cold and calculated “realists?”

          I’d say, if they have foregone their humanity, the only thing they qualify for is complete insanity.

          I’m sure most of them have never experienced childbirth ~ or if they have, who did they expect?

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