Wisconsin

As you might know if you read this regularly, I’m a big picture kind of guy. At this point, my ideal future for the United States may or may not hold a lengthy and violent political and economic revolution. Historically speaking, the reason that one group of people hasn’t controlled everything forever is because every time one subgroup of society gets too close to complete control over the lives and assets of the other castes within that society, the majority eventually takes them back. The process is not always performed through violent revolution, in fact the reason we are in a bit of a sticky situation right now is in no small part due to the ability, perfected during colonial times, of those in power to appear to give up their power in acquiescence to popular demand, while in fact simply transitioning it to others among them with the same agenda. If that sounds familiar to some people, it is probably because that has been the United States political system for the past 50 years.  However, this can only continue for so long, and from all observation of our politicians, media, corporations, and citizens, it will reach a breaking point fairly soon.  In fact, I would say that if the US continues in the same directions it has been heading for the past 32 or so years, we will see the complete collapse of American society within 15 to 25 years.

Alternatively, those in power can simply rebalance the economic scales throuh beneficial social programs and give people back control over their lives. This might sound familiar to people who do not live in the United States, as literally dozens of other first world countries have done this and seen vast improvements in both their national economy and morale. Of course, talking about these successes is not even considered acceptible in the American political dialogue.  It is vitally important to everyone involved in the political process that Americans know as little about the socially beneficial policies of other nations as possible.  For instance, to discuss the handling of natural resources in countries like Norway or Chavez’s Venezuala would simply be awkward.  Despite the better intentions of a few well meaning Democrats, one Socialist, and no Communists, the US seems hell-bent for leather on not following this path.  This explains the visible terror felt by all of those in power at the Arab Spring, and the continued social unrest in the Middle East; which for all of our protestations, has more in common with our country than we would perhaps care to admit.

So yes, I am depressed that Scott Walker won.  In the short run.  In the long run, however, I view more time with the delightful Mr. Walker as a tremendous catalyst towards a violent upheaval of our social structure.  While some will say that 53% of Wisconsonians (Wisconsinites?) voted in favor of the politicis and policies of Walker, since the voter turnout in the election was right around 50%.  As policies on both a state and national level continue to favor less and less people at the expense of more and more, I think we will at last finally see substantial rises in the voting numbers, and it won’t be because people are happy with the way things are going.  Walker is a polarizing figure, one that is actually willing to go out there and both politically and verbally attack poor people, teachers, the disabled, and the elderly.  While this plays well with certain members of the voting public, I am fairly certain it simply expediates the national sink-or-swim moment, which is something I am definitely looking forward to.

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One comment on “Wisconsin

  1. Oxzen says:

    As ever, thanks for an informative and insightful post.

    I agree with you that a few more years of the appalling Mr Walker might be very educational for the electorate. This is what happened in the UK in the late 80s and early 90s when Thatcherite ideology was tested to destruction, with the consequence that the Conservative brand became toxic and made the Tory party unelectable for nearly two decades. In the minds of a great many people who lived through that period that toxicity persists to the present time. Not that the next government was much better – as we now know from the era of the Blair regime and its alliance with George W!

    I do think, however, that little or no long-term lasting good comes from violent reaction to social and political events. As a believer in radical non-violent change it was a thrill to see what happened in Tunisia and Egypt when the people came out, occupied public spaces, went on strike, and insisted that radical change took place. Of course this process is still playing out in those countries, and it may need to continue indefinitely as a way of public opinion expressing itself and forcing politicians to listen to the voices of the people. It’s not enough to say – OK we had an election, and now we can leave everything to a new set of politicians.

    Hopefully in this current election year progressive public opinion in the US will make itself heard, and speak loudly enough to influence the election and what follows. The alternative, presumably, is letting the Tea Party agenda dominate public discourse, followed by four years of Mitt. Even as a mere pragmatist there’s a greater chance of Obama bringing about the radical changes that will surely be needed to deal with present and future crises throughout the US and the rest of the world. Obviously a lot will depend on the majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives. Good luck with all of that! As you say, time is running out.

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