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(no subject)
2012
unknownj
What's happening in Wisconsin is a terrible indictment of where Capitalism actually leads us.

Personally, I'd like to say that I don't understand how something like this happens, except that the election of a Conservative government (if you can call a failure to win a majority "being elected") in this country points to the same thing.

Somehow, when people are at the ballot box, they vote against their own interests, and in favour of "business interests", which is basically a broader way of saying that you vote for money. Not that you vote to have money - that you vote to give the power to money, wherever that might be or whomever it might belong to.

The Conservatives may have talked up their bank-busting intent prior to the election, but research has shown that more than 50% of Tory funds come from the City of London, which would suggest that bankers see them as the party least likely to damage their interests. And with that level of dependency on bankers, the situation only reinforces that dynamic.

So it shouldn't surprise me that the governor of Wisconsin is basically an evil man who cares only to protect the interests of his billionaire pals, at the expense of the human rights of the ordinary men and women in his state. Why wouldn't they have voted for somebody like that?

Now, for me, I would consider the battle lost at the point at which I had to pass laws in order to suppress the people I'm meant to represent. I guess there are some people out there who consider that to be a valid tool to use as part of "governing", if you can really call it that.

I've seen it said that one of the amazing things about capitalism is that for some reason it encourages the poor to want to emulate the rich rather than simply steal from them. It goes further than that - for some reason, the poor vote that the rich should be in charge of them. Our own Chancellor is a perfect example of that - a super-rich weasel who will never himself be affected by the cuts to services that he's introducing.

The basic right of workers to form unions is a natural response to the formation of companies. A body with lots of money, a large HR department, and the best legal advice money can buy is a scary thing to leave unopposed. Forming a union is the only reasonable way for the workforce to respond - it gives them the same level of scale as the company itself, and enables collective bargaining in which both sides have power. Do I think unions always work perfectly? No, not at all. But are they a completely necessary part of the machinery? Absolutely.

So the idea that a man elected by the people would seek to dismantle the mechanism by which those people are empowered to resist the naked abuses of capitalism is kind of sickening. There really are only two sides to this - you've got union rights (human rights) and employers' rights (money rights). The idea that money should be able to do as it pleases must be rejected at all levels.

Laws protecting concepts such as strike action or collective bargaining exist because the people, the majority, wish them to exist. That through a representative democracy the people can turn over control to "the enemy" and allow them to take those laws apart is a serious flaw in the system.

One Solution - y'all know where the rhyme goes from there....

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Given that I'm in Madison Wisconsin (and have been at the Capitol for a majority of these days) I could go on and on and on and on.

But in the interest of time and being late for work- I'll just say "yes". And also that it has been very encouraging to see people mobilizing the way they have. I honestly didn't think I'd ever see something like this.

(Deleted comment)
I kind of agree with you on all those points, in that you're right that these are the views that people have, but they're beyond stupid..

it is almost impossible to tell someone what their self-interest is or is not

That's one of those stupid parts of the American psyche in which somebody imagining they know what's for the best is perceived as some sort of elitism.

It seems quite clear to me that for a member of the working class to vote for a right wing candidate whose interests are heavily linked with a few super-rich business owners who'd like to see unions busted, that represents a vote that harms them overall.

If it comes across as an insult, it probably should - to vote for somebody who would like to strip you of your rights for the benefit of his wealthy friends is a stupid act, and betrays either a failure to understand what's being voted for, or a complete ignorance of how cause and effect work.

I think that what you said about class consciousness is probably about right - the false notion of a "middle class" is a great example of that, in which workers imagine that they're actually in a fictitious and arbitrary higher tier. Add to that the degree to which anti-Communist sentiment in the US has shaped the national consciousness, and you won't find many people in the US who'd support a "Workers, Unite!" call, because they perhaps don't appreciate that this means them, not some scary red bogeyman.

For better or for worse, this kind of economic optimism has always been part of the American pysche or at least large chunks of it.

Ah yes, the American dream.

Ten Americans walk into a room with all their possessions. On a table are nine glasses of water, and one glass with an antidote to a particular poison. The American dream stipulates that each man should take a glass at random, drink it, and together they should pull a lever to activate a flood of poisonous gas into the room.

Because that's basically what it is. It's damaging where you are now, in the hope that one day you'll be on a higher level, and can exploit that. Strip workers of their rights because one day, you too might be a business owner, and it'll benefit you then.

It's so painfully flawed that it actually makes my brain ache to think that people might go for this - and yet, many Americans do. They consistently vote for an agenda far more economically right-wing than anywhere else in the developed world, because there's this sense that the rich deserve all they've got, and one day they too could be rich as well.

The response to this is simple - there will always exist a working class. Whether or not an individual will escape it is irrelevant - morality dictates that narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor is far more important than using social mobility to try to bridge that gap just for yourself. Social mobility might help 1% of the poor, but to not try to improve conditions for the poor in the hope that you're in that 1% is absolutely absurd.

It's just a bit depressing really...

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