Guilty as Charged: Prisoners and "Democracy"

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2 Responses

  1. Min says:

    Democracy is always about oligarchy, something which in its technical aspect, essential for any society or organization to function. Speaking in a context of a fable, allow me to build upon the essence of democracy: The peasant in the fable, when on his death-bed, tells his sons that a treasure is buried in the field. After the old man’s death the sons dig everywhere in order to discover the treasure. They do not find it. But their indefatigable labor improves the soil and secures for them a comparative well-being. The treasure in the fable may well symbolize democracy. Democracy is a treasure which no one will ever discover by deliberate search. It is implicit, latent, and democracy must remain purely ideal, possessing no other value than that of a moral criterion which renders it possible to appreciate the varying degrees of that oligarchy, governance and, inevitably nation-state. I have simplified and generalized to an enormous degree about democracy and oligarchy.

  2. kiyallsmith says:

    I find it particularly disturbing when voting rights are taken away from prisoners for the rest of their lives. I think this is often reserved for felony criminals, but it still challenges conceptions of participatory democracy. The minority disproportionality surely does make this look like some kind of Jim Crow era law sneaking back on the books. Great post and interesting questions!


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