Advertisement

“The Prison and the Factory” Revisited (2017): Penality and the Critique of Political Economy Between Marx and Foucault

  • Dario Melossi
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)

Abstract

In 1977 the manuscript of Carcere e fabbrica: alle origini del sistema penitenziario was published in Italian (Melossi and Pavarini 1977). We are therefore publishing this new edition in English exactly 40 years since the original publication. Essentially the book consisted of a review of historical material about the origins of imprisonment, informed by a Marxist vision. This was also its claim to originality in the sense that, by applying a Marxist reading to prison history materials, it appeared clearly that the very origin, the very “invention” of the prison, is tightly linked to what Marx, in the first volume of Capital, calls “original” or “primitive” accumulation. Not only this but, in the centuries that followed, the very logic of primitive accumulation would be reproduced and expanded through the incessant conquest and colonization of pre-capitalist areas of society, not only, obviously, in its capitalist matrix, but also in the penal system, by virtue of the crucial requirement of “discipline” (I shall expand on this later on). Notwithstanding, the book has often been read as if it had been a story about the invention of the prison as some kind of “school” (a “professional training school” perhaps?) for an apprentice working class—confusing our thesis, I surmise, with penological visions on rehabilitation/resocialisation/re-education (as Italians call it) by means of work. Hence, there were lots of instances in which critics were only too happy to show that this was not indeed the case. Even if, at times, prisons might indeed have looked a bit like such schools or vocational institutes, this is certainly not what we meant. Through the following very synthetic reconstruction of the genesis of the book, as well as of some of its aftermath, I will try to show why I have always been quite unhappy with such a (wrong) reading.

References

  1. Balandi, Gianl Guido 2012 “Era una sera calda e afosa”. Pp. 39–46 in Luca Nogler and Luisa Corazza (Eds.), Risistemare il diritto del lavoro. Liber amicorum Marcello Pedrazzoli. Milano: Franco Angeli.Google Scholar
  2. Basaglia, Franco (Ed) 1968 L’istituzione negata. Torino:Einaudi.Google Scholar
  3. Bauman, Zygmunt 1995 “Making and Unmaking of Strangers.” Thesis Eleven, November, 43: 1–16.Google Scholar
  4. Bell Daniel, 1960, The End of Ideology: On the Exhaustion of Political Ideas in the Fifties, Cambridge: Havard UP, 2000.Google Scholar
  5. Bentham Jeremy, 1787 “Panopticon”. Pp. 37–66 in The Works of Jeremy Bentham. New York: Russell & Russell, 1971.Google Scholar
  6. Bergmann, Uwe, Rudi Dutschke, Wolfgang Lefèvre and Bernd Rabehl, 1968 Die Rebellion der Studenten oder Die neue Opposition Berlin: Rowohlt.Google Scholar
  7. Bobbio, Norberto, 1987 “Ricordo di Giovanni Tarello”, Materiali per una Storia della Cultura Giuridica 17:303.Google Scholar
  8. Bourgois, Philippe, 1995 In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (see also the “Preface to the 2003 Second Edition”. Pp. xvii–xxiii).Google Scholar
  9. Braverman, Harry 1974 Labour and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century, New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
  10. Cohen, Stanley 1985 Visions of Social Control. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  11. Davis, Angela 2014 “Interview with Angela Davis” Social Justice 40 (1–2): 37–53.Google Scholar
  12. Dobb, Maurice 1946 Studies in the Development of Capitalism London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Dumm, Thomas L. 1987 Democracy and Punishment: Disciplinary Origins of the United States. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  14. Elden, Stuart 2015 “A More Marxist Foucault? Reading La société punitiveHistorical Materialism 23:149–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Engels, Friederich 1845 The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844. New York: International, 1975.Google Scholar
  16. Fasso’, Guido 1969 “Il positivismo giuridico ‘contestato’”, Rivista Trimestrale di Diritto e Procedura Civile 22:289.Google Scholar
  17. Feeley, Malcolm M. and Jonathan Simon 1994 “Actuarial justice: the emerging new criminal law”. Pp. 173–201 in D. Nelken (Ed.), The Futures of Criminology, London: Sage.Google Scholar
  18. Feeley, Malcolm M. e Jonathan Simon 1992 “The New Penology: Notes on the Emerging Strategy of Corrections and Its Implications,” Criminology 30:449–74.Google Scholar
  19. Foucault, Michel 1973 The Punitive Society. Lectures at the Collège de France 1972–1973. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.Google Scholar
  20. Foucault, Michel 1974 “Michel Foucault on Attica: An Interview”, Telos 19:154–161 (reprinted in Social Justice 1991, 18 (3), 27).Google Scholar
  21. Foucault, Michel 1975, Discipline and Punish. New York: Pantheon, 1977.Google Scholar
  22. Garland David, 2014 “What is a ‘history of the present’? On Foucault’s genealogies and their critical preconditions”, Punishment and Society 16:365–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Garland, David, 1990, Punishment and Modern Society: A Study in Social Theory. Co-published by the University of Chicago Press and Oxford University Press, 312 pages.Google Scholar
  24. Goffman, Alice 2014 On the Run. Fugitive Life in an American City. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Goffman, Erving 1961 Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates. Garden City (NY): Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  26. Habermas, Jürgen 1973 Legitimation Crisis. Boston: Beacon, 1975.Google Scholar
  27. Harcourt, Bernard E. 2013 “Course Context”. Pp. 265–310 in Michel Foucault, The Punitive Society. Lectures at the Collège de France 1972–1973. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.Google Scholar
  28. Harcourt, Bernard E., 2010, “Neoliberal penality: A brief genealogy.” Theoretical Criminology 14: 74–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hay, Douglas, Peter Linebaugh, John G. Rule, E. P. Thompson, and Cal Winslow 1975 Albion’s Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth-Century England. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  30. Howe, Richard H. 1978 “Max Weber’s Elective Affinities: Sociology within the bounds of pure reason”, American Journal of Sociology 84:366–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Huggins, Ericka 2014 “Two Interviews with Ericka Huggins” Social Justice 40:54–71.Google Scholar
  32. Kraushaar Wolgang (Ed.), 1978, Autonomie Oder Getto, Kontroversen über die Alternativbevegung, Frankfurt: Verlag Neue Kritik.Google Scholar
  33. Lewis, Orlando F. 1922 The Development of American Prisons and Prisons Customs 1776 to 1845. Whitefish: Kessinger, 2005.Google Scholar
  34. Luxemburg, Rosa 1904 Organizational Questions of the Russian Social Democracy in Rosa Luxemburg, The Russian Revolution and Leninism or Marxism? Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1961.Google Scholar
  35. Marx, Karl 1867 Capital. Volume I. New York: International Publishers.Google Scholar
  36. Marx, Karl 1859 Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1977.Google Scholar
  37. Melossi, Dario 2015 Crime, Punishment and Migration. London: SAGE Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Melossi Dario 2008 Controlling Crime, Controlling Society: Thinking about Crime in Europe and America. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  39. Melossi, Dario 2003 “The Simple ‘Heuristic Maxim’ of an ‘Unusual Human Being’”. “Introduction” (pages 9–46) to the Transaction Edition of G.Rusche and O.Kirchheimer, Punishment and Social Structure, New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  40. Melossi, Dario 1980a “Georg Rusche: A Biographical Essay.” Crime and Social Justice 14:51–63.Google Scholar
  41. Melossi Dario, 1980b, “Oltre il ‘Panopticon’. Per uno studio delle strategie di controllo sociale nel capitalismo del ventesimo secolo”, La questione criminale, VI, 2–3, 277–361.Google Scholar
  42. Melossi, Dario 1979 “Institutions of Social Control and Capitalist Organization of Work.” Pp. 90–9 in Bob Fine et al., (eds.) Capitalism and the Rule of Law: From Deviancy Theory to Marxism. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  43. Melossi, Dario 1977 “Prison and Labour in Europe and Italy during the Formation of the Capitalist Mode of Production”. Pp. 9–95 in Dario Melossi and Massimo Pavarini, The Prison and the Factory: Origins of the Penitentiary System, 1981.Google Scholar
  44. Melossi, Dario 1976 “The Penal Question in ‘Capital’.” Crime and Social Justice 5:26–33.Google Scholar
  45. Melossi, Dario 1975a “Criminologia e marxismo: alle origini della questione penale nella societa de ‘Il capitale’.” La questione criminale 1:319–38.Google Scholar
  46. Melossi, Dario 1975b “Da Colchester a Bielefeld.” La questione criminale 1:189–95.Google Scholar
  47. Melossi, Dario and Massimo Pavarini 1981 The Prison and the Factory: Origins of the Penitentiary System. London: Macmillan and Totowa (NJ): Barnes and Noble (translation of Dario Melossi and Massimo Pavarini, Carcere e fabbrica: alle origini del sistema penitenziario. Bologna: Il mulino, 1977).Google Scholar
  48. Melossi, Dario and Massimo Pavarini 1977 Carcere e fabbrica: alle origini del sistema penitenziario. Bologna: Il mulino.Google Scholar
  49. Mills, C. Wright 1959 The Sociological Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  50. O’Connor, James 1973 The Fiscal Crisis of the State New York: St.Martin’s Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Pashukanis, Evgeni 1924 The General Theory of Law and Marxism. Pp. 37–131 in P. Beirne and R. Sharlet (Eds.), Pashukanis: Selected Writings on Marxism and Law. London: Academic Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  52. Rios Victor M., 2011, Punished. Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys, New York, New York University PressGoogle Scholar
  53. Rosenfeld, Seth 2012 Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux.Google Scholar
  54. Rusche, Georg and Otto Kirchheimer, 1939, Punishment and Social Structure. New Brunswick (NJ): Transaction Publishers, 2003.Google Scholar
  55. Scull, Andrew T., 1977, Decarceration: Community Treatment and the Deviant – A Radical View. Englewood Cliffs (NJ) : Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  56. Seidensticker, Oswald 1878 “William Penn’s Travels in Holland and Germany in 1677”, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 2(3):237–282.Google Scholar
  57. Sellin, Thorsten 1944 Pioneering in Penology. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Simon Jonathan, 2014, “A Radical Need for Criminology”, Social Justice, 40, 1–2, 9–23.Google Scholar
  59. Taylor, Ian, Paul Walton, and Jock Young 1973 The New Criminology: For a Social Theory of Deviance. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  60. Taylor, Ian, Paul Walton, and Jock Young (eds) 1975 Critical Criminology. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  61. Thompson, Edward P. 1975 Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  62. Thompson, Heather Ann 2016 Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  63. Weber, Max 1904–5 The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. New York: Scribner’s, 1958.Google Scholar
  64. Welch Michael, 2011, “Counterveillance: How Foucault and the Groupe d’information sur les prisons reversed the optics”, Theoretical Criminology, 15,3, 301–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Welch Michael, 2010, “Pastoral power as penal resistence: Foucault and the Groupe d’information sur les prisons”, Punishment & Society, 12, 1, 47–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Young, Jock 2013 “Introduction to 40th anniversary edition”. Pp. xi–li in Ian Taylor, Paul Walton, and Jock Young The New Criminology: For a Social Theory of Deviance. 40 th anniversary edition. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dario Melossi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BolognaBolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations