Sunday, February 20, 2011
Concerning the Uprising in Madison
Yesterday, I was hearing something that really put me on edge. The "news" -- and Chris Matthews -- was saying that the union heads had "all agreed" to accept the pension and health care adjustments the governor was asking for. Consequently... the only sticking point remaining was public employee collective bargaining rights, which the governor boldly refused to negotiate on.
It's obvious that the "news" -- such as it is -- has gotten this story wrong from the outset, quite deliberately so too. We're dealing with Propaganda Media all the time, and the Propaganda Line is essentially no different than the one Scott Walker has been putting out from his bunker in the Capitol at Madison: There's a huge budget deficit that can only be closed by extracting monetary concessions from public employees and by ending collective bargaining rights for public employees.
States are broke. Too bad, so sad. Workers must give up their pay, their benefits, and their rights, or...?
Well. They never say what will happen if workers refuse. It's a Mystery.
But the expectation is always that workers will not refuse -- at least not in the end -- because having a job at all is more important to them than all these fripperies of "benefits" and "rights."
That's the way it is being portrayed in Wisconsin on the Propaganda Media, and at least from reports, the "Union Heads" are caving to the demands of their Betters the way they and Democrats always do. Always.
Is that the truth? Is that what's going on? Are the unions going to cave? Will Scott Walker and his Koch Brothers sponsors get away with it? And if they do, will it set the pattern for restricting or undoing public sector worker rights throughout the land?
That is the obvious goal after all.
If the Union Heads are saying they will give up everything except collective bargaining rights -- without even insisting on negotiating the issue -- then the battle is already lost. They will give up everything in the end to preserve something for themselves (though not their Dignity.) They will concede. In essence they already have. That's how these things always go; it's happened over and over and over again, and that's a big reason why we're in this unholy mess as it is. There is no Line in the Sand, and Our Rulers know it. They will have their way, and the workers will just have to suck it up. They will have no choice.
Thus the literal thrill of what's going on in Madison -- at least on the surface -- may be masking, once again, truly nefarious machinations below the surface. Much the same seems to be going on in Tunis, Cairo and all over Europe where previous uprisings appear to have been at least partially successful, but really haven't been at all.
But that's my concern of the moment.