April 24th, 2008

The Sane Society: US leads world in “prisoner production”

As we pack our lives into pickup trucks and head down the dusty road of dearth for Depression, the Times is good to point out that by at least one measure of socioeconomic production the US is still number one.

An old friend who was raised to hate the Soviet Union always refused to grasp that since the advent of the War on Drugs the US has a higher rate of incarceration than the Reds at the height of Stalinism.

(One angle: Seems we freed the slaves then put them in jail.)

Do we live in a Sane Society?

There are other measures. Suicide rates. The now fairly well entrenched fad of adolescents massacring fellow students.

I’ve never, at least since the passing of Santa Claus, been a faithful Christian. But since that same time it has also been clear, in the bones if not between the ears, that the American Civilization (as certain stodgy Brit historians insist on calling it) or, better, the Scientific Civilization, which in the west succeeded Christendom immaturely when the latter blew its brains out in 1914, is off its rocker.

Ungovernable. At odds with the Kind-of-Being-that- is-Human. Chronically mass murderous. And (the most Inconvenient Truth of all) suicidal.

But the new Grand Theft Auto is dynamite. And there’s always Second Life when your first one gets snuffed. (Or …? How does that work?)

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