Wisconsin Embraces Fascism - Dr. Glen Barry personal essay
Wisconsin is a less free and decent place this morning. The human right to freely and openly associate and organize with colleagues to negotiate the best price for your labor just barely exists, and people that form unions to do so are villainous thugs. Women are less equal. Gays and blacks are sub-human. Teachers, intellectuals, progressives, atheists, and other knowledgeable, free thinking peoples have less rights and prestige. A sticky-sweet taint lingers in the air.
Largely uneducated yet belligerent rural rednecks, out-of-state billionaires, and white suburban Milwaukee ghetto usurers are firmly in control. They are taking names, coming for what you have, and preparing to force their worldview upon anyone who has not yet drunk the corporatist kool-aid. The air, water, soil and vegetation Wisconsin's citizens depend upon for life now lie virtually unprotected. Corporations – which we are told are people – are firmly in control. God is in the government and regulates our bodies and bedrooms.
Right-wing, teabagger, nutjob politicians no longer have to campaign on the issues upon which they will actually govern, or even mention the policies they will pursue once in office. Money is speech and anything can be said, or even made up, and stated over and over again, until glassy eyed we fall into line behind the great leader. Our Governor's boorish past conduct and patterns of election fraud since youth have never mattered, never will, and will be erased along with fascist and illegal union busting tactics from our history.
Neighbors begrudge neighbors their modest health insurance, education and pension – rather than organizing and educating themselves to have them too. People of all sorts that better themselves by banding together into unions and/or becoming educated are unworthy of deferred compensation they freely negotiated, earned and are owed. Teachers, firefighters, cops, government workers, and their unions caused 911 and the ongoing financial collapse; and they will be punished now and long into the future, until they repent of their socialist ways.
Being smart¸ and training your mind through a process called education, is dumb and no longer valued in Wisconsin. Funds for our formerly world-class schools and Universities have been returned to our state's elite absentee billionaire slumlords, where because of their great benevolent virtue, they rightly belong. Those who are educated are less than fully American, and their views, especially if fact, data, knowledge, or wisdom based; are not to be trusted. There are no experts on anything, just opinion. Truth comes from a tightened fist.
There will be no salvation from homegrown Wisconsin fascism. The national tea party is bent upon dumbing us down and enslaving us for god and greed. The great black hope and assassin in chief busies himself with nominating alleged terrorists - including American citizens - for the drone kill list in sovereign nations. Our economy was plundered by the elites, who are now the power behind the throne in Wisconsin, and also our commander-in-chief's top advisors and funders. No one has gone to jail.
Both Wisconsin's state and national leaders routinely permanently rollback civil liberties and ignore ecological collapse at great peril. Wisconsin's progressive leadership is overly focused upon preening, posing, celebrity journalist activists – who lead the protests, report upon them, and are followed by their own video crews. Whenever the party of Roosevelt rules it meekly fails to stand for much of anything but re-election. The party of Reagan – led now by a bullying uber-corporatist – overreaches and continually cheapens America's great democratic traditions.
Rarely are political, universal truths of justice, liberty, fairness, peace, equity, ecology, and human rights spoken courageously any longer – much less enacted. Sensibly caring for the well-being of others, sharing when you have enough, nurturing children and the land are thought to be quaint relicts of an over-taxed era. Others would consider this the price of democracy and civilization, such as it is.
Wisconsinites – like the rest of the nation – are left in the coming Presidential election with picking the lesser of two fascists. Freedom from fascist and corporatist rule – and the scapegoating, sexism, nationalism, militarism, propaganda lies; and gutting of unions, education, environmental protection and civil liberties this implies – is a precondition to living justly, fairly and well; and to sustaining global ecology and social well-being long-term.
The American dream of hyper-consumption for some is over because it couldn't be sustained ecologically or socially. America can't expect to reap the ill-gotten benefits – all too often seized at the point of a gun – of 4% of Earth's people consuming 25% of key global resources any longer. The 2.5 billion people globally living on $2 a day understandably want their fair share too. The natural and painful consequences of downsizing America's extreme lifestyles and unwinding horrific disparities is sadly leading to demagoguery, a decline in truth telling, and yes, the rise of fascism in the American heartland.
America has lost its way. Our ecosystems and economic system are collapsing, fascism rising, and conflict growing – do we want societal and ecological collapse to come as we are at each other's throats? Things are heading that way. We are becoming the terrorists we abhor. And all the reasons are evident in microcosm in Wisconsin. Decent, thoughtful folks in Wisconsin tried valiantly but ultimately failed for now to combat the John Birch, KKK, Tea Party inspired rise of hateful and destructive fascism. But the battle to retake our great state and country from the fascists has just begun.
I hate fascism, and urge you to join together with others and myself to resist a corporate takeover and enslavement of America. Going forward, all thinking reasonable lovers of truth-based liberty, freedom, and the decent essence of America, must come together to form an Anti-Fascist League. Failure means an overtly fascist America, of the sort now destroying Wisconsin.
** In addition to Dr. Glen Barry's long-running Earth Meanders environmental essays, he will now be writing more frequently on other progressive issues, as a public intellectual in his personal capacity. If you don't want to receive these personal essays, but still want to receive the more ecological based materials, just let us know. This as of yet unnamed personal essay series is being posted for now at: http://drglenbarry.tumblr.com/
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