South Korea, 1975 - 1988: Prototype for America’s Prison Industrial Complex
Think of it: mass arrests where thousands of “vagrants” and “undesirables” are swept up and crammed into prisons (with no charges, no trial) for years; decades.
Debtors’ prisons, where people are arrested for petty crimes, and then locked up until they can pay their fines. They can’t pay off their fines while they’re in jail, and they don’t get out of jail until they can pay their fines…
Private prisons (e.g. Corrections Corporation of America/CCA, The GEO Group) whose owners have every incentive to lock up as many victimless nonviolent “criminals” as possible, with ZERO accountability to anyone.
(“Elected” legislators and police departments working hand-in-glove to enforce a corporate agenda — this is one of the hallmarks of Fascism.)
It hasn’t happened here. Yet. But it already happened forty years ago in South Korea.
The linked article is pretty long, but it’s riveting in that horrifying sort of way. The worst of the corporate/Fascist excesses had pretty much run their course by the late 1980s. But none of the culprits has ever been arrested, tried, shamed or held accountable in any way. Every attempt to investigate these crimes has been abruptly squelched by South Korea’s Powers That Be.
From the article:
“In 1975, dictator President Park Chung-hee, father of current President Park Geun-hye, issued a directive to police and local officials to ‘purify’ city streets of vagrants. Police officers, assisted by shop owners, rounded up panhandlers, small-time street merchants selling gum and trinkets, the disabled, lost or unattended children, and dissidents, including a college student who'd been holding anti-government leaflets. They ended up as prisoners at 36 nationwide facilities.”
The most notorious of these facilities was Brothers Home, which had mutated from an orphanage (supposedly) into one of the most vile, brutal prisons in modern history.
Don’t think for one minute that this “can’t happen here.” Jillions of dollars in undisclosed/anonymous donations are flowing from GEO Group and CCA lobbyists, and hundreds of taxpayer-financed prostitutes (formerly known as legislators) are willing to spread their legs as wide as they have to — suck those lobbyists‘ dicks as hard as they‘re told to — if they can just get some of that corporate money.
Yes, It Can Happen Here.