Maybe the most important form of copaganda
Alec, I have to say your analysis strikes me as having exactly the same issues in immigration policy. That is, there are the same forces at work leveraging their deception in the punishment bureaucracy to jail and deport immigrants and have politicians making anti-immigration policies to support their money stream. Good work.
This is such great analysis. The Big Deception that you describe is so universal and so ingrained that it creates cognitive dissonance, denial, and even anger in people when one tries to do what you are doing here, which is to explain (and illustrate extremely well!) the inherent exploitative incentives and mechanisms that underly so much of what we think of as the best and most “natural” ways in which to conduct ourselves and to organize our institutions and laws for the greater good, including our nation’s founding goals of Liberty, Equality, and Justice for all.
Our Fourth Estate (the press), in particular, has completely failed in the charge that it was given by our Constitution, of being “We, The People’s” guardians in relentlessly investigating and exposing governmental and institutional corruption, overreach, incompetence, and misadventure of just the sort you describe.
Addressing all of this in ways that are accessible and compelling to the sort of broad coalition that could make a difference in all of this is a daunting, but absolutely essential, lift. Thanks for putting your strong backbone into it!
This is a great analysis. It reminds me a bit of some of the arguments in Bernard Harcourt's The Illusion of Free Markets, which is about the academic construction of the myth of punishment as the natural realm of state interference. Respectable media types who have been educated to implicitly see policing and punishment as natural and inevitable probably are highly credulous of the deceptions that you describe here. Of course, some of this might reflect my own tendency in life to blame economists and lawyers for everything.
Fantastic article. I really appreciate the patience and clarity with which you explain each point.
Music to my ears, balm to my heart. I look forward to the rest of your series.🌼
What a really exciting and eye opening article. I have to catch my breath before reading the next segment of THE Big DECEPTION. Thank you Alec
In my view, the deeper you go to find the causes of any social woes, what you come to ultimately is capitalism itself. It doesn't seem to me that we can get to real fairness in anything until we demolish it, as it is an inherently exploitive, inhumane reverse Robin Hood system.
Thank you for putting into words a variety of thoughts I've been struggling to articulate for a few months. One segment that really resonated with me was: "Given the good faith news framing, many well-meaning progressives therefore become convinced either that the policies are the best we have been able to come up with in a difficult situation" - This is something I've struggled with when talking with self-described "centrists/moderates". I have talked to many very smart people who haven't taken much time to read about policing or criminal justice and whenever I present evidence that indicates some action must be made to change systems, they tend to use the conversation-ender "well, these things are very complicated and there's a lot of evidence out there", or something similar. It's very frustrating and I'm not sure how to win over well-intentioned friends who just don't feel like grappling with an issue.
LOVE this essay! Here's one I published: https://www.durangoherald.com/articles/bystander-distress-moral-injury-affects-childrens-mental-health/
Musing at the reasoned way your article supports the analysis of a drug-dealer's son: how else could his father feed and clothe his family, given the systemic racism and over policing their community experienced, day in and day out?