America Is a Prison

In America, the right wing conservatives often want the working class to see freedom in terms of economic freedom and not actual freedom, i.e. human rights. Therefore they champion economic deregulation under the guise of making it easier for the small business to operate. What economic deregulation and large tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations does is create a prison without walls for the working class. While we may be free to make the choice not to go to work because we are running a high fever or have an injury, this is not freedom because we will lose the precious income needed to keep a roof over our heads, food for our families, and to keep up with car payments. So we march our way into the dystopian hellscape that is the workplace and we put up with tyrannical dictators for managers.

I am a technology guy so I always like to draw a comparison between life in America and technology. In technology, we have something called geofencing. Geofencing basically uses GPS to confine a robot to operate only in an existing area or for an application to stop working once a user’s tablet or smartphone travels outside of permissable area. A geofence is akin to an invisible fence for a dog. We are subject to this geofence cum invisible fence daily. If we exceed or fail to even meet these boundaries, we are issued a punishment of sorts. Our punishment might be as mild as losing 2 day’s wages to being homeless, bankrupt, and destitution. We are a prisoner to our monetary needs as well. Famous mobster Meyer Lansky is quoted as saying, “Money talks and bullshit walks.”

If you have served time in a prison, then unironically, you know and understand the clear boundaries the walls and doors create. If you get sick, you will still have a roof over your head and a place to sleep as well as the opportunity to see a member of the medical staff to get medicine. Prison life is not easy and it is still frought with certain kinds of dangers but it is no more dangerous than having to sleep on the street in a bad part of town and there is still administrative segregation that can be often requested. I’ve often said that if I ever end up incarcerated, I will request administrative segregation because I am used to spending large amounts of time on my own.

Simply living in America everyday is an anxiety and fear producing experience. We fear sudden loss of income and many of us intrinsically know that we are one illness, injury, or incident away from bankruptcy. That’s not freedom! It actually feels a lot like terrorism. The wealthy want us in a geofenced prison where we live in a constant mortal fear and worry so we can be controlled with the joystick of society. Freedom is social, economic, environment, and racial justice, not the invisible bars that shape daily life in America.

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