How can one imagine a socialist state without prisons? I mean, I can understand the tactical benefit of emptying out the prisons during a revolutionary period, the way that, say, the Bolsheviks released criminals from Tsarist prisons about a century ago to advance their communist coup.
Once a socialist state is up and running, though, some sort of prison system is necessary. How else to enforce the confiscatory taxation necessary to pay for a vast welfare state in an economy with the inefficiency of socialism? Liens, payroll withholding, fines, and asset forfeiture can only get a government so far.
Socialist wage and price controls often spawn a black market. How is the government supposed to prevent smuggling of goods, bartering, or off-the-books labor without being able to punish violators with prison?
Socialist state-owned enterprises are so poorly run that the only way they can survive is by using the power of the state to outlaw competition. How would a state-owned enterprise be able to preserve its monopoly without being able to throw would-be competitors in prison?
April 23, 2018
The Irony of Socialists Calling for Abolishing Prisons
Prisons are a staple of socialist political and economic systems, and always have been.
[True socialists, as opposed to those that use socialism as a tool to gain power, have never been that well connected to reality.
It’s possible these people figure that “”reeducation camps”, mental hospitals, and executions will work just fine without traditional prisons. You just never know which path a particular flavor of socialism will go down. You know that the direction will be down.—Joe]