David ScottJul 20, 2021
Essays on Prisons and Socialist Ethics
Waterside Press 2020
According to Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) 'Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.' Connecting the politics of abolition to wider emancipatory struggles for liberation and social justice, David Scott's book For Abolition: Essays on Prisons and Socialist Ethics (Waterside Press, 2020) argues that penal abolitionism should be understood as an important public critical pedagogy and philosophy of hope that can help to reinvigorate democracy and set society on a pathway towards living in a world without prisons. For Abolition draws upon the socialist ethics of dignity, empathy, freedom and paradigm of life to systematically critique imprisonment as a state institution characterised by 'social death'.