Tuesday, March 15, 2011

rise of the new mercenaries

Video - Naomi Klein on Democracy Now talking about Shock Doctrine in Wisconsin.

Undernews | One of the things that has perplexed me about the current chaos is how did so many Republicans become so bizarrely crazy so fast? The closest example that comes to mind is the McCarthy era – but that only targeted a progressive minority and not all union members and the middle class. Further, McCarthy was brought down with the help of other Republicans who saw the damage he was doing to their cause. Has any leading Republican spoken out firmly against Scott Walker?

While it is easy to blame it on the fiscal crisis, that seems a bit too simple. For example, consider the number of Republican politicians who have announced their retirement in the face of potential more rightwing opposition. I suspect what’s scaring these folks is not ideology but money. They are not facing a grass roots rebellion but political mercenaries well paid by forces recently liberated by the Supreme Court decision on corporate personhood.

One of the ways you can tell they’re mercenaries is because true conservatives act more like Ron Paul, people with a solid record of commitment to particular ideas. Can you imagine John Boehner actually having a coherent set of principles? Or Scott Walker doing anything based on ideals rather than campaign cash flow?

We have been educated to treat politics as a battle of ideas. In America it no longer is. It is the elite and their well financed mercenaries on the one side and their victims on the other. A milder and less violent variety of what’s going on in Libya but still pretty damn ugly.


submariner said...

Not sure how this plays out but if the repeal movement in Wisconsin gains traction and a credible progressive like Feingold becomes the executive or Ohio becames a battlegound and Kucinich emerges then conservatives will regret this moment. The precedent for unilateral amendment of a contract by the state has been established. In this case it's directed at unions but in another it could be bondholders or banks holding mortgages.

CNu said...

Long time no see Doc...,

nice try, but I think the "states-rights" precedent brouhaha is already at its mature stage of metastatic development with mortgage and credit card defaults and the way in which some states are enforcing creditor privileges and prerogatives and the borrowers can just be damned.

submariner said...

As you point out, the interests represented by Walker and others hold the advantage because of the meager influence of the public in the higher court. But today's Huffington Post has a story about Obama administration officials in high level and tense negotiations with banks to modify mortgages because states are seeking their own presumably tougher redresses.

For me this is less about the capacity of the federal system to provide protections to workers and average citizens than how do we use such crisis to inspire a participatory form of development. That's where I think Klein and many others from the left come up short. In my opinion, the power of a recall movement is precisely this reliance on sustained engagement by the public.

CNu said...

The Teamsters/AFL-CIO are out in front of M&I Bank this week downtown in KC. They're going in on Walker, Koch, and the whole dirty nine yards - along with articulating and pushing the funds withdrawal boycott approach as a primary means of punishing corporate evil-doers.

I believe it's safe to say that the battle has now been enjoined by folk with a coordinated infrastructure, boots on the ground, and the potential staying power to keep this message and mass activity alive over an extended period of time.

Personally, I've always gotten along famously with Vietnam Vet, Harley-riding union cats who're quick to call me brother, can talk about anything and everything under the sun, and who remain the bulwark of resistance that's genuinely willing to throw down if it comes to that.

nanakwame said...

Recall is a good start - The GOP knows that Regionalism within the USA is being accentuated: example - African-Americans who want to claim that authentic is simply those who come from the South of the USA, and Euro-Americans who preach South West conservatives as its roots (Goldwater), both a form of nativism in my book. Why they are working on other ethnicity that has come to these regions and not worrying much about blacks born here. For a study on happiness states that Afro-Americans in the South are at the happiest they have ever been (given historical factors may be true)?
Libertines imho better understand that local is not a slogan anymore but a reality, even with the increase climate problems in front of us and areas it will affect the most. There is a modern feudalism afoot for poorer families; those in the federal level are attempting to soften its speed as it keeps the eye on the global game. This is a huge nation, we tend to forget; we were lucky not to be like Russia, yet; we have similar figures and potential problems. My travel to the South and South West showed me a lot about my nation.

CNu said...

This is how the teamsters are doing it hereabouts.

nanakwame said...

There it is - You push, we pull

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