Is anyone else of the opinion that the street level actions in Wisconsin have lost all direction, and have been replaced with the bureaucratic red tape, and questionable out come, of the Recall efforts? The movement has been derailed, with unions throwing their support and efforts into another illusion- that the will of the People will somehow be manifest in another try at using a broken and corrupt process.
Make no mistake- I support the stance of the people in Wisconsin, but what might have turned into the spark that would ignite a real, revolutionary change has been, in my opinion marginalized into a “package” of pointless petitions. As in the case of the Egyptian Revolution, the impetus has been subverted, the Powers that be remain firmly in control.
The streets are pretty much empty now. The chanting crowds, the sit-ins, the signs, the swelling understanding that the common people do- in fact- have power has disappeared. The major media had never embraced coverage of the events unfolding, but they had mentioned it in passing, in a grudging sort of way. Now they have moved on, the focus has shifted, the mass mind now safely redirected into less dangerous areas.
The unions have adjusted, after first being in the uncomfortable position of having action come from the bottom up. It was almost funny to see the leadership scrambling, trying to regain control of the membership. They are now firmly back in charge and are focusing on recall efforts. Should we be surprised that, at the end of the day, the unions are in fall back position? Should we be surprised that the leadership is now whipping up support for a return to belief in the system? We are now being told that the recall is our only effective weapon. Petitioning, getting out the vote, these are the methods we’ll use. Talk of boycotts and generalized strikes has been swept under the rug, talk of sweeping nationwide unity amongst the workers, the common folk, has been safely extinguished. The union leadership is now using the momentum and solidarity that has been created to build membership, and to direct that membership back to the straight and narrow, the old ways, the safe ways.
The radical element has been put to bed.
The draconian efforts of Government grind on, gaining momentum and spreading from Wisconsin to Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Texas. What has changed? In a very real way, Government has learned it’s lesson in Wisconsin: it can do whatever it wants. The People will express outrage, but that outrage can be marginalized, shunted into safe, controllable venting. The angry citizens can be persuaded to redouble their efforts in making the system work. The crowds can be shunted from being in the streets, and redirected into creating calling trees, petitions and getting out the vote- all of which have contributed to our being in the mess we’re in.
I must admit that I’ve been wrong. I’ve been saying that the system is broken. The system is working very, very well, for those in power. We’re not even part of the system.