The votes we can’t afford

The quote below is part of a screed called Tomorrow, Just hours away written by Athena just before the Scott Walker recall vote in Wisconsin. Scott Brown won and keeps his role as the premier right wing Republican governor. In separate votes San Diego and San Jose citizens voted to lower city pensions in a move sponsored by a Democratic mayor.

We think this is some insurmountable problem, some terrible divide, that we’ve never seen before. We have always had people saying sit down, shut up, don’t rock the boat, while some slick-talking jerk in a shiny suit was pouring fire and brimstone about how the company was gonna mess you for your own damn good. We have always had the jerk, too, and his bosses, and the company will always be with us. This is how this has always worked….

They’re always coming for you, is what I want to tell everybody who’s angry and everybody who’s scared. The jerk, the company, they’re always out there, and the only thing you can’t afford is to think they’re on your side. When they’re done with the teachers and the steelworkers and the cops, they’ll come for you, too, and no racist sign or hat with teabags glued on gonna save your soul then. The only thing to fear is fear itself, said the last person who understood this well enough to make a case, so up you get.

There’s no reason to be scared, when the scariest thing is that it’s all up to you, and you decide what “we” can and cannot do. And the things we cannot do just melt away, once we really start taking them apart, and seeing what they’re made of. We can do anything if we want it bad enough. We can afford what we want to afford.

We can afford what we can get enough votes to afford.

In America we are witnessing as never before the swift dismantling of the liberal democratic principles that we have had in place for the past 70 or so years. The rhetoric is strong. The people who want to have your pension, your pay raises and your health care money directed to them are coming for you.

In this era when dollars are increasingly influencing, detrmining how we vote, the forms of plutocracy are getting ever mor obvious. What is also obvious to anyone who cares to look is that there is a backlash forming to this. Inchoate at the moment, seemingly disjointed in “Occupy” movements across the USA and around the world, but it is there.

There are alternative policy views, possibilities, it is however clear that there is a consensus in the US and in Europe at least, for policies of busting unions, privatizing public goods, and asset stripping from the people to the creditors, bankers, bondholders and their agents and investors. In addition, speech and dissent are increasingly marginal, not part of the policy and electoral discourse. Where speech moves into action, even nonviolent, it is criminalized and met with overwhelming police force.

There will come a time when the police and the soldiers realize that their livelihood too is threatened, and refuse to take the orders of their betters and masters any longer.

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