Review: A Colony in a Nation

A Colony in a Nation A Colony in a Nation by Chris Hayes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hayes' book highlights a concept that is fundamental to understanding the US culture today and that is the division between law and order. While articulating that law and the protection of the law are important, Hayes divorces "order" from the standard "law and order" to challenge the implications of a society that demand order in the numerous ways that our society does. Hand in hand with this, he connects that argument to the concepts of colony and a nation; those who belong to a nation where law and order are not disruptive but positive parts of people's lives because while the law-part keeps them protected, the order part means they don't have to deal with things they don't want to (loud neighbors, homeless people, anyone that can be claimed to be causing disorder). However, then there is those who live in the colony; typically, marginalized people, though plenty of white people fall into this category as well. He draws this analogy from, of course, our colonial days and the difference in what it means to be a British colonist and a US citizen. It's a striking analogy as he provides examples and arguments for the ways in which it works and perpetuates injustice in our society. For those looking to understand the underlying tension and contradictions of a society that's masturbatorily ecstatic about freedom, yet has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

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