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Drug War PathologiesEmbedded Corporatism and U.S. Drug Enforcement in the Americas$
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Horace A. Bartilow

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469652559

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652559.001.0001

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Drug War Capitalism and Class Conflict in the Americas

Drug War Capitalism and Class Conflict in the Americas

(p.185) Chapter 8 Drug War Capitalism and Class Conflict in the Americas
Drug War Pathologies

Horace A. Bartilow

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter argues that the drug war is a manifestation of class conflict in Latin America and the United States. The chapter is motivated by the following questions: Under what conditions is the drug war used to repress labor unions and, in the process, increase income inequality in Latin America? What political mechanisms in the United States create linkages among drug enforcement, income inequality, poverty, mass incarceration, and corporate capital accumulation? In answering these questions, the chapter discusses the relationships among U.S. counternarcotic aid, the repression of workers’ rights, and income inequality in Latin America and the relationship between drug enforcement and income inequality in the United States. The chapter estimates data for twenty-one countries from Latin America, covering 2003 to 2012 using a time-series cross section (TSCS) statistical model and estimates data for the United States, covering 2000 to 2012 using TSCS and structural equation modeling. The statistical results show that increasing levels of counternarcotic aid to Latin American governments increases income inequality when the rights of workers are increasingly repressed. And increasing levels of drug enforcement in the United States is associated with increasing levels of income inequality, poverty, mass incarceration and corporate revenues generated from prison labor.

Keywords:   drug war capitalism, counternarcotic aid, class conflict, income inequality, worker repression, mass incarceration, prison labor, corporate revenues, corporate capital accumulation

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