I’m late to the party here. Not sure what else can be said. But I’ll say this much: what initially galled me so much about Governor Walker’s actions isn’t that he tried to eviscerate one of the few remaining instruments Wisconsin’s public employees had for making their interests heard. It’s that he was so blatant about it. A smoother operator likely could have effectively marginalized the state’s public unions without overextending himself and causing a ruckus.
But overextend himself we did, and now we’re being treated to the curious spectacle of American middle-class workers rebelling against the further concentration of political and economic power around an oligarchical elite. They’re resisting in public. How weird is that? I think I read about it in a book once.
I’d gotten used to thinking of America’s stumbling descent into neo-feudalism as a sort of historical inevitability, and perhaps it is yet. But “historical inevitability” is too grand a term to be anything but an abstraction, something for future historians and political theorists to scratch their heads over. It doesn’t do justice to the effect this is having on real people who live in this country right now. Living the privileged yuppie existence I do, it’s been all too easy to think about the systematic brutalization of the less lucky in purely academic, theoretical terms. Recent events in Wisconsin have caused these matters to take on a certain tactile, visceral immediacy.
To put it in less flowery language: recent events have lit a fire under my ass. I hope you feel that same fire under yours. Because historical inevitability or no, I know future me would sleep a lot easier knowing I’d kept fighting until there wasn’t a single square foot of ground left to fight on.
Where to start? Well, you might consider ordering some hungry folks a pizza.