"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Aug 10, 2011

Roosting Hens, Feathers on the Coop Roof, Bird Shit Everywhere

One has to wonder how much money Wisconsin unions spent to make themselves look like idiots?

If it was a single penny more than nothing, it was too much.

Electoralism is a path to defeat. Electoral victories are defeats for those who do not own the means of production. And before someone comes up with some claptrap about "solidarity building," "progressive electoral gains" or "developing future leaders," just pipe down and think those thoughts out to their conclusions. Think about all the electoral gains which were demolished with a governor's signature, or by a Democrat who spoke the language of Reagan. Think about what had to be conceded to the system in order to get minor recognition from it.

Every moment devoted to getting a Democrat elected or a Republican unseated is a moment devoted to shoring up a system which exists to extract as much of a worker's health, wealth and labor for as little compensation as possible. I'm not writing anything particularly new or insightful here, but: the political system operates as a sanctifier of the economic understructure in which its foundations are rather deeply laid.

And there's a neat little parallel to the Tea Party here. Their mindless, mean and niggardly agitation results in the election of Republicans who will raise taxes, start more wars and concentrate power while pretending to be radically different from Democrats. The Teaps get Republicans elected. That's their purpose. They could serve a different end, but they don't and they won't. And when push comes to shove, they'll pull the lever for Romney or Perry.

The traditional unions serve exactly the same purpose, for the Democrats. All of that time, loot and organization in Wisconsin was about getting Democrats elected. Democrats who will almost invariably cut programs, trade away the Commons and start wars. Unions now exist as an auxiliary of the Democratic Party. They could work for different goals, but they don't and they won't, because they know who pays the bills.


fwoan said...

Such a beautifully meaningless outcome, too. ONE D short of a majority means they will have to "compromise" away everything to pass something. It's hilarious to see all that wasted.

ergo said...

Okay, I am basically on board with this. Good post.

mp said...

shoot. they had their "filibuster-proof majority" and still felt a need to "compromise."

Randal Graves said...

Jack, you're just saying that because you don't have a cool, new voting booth sticker like Ohio.

Abonilox said...

I thought it was interesting that my news feed this morning didn't have the results of the Wisconsin election among its top stories. Had the dems succeeded, would it have been a top story?

Also agree with your position on the whole racket. More and more the political establishment operates like a reality TV show.

It's also fucking pathetic that the Unions put all their money into supporting government workers (who, frankly, need the least protection among the working class). How's that organizing at WalMart and Target going?

Richard said...

Yes, this was a diversion from the inception, a diversion for the purpose of draining away the energy from the protests which not only threatened the Republicans but also the entrenched leadership within the Democratic Party and the unions, neither of whom was very enthuisiastic about them.

It's a dry run of the 2012 election, which will have an equally inconsequential result, meaning that the neoliberal evisceration of the social order will proceed unimpeded.

Slim Charles said...


So (and I'm sure you expected the question, so here it comes), what, in your opinion, should the unions have spent their money on if not the recall election?

In other words: what is a better use of their time and money if electoral politics is self-defeating?

Jack Crow said...


At the point of work:

1. Wage hikes.

2. Vacation time extensions.

3. Increased health care coverage.

4. Shorter working days.

5. Shorter working weeks.

6. Anything which forces a company to reduce contributions to its profit statement.

Outside of the work place:

1. Larger strike pay funds.

2. Comprehensive child care facilities.

3. Independent and semi-independent food supplies, so that striking workers and their families can eat without fear of starvation.

4. The construction of low rent or no-rent union residences, so that striking workers do not have to calculate the hit to their paychecks as a first step to eviction.

5. A better outreach to women and minorities, by ending "outreach" efforts and agitating for exactly what they want: equal pay.

6. A coherent message which can be simplified to this: It Should Be Easy For Everyone. This conservatarian/bootstrapper ethic which dominates our culture and society has got to be fucking attacked, and mercilessly. Hard work and poverty don't improve character. They break lives.

Cüneyt said...

Damn, that comment is even better than the post (and that's saying something). Jack, this is why I make a point to read.

Abonilox said...

Agreement with Cuneyt. Very good list.

d.mantis said...

Please make that a post, Jack.

"This conservatarian/bootstrapper ethic which dominates our culture and society has got to be fucking attacked, and mercilessly. Hard work and poverty don't improve character. They break lives."