"because we destroyed ourselves"

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by philnotfil, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    For most of us now, its only obvious when reflecting back on certain situations. Certainly my parents told me to do or not to do certain things, but any deep or critical understanding of things came much later after experience and more importantly education - both formal and self-education.
  2. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    Prison/CJ industrial complex like other complexes (military, health) has taken capitalism to some really detestable, logic bending ends. It's a twisted thinking that becomes self-serving justification for folks to profit off the public coffer in this way. Since "criminals" are thought of as scum, many if not most people give a hoot what happens. Never mind that a substantial proportion of them are non-violent, low-level offenders.

    Although a bit dated, this article is still a fantastic exploration of the prison industrial complex. I still make my students read it as part of a policy course that I teach.
  3. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    Of course to an individual, people can make such choices so easily in an abstract sense, but human sociology and psychology teaches us very different given the complexity of lived reality.

    Nike's "Just Do It" sounds great, but far easier said than done, so to speak...
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  4. rivergator
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    rivergator Well-Known Member

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    The decline of the family isn't unique to blacks, but it's obviously a much bigger problem there. Much bigger.
    I think it's the biggest single problem facing the country.
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  5. tim85
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    tim85 Well-Known Member

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    You may be right - but I go back to my point that many people are able to overcome it. It's not like everyone born into a crappy home and bad neighborhood all turn out in prisons. Many don't. Not all of them become drug dealers or resort to illegal activity to get by. How are they able to and others aren't? They aren't afforded any benefit that their peers don't have and still manage to choose a different life.
  6. tim85
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    tim85 Well-Known Member

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    Everything I learned in philosophy say otherwise. As I said before, we should have a constrained vision when it comes to society, but an unconstrained vision when it comes to ourselves.

    The human brain is powerful, and an individual can accomplish more than most can imagine - most people just don't know and/or believe that. Without the confidence and knowledge, or mental and philosophical tools, you're right - many are destined to live a life that's going to be swayed in a million different directions.

    I don't think it's easy, I understand it's very difficult. But it's truth - and as I said, these obstacles and situations people are born into, sometimes tragic, we can never cure that. Poverty, crime, broken families, or even know family at all - these situations some are born into have always existed. But we can educate people and give them the tools and knowledge that they can choose for themselves to have meaningful lives.

    We can spend all of our time trying to cure the incurable, or we can take action to educate people to survive and not only survive, but have a meaningful and beautiful life no matter what hand they're dealt.
  7. CHFG8R
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    CHFG8R Premium Member

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    But I think the conditioning of being raised in a stable environment by educated people sets the base for that kind of understanding. I think we are all very lucky here in that respect.
  8. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    Philosophy is great but its not empirical in the sense of what actually happens in the aggregate. And by happen, I refer to your questions to CHFG8R immediately above. Why do some folks escape when others don't?

    Sure there are plenty of folks who escape, or are able to eschew drug, but the very nature of growing up in a community marked by crime/violence, and disorder, and concentrated disadvantage exerts a powerful and complex force upon decision-making. And the impact of bad ones before someone even reaches maturity/adulthood can have very long lasting negative/snowballing ramifications that simply aren't nearly as problematical (writ large) in middle and upper classes.
  9. CHFG8R
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    CHFG8R Premium Member

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    IMO, the expenditures for law enforcement and prisons, etc. need to be painful. Otherwise, there is no incentive to address the real issue: Crime. Or, more specifically, the reduction in crime. Again, sort of like a bad home loan. If you remove the risk (derivatives) you eliminate the need to make smarter loans/deals. When selling the risk becomes a profit center, you ramp this destructive practice up even further.

    At some point, it may not be just poor people and minorities being affected by this as the goal line will be moved in an attempt to bring in more profits (prisoners). It's only natural, really. If there is profit to be made in incarcerating people, then those making the profits will figure out ways to expand that profitability. As we saw with the 2008 crisis, there is a snowball effect at play.
  10. CHFG8R
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    CHFG8R Premium Member

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    My guess, they had someone in their life that planted that seed. Or, perhaps, it's just luck. Problem is the proportion of those kind of folks to their counter opposites. I don't know where those numbers are, but think they are a lot higher than optimal. Unfortunately, no easy fix, though perhaps we could decriminalize MJ for starters. As a taxpayer, I would rather not cut a check to CCA for housing pot dealers. But that's just me.
  11. tim85
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    tim85 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe so. Maybe some people are more open to that "lightbulb moment" than others. Instead of some of the stuff kids are learning in schools, why aren't we teaching lower level philosophy to children? It's for another thread, but every kid should have those seeds planted, and why not in our public education system?

    I said before - I have no problem addressing the issues in our society, and I'm certainly for trying to better the lives of everyone. But if we're going to sit around and debate things that are ultimately incurable and stem from a cocktail of variables, why not go to the greatest solution and prepare children, and not even just children because adults can have that lightbulb moment too, to be prepared for the absolutely guaranteed obstacles life will bring.
  12. gatorman_07732
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    gatorman_07732 Well-Known Member

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    Pick a period it time, say the later part of the 70's. From the argument being made from the OP, am I to assume that the number of single parent black households is directly proportional to black men in prison?
  13. CHFG8R
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    CHFG8R Premium Member

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    No, not proportional to those literally in prison. But perhaps it is proportional to those affected by the criminal culture, which increased incarceration seems in this case to allow it to proliferate (obviously, as seen in these numbers, prison isn't much of a deterrent). What kind of values is the average ex-con bringing back to the neighborhood? My guess, not the ones we want.
  14. gatorman_07732
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    gatorman_07732 Well-Known Member

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    This differs though from the OP in his argument is the destruction of the family unit is due to the war on drugs. Basically the argument if drugs were legal the black family would be in tact.
  15. g8orbill
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    g8orbill Gators VIP Member

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    approximately 93% of blacks killed are killed by other blacks

    there were about 400 blacks killed in 2013 by police officers
  16. CHFG8R
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    CHFG8R Premium Member

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    No it doesn't. As I said, there is more at play than a simple correlation between men incarcerated and men not available for marriage. The incarceration, in essence, corrupts the man in many, many, many cases. So, yes, if there was never a war on drugs, and if said war wasn't having a dramatically greater affect on one demographic, then perhaps things would be different. As I see it, this is just a starting point. Myriad factors come into play after this in the typical snowball effect.
  17. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Indeed. My parents are college educated, so they had more of an understanding of the "why" and potential consequences if I pushed back on some of what they said I should be doing.
  18. gatorman_07732
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    gatorman_07732 Well-Known Member

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    Just like alcohol, drugs ruins peoples lives. To think you can erase that with making them legal is not right.
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  19. philnotfil
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    philnotfil Well-Known Member

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    We wouldn't be erasing the effects of drug and alcohol, just the effects of incarcerating people that would otherwise be functional humans.

    The war on drugs destroys lives that weren't being destroyed by drugs.
  20. gatorman_07732
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    gatorman_07732 Well-Known Member

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    Some yes, but not all. Your assumption is simple possession.

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