Friday, March 11, 2011

Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore: democracy is at stake in Madison Wisconsin

"If people don’t understand by now the level of this war—and it is a war, it is a class war on the people of this country by those in power and the tools that they have bought and paid for, who now serve in these legislatures"
Michael Moore
Sheldon Wolin the great American political scientist calls it "inverted totalitarianism". The inter meshing of state and corporate power, when the role of government and the political system is to serve corporate power. It is on display in Wisconsin.
After weeks of protests and resistance  the Republican Governor of Wisconsin finally forced through a bill to destroy public sector unions and disenfranchise public sector workers. In the dark of the night and without telling the opposition members of Parliament, Republicans passed an illegal bill, without a debate or vote, and without any Opposition members present.

This action was a coup d'etat by the Republican Governor whose actions have been backed and bankrolled by wealthy corporate donors. This action has bought protesters out on the street.Workers, students and union supporters raced to the Capitol.  Within hours, an estimated 7,000 people had re-occupied the Capitol. A General Strike and Day of Action is planned. Farmers are driving tractors into the city to join the protest in solidarity with public sector workers and protesters

As Noam Chomsky points out democracy is at stake in Madison Wisconsin:
In the U.S., unions are the primary counter force to corporate tyranny.

By now, U.S. private-sector unions have been severely weakened. Public-sector unions have recently come under sharp attack from right-wing opponents who cynically exploit the economic crisis caused primarily by the finance industry and its associates in government.

Popular anger must be diverted from the agents of the financial crisis, who are profiting from it; for example, Goldman Sachs, “on track to pay out $17.5 billion in compensation for last year,” the business press reports, with CEO Lloyd Blankfein receiving a $12.6 million bonus while his base salary more than triples to $2 million.

Instead, propaganda must blame teachers and other public-sector workers with their fat salaries and exorbitant pensions – all a fabrication, on a model that is all too familiar. To Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker, to other Republicans and many Democrats, the slogan is that austerity must be shared – with some notable exceptions.

The propaganda has been fairly effective. Walker can count on at least a large minority to support his brazen effort to destroy the unions. Invoking the deficit as an excuse is pure farce.

In different ways, the fate of democracy is at stake in Madison, Wis., no less than it is in Tahrir Square.

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