Thursday, March 10, 2011

It Can't Happen Here

Her husband vacations with
another women, she cuts the
crotch out of all the woman’s pants.

For a very long time we have often heard, “It can’t happen here.” Well, it is. Of course it depends upon what “it” is. It could refer to a revolution, a real grass roots people’s revolution against the powers that be (corporations and the wealthy elite). On the other hand, it could refer to the creation of a Fascist State. These two possibilities are currently being played out in the State of Wisconsin. It appears that Governor Walker (who will be lucky to complete a full term) is single-mindedly pursuing a course that could see him end up like his apparent role model, Benito Mussolini. For those of you who don’t remember the end of WW II, Mussolini was dragged out of the state house and hung by his heels. While I am sure this is not the fate Walker might like, if he continues to pursue his objective of doing away with collective bargaining, which the vast majority of Wisconsin citizens are completely opposed to, and if he continues to refuses to back down or even to negotiate, it is possible the crowd could become so frustrated they might turn to violence. As frustration can turn into aggression this is a possibility. The problem here, for his opponents, is if they turn to violence that will only give him an excuse to use his powers to put them down with force. If the crowd can resist turning to violence there is every possibility they and democracy will win. If Walker succeeds he will have managed a Fascist coup that will probably then attempt to spread outward from Wisconsin to eventually take over other states, if not the U.S. entirely. Whichever side prevails doesn’t matter when it comes to the claim that “It can’t happen here.” It is happening here. Here I thought the “Nightmare years” were over when Bush/Cheney finally left and we had a new administration. I am often wrong.

What is happening in Wisconsin is not a unique situation. Very similar things are happening in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and even Idaho (and still other places as well). This is a concerted effort on the part of corporations and the elite to effectively destroy unions. Some of these attempts are so unbelievable it makes one wonder if we are still living in the U.S. In Michigan, for example, they are proposing that a single individual should be given the power to negate any and all laws and regulations if they do not agree with the goals of the State (as defined by Republicans). The one thing all these attempts have in common is the transfer of wealth from the middle class to corporations and the elite. What I find even more disturbing, however, is the implicit assumption t hat education, in particular, is just not important. Idaho is a good example of this. Idaho already has a chronically underfunded and not very good system of public education. The Idaho Congress, that has been Republican controlled for years, has never wanted to fund education, and never has to the extent it should have. Now they want to cut 700 teachers, increase class size, and basically privatize education in the State of Idaho. This is not because they think privatizing education will lead to better education, but because they think it will be cheaper, and as they have never wanted to fund education at all if they could help it, this would be a means to just get rid of the problem. Get it? Education is a “problem,” it costs money, money that, in their view could be better given to corporations and businesses and tax breaks to wealthy farmers. The fact that this is little more than suicidal over time seems not to be considered.

Republicans did so well in the last election partly because conditions in the U.S. are not what they ought to be, and they campaigned on creating jobs and improving things. But seriously, have you seen them make any attempt whatsoever to create jobs? They have focused exclusively on anti-abortion moves, reducing taxes and spending, busting unions, and trying to make corporations even more profitable than they already are. What they have proposed in every case would in fact increase unemployment rather than create jobs. They have, as others have said, declared war on the middle class. They want to return to a society that is composed of the obscenely wealthy at the top and a basically peasant population at the bottom, rather like the situation in the 17 and 1800’s. They seem to have forgotten the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the nation-wide strike of 1877, the union wars of that time and the early 1900’s, and every other failed attempt to abuse and exploit the poor, as well as what is going on at this very moment in the Arab world. They may think it can’t happen here, but it can and almost certainly will if they continue their present course. Walker and his corporate toadies may win the immediate battle but they will almost certainly lose the war.

Workers of the world unite!

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