Monday, July 22, 2013

"1984" Has Arrived--in California

Apparently inmates in certain Cali prisons can be thrown into
solitary confinement for reading-yes, READING- Machiavelli's
The Prince. A quick review of 1984's plot reminds me about
the complete thought control system employed by a fictional
society in 1984, according to author George Orwell.

Are we heading into such an abyss? Why would anyone punish
a prisoner for reading The Prince? I have a copy, and it is nothing
more than a testament to the brilliant, independent, practical
and logical systems of a particular political gun for hire (AKA,
adviser to kings). Marvelous if amoral Machiavelli posited
several completely different rationales to assist his various
bosses, each of which seems to achieve internal consistency....

--AHEM, to the intellectually weak wardens of  such stilted
institutions, it's memo time:

(1) Chances are excellent that no inmate will be able to glean
any useful tips from The Prince to  orchestrate a jailbreak or
create a working gang of his peers.

(2) Readers often make better thinkers--don't you want
that in a troubled population?

(3) It's a world-renowned classic--get over yourselves and
stop showing said world your ignorance.

Machiavelli obviously took a generally dim view of  human
nature, which heavily colored his philosophy. But he was a
political strategist, not a priest, so in that sense, he might
be considered "a bad influence" by certain wardens and

Regarding reading during incarceration, let's look at
what happened to Malcolm X during his eight years in a
Norfolk, MA prison. It boasted one of the largest prison
libraries in the U.S., and Malcolm took advantage of this
resource, leaving the correctional system a changed and
better man.

Have authorities in Cali read 1984, contributing to the state's
moral decline? Please, California, stop attempting mind control.
It ultimately doesn't work anyway, makes life less worth living
for everyone--even the would be "controllers'.


  1. On paper ( MUCH in our world seems to only be on paper ) Prisons are meant to punish ( TRULY GUILTY not innocent ) people. Also to help them better them selves and become productive members of society.

    There was a time many centuries ago when openly ( Even laws were passed ) preventing blacks, women , and others from improving them selves( I- E learn to read, write, own property vote, etc). Certain people were said to be less than dogs. People with various disabilities could not get an education. Many that complained about these conditions were ACCUSED of being witches, etc.

    My GOD! I hope we are not on any level regressing.

    Great post as usual that makes one think Amber. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, "Commander". I believe we are regressing; I'm especially sorry for young hopeful families. I just received a textbook published in 1975 from Amazon, an environmental work which mostly still holds up, including the correct prediction back then about when Earth's human population would reach seven billion.

      It's sad yet useful to look back to 1975 to some scientists' enthusiasms for projected progress, when in 1980 and more recently the U.S. has steadfastly refused (like China) to sign the Kyoto Protocol, which would stave off some of our galloping environmental degradation. We pollute and waste more than any other nation, although China is catching up and wants the privilege of continuing to do so into the future.

      Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, here we come!

    2. Yes Amber. Well stated. I was 15 in 1975. WOW! seems like yesterday( I can identify with how my late great parents viewed their youth and their old days )0The predictions in books, news articles. The realities of our times.

      Lady Amber. Where there are sane , caring people and where there is life and those of us living it and encouraging others to do so, There is hope I feel.

      I had a birthday recently, like many in our times face challenges, However I feel like a 20 year old hopeful young buck in side!!( I know I am not and I am glad I have gained much wisdom since the nineteen eighties I will never give in, give out, give up, conform, nor sell outto Negativity ( thoughts nor deeds ) I see many doing so around me. I know you will not either.

      God bless you . Enjoy the wonders and joys of our life no matter what dear Amber..

  2. Happy belated natal day, Commander. I like your attitude and determination.

    The mind boggles. How can any level-headed prison official impose solitary on a prisoner for reading .... anything? I'd be curious to know which California prison that is, and whether those in command there are doing other stuff to make prisoners' lives more difficult.