What If They Held A Civil War And The Military Didn’t Show Up?

Civil War And Military Didn't ComeI’m sure you’ve already heard the news:  Between roughtly 4:00pm and 6:30pm last night, Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald stripped the union-busting provisions of Wisconsin’s notorious “Budget Repair Bill” into a stand-alone bill, which as an allegedly non-fiscal bill required a much smaller quorum to floor, and forcibly destroyed trade unionism in the state.

A vote in the assembly is scheduled for 11:00am local time today 10th March, but nobody seriously expects any significant defection within the heavy Republican majority.

Upon learning of the coup d’état, crowds rushed and occupied the capitol building in violation of Walker’s Department of Administration restrictions.  See video here.

Although exempted from the draconian provisions of the bill, it’s been clear for weeks that the police and their unions know that it is only a matter of time and opportunity until Walker attempts to destroy their political voice as well.

Clearly the next round of conflict will surround injunctions and constitutional challenges to this extraordinary bill, which surely will be legion.  But Republican Walker’s fantastic incompetence and three-week public relations fiasco has provided more than enough evidence to prove that the measures were never intended to address fiscal issues, but solely to destroy the historically Democrat unions ability to organize politically.

Strike action of some kind, maybe even the ledgendary National General Strike, appears to be immanent.  Protests are being organized at county courthouses statewide, as Madison doesn’t appear big enough to contain the people’s fury at this end-run past constitutional process.

In my mind, the fundamental question becomes: “If the U.S. Supreme Court is willing to uphold corporate political rights for businesses under Citizens United, how will they deny them to labor unions without a tacit admission that our society is held together only by sheer brute force?”

I guess that begs the further question, given police disgust at Walker’s contempt for public trust and order:  “What if they held a Civil War and the military refused to show up?”

Just one of the many fine offerings on display at Dystopia Diaries

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  • Rrauben

    Folks were out there in force again today. The anger has escalated significantly.

    One fellow with an amplified bullhorn vehemently cited chapter and verse of a recent court pronouncement that the capitol had to remain open to the public; something Walker has, basically, ignored. The bullhorn was directed straight at Wisconsin State Patrol troopers guarding the doors as a crowd pressed in on them, insisting that the troopers stand down and allow admittance.

    I was thinking: OMG, those troopers REALLY are really caught between a rock and a hard place. They had their “drill sergeant” faces on. They are sworn to uphold the courts and the law, so the guy on the bullhorn was right. And yet, as a matter of keeping their jobs, they also have to answer to their superiors.

    ???

    What if they did stand down?

    On a side note, and please understand this must be consider hearsay, but, supposedly, one of the 14′s aids w/in the capitol has reported that riot gear has now been staged in its basement– gear that was not there yesterday. If true, I guess I’m surprised it was readied sooner.

    I suspect this weekend’s protests are going to be much larger. The people are very hot and bothered. Naomi Kline, Michael Moore and John Nichols have been raising a stink in national venues. Dennis Kucinich, Jim Hightower and Ed Garvey have a rally going. It’s not over.

    Maybe it is only really beginning.

  • Rrauben

    Folks were out there in force again today. The anger has escalated significantly.

    One fellow with an amplified bullhorn vehemently cited chapter and verse of a recent court pronouncement that the capitol had to remain open to the public; something Walker has, basically, ignored. The bullhorn was directed straight at Wisconsin State Patrol troopers guarding the doors as a crowd pressed in on them, insisting that the troopers stand down and allow admittance.

    I was thinking: OMG, those troopers REALLY are really caught between a rock and a hard place. They had their “drill sergeant” faces on. They are sworn to uphold the courts and the law, so the guy on the bullhorn was right. And yet, as a matter of keeping their jobs, they also have to answer to their superiors.

    ???

    What if they did stand down?

    On a side note, and please understand this must be consider hearsay, but, supposedly, one of the 14′s aids w/in the capitol has reported that riot gear has now been staged in its basement– gear that was not there yesterday. If true, I guess I’m surprised it was readied sooner.

    I suspect this weekend’s protests are going to be much larger. The people are very hot and bothered. Naomi Kline, Michael Moore and John Nichols have been raising a stink in national venues. Dennis Kucinich, Jim Hightower and Ed Garvey have a rally going. It’s not over.

    Maybe it is only really beginning.

    • Rrauben

      Argh! Typos… again!

      “…surprised it wasn’t readied sooner.”

      Haste makes waste, but I gotta get back to the protest pronto!

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Yeah, the scuttlebutt I hear is that a general strike is almost inevitable. Of course general strikes are illegal, but with such naked contempt for rule of law by Walker and the Fitzgerald brothers, why should anyone else care? Seems like we’re nearing chaos.

      Of course those officers live a helluva lot closer to the union folk than to the likes of Walker and the Fitzgeralds. Fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, sons and daughters as well as wives and friends. Walker & Co. are simply not going to be able to force a very enthusiastic compliance with their junta in the long run. My God, did you see the cost of this thing to Milwaukee County alone?

      http://www.jsonline.com/newswatch/117680653.html

      This crucible process has certainly distilled and clarified the dominant issue in our society these last 30 years: The war of the elites against the masses.

      To date the elites have been able to employ a dissembling strategy blending financial bubbles, media distortion and xenophobic foreign wars to keep our focus away from their property redistribution to the least productive segment of society. But raw power grabs like this make the question unavoidable anymore: either you do everything in your power to fight for morality, freedom and equity, or you divorce yourself from the society of mankind and accept exile among the shabby spectres of ravening greedheads like the Koch brothers.

      I hope to dear God it doesn’t get as bad as it could, but this could turn out to be our “Bloody Kansas”, the thing that finally puts the U.S.A. back onto the path of righteousness. The fundamental issue in the first Civil War was the same–equity, whether it was possible to sustain a society based on violent coercion in order to support the luxury of a vain and unproductive economic and political elite. We just don’t have the same illusion of racism to distract us and prolong the contest.

      • Rheokhu

        Liam, the last paragraph of your comment is gold. If they ever build a statue to commemorate the crisis, I want that on a plaque at the base of it.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7IQWEDG6PFI5Y64PGEBKYDSIDY Mark

        Um, just who are the “vain and unproductive elite”?

        I believe in this case, they’re called “taxpayers”.

  • Rrauben

    Argh! Typos… again!

    “…surprised it wasn’t readied sooner.”

    Haste makes waste, but I gotta get back to the protest pronto!

  • Simiantongue

    It is over. They voted in Republicans. What were you expecting?

  • Simiantongue

    It is over. They voted in Republicans. What were you expecting?

    • Halobndr

      KRAMPUS SAY YOU TALK POO POO TALK

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        I’m beginning to love Krampus, injecting a little chuckle into any situation.

  • Anonymous

    Walker should step down for blatently breaking the law and denying the public rights, if he does not, the people will need to take their land and courts back. If law enforcement will not enforce the law as they are paid to do, they should also be removed. No one is above the law, though many are for some reason.

  • Investinourftre

    Walker should step down for blatently breaking the law and denying the public rights, if he does not, the people will need to take their land and courts back. If law enforcement will not enforce the law as they are paid to do, they should also be removed. No one is above the law, though many are for some reason.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, the scuttlebutt I hear is that a general strike is almost inevitable. Of course general strikes are illegal, but with such naked contempt for rule of law by Walker and the Fitzgerald brothers, why should anyone else care? Seems like we’re nearing chaos.

    Of course those officers live a helluva lot closer to the union folk than to the likes of Walker and the Fitzgeralds. Fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, sons and daughters as well as wives and friends. Walker & Co. are simply not going to be able to force a very enthusiastic compliance with their junta in the long run. My God, did you see the cost of this thing to Milwaukee County alone?

    http://www.jsonline.com/newswatch/117680653.html

    This crucible process has certainly distilled and clarified the dominant issue in our society these last 30 years: The war of the elites against the masses.

    To date the elites have been able to employ a dissembling strategy blending financial bubbles, media distortion and xenophobic foreign wars to keep our focus away from their property redistribution to the least productive segment of society. But raw power grabs like this make the question unavoidable anymore: either you do everything in your power to fight for morality, freedom and equity, or you divorce yourself from the society of mankind and accept exile among the shabby spectres of ravening greedheads like the Koch brothers.

    I hope to dear God it doesn’t get as bad as it could, but this could turn out to be our “Bloody Kansas”, the thing that finally puts the U.S.A. back onto the path of righteousness. The fundamental issue in the first Civil War was the same–equity, whether it was possible to sustain a society based on violent coercion in order to support the luxury of a vain and unproductive economic and political elite. We just don’t have the same illusion of racism to distract us and prolong the contest.

  • Anonymous

    Final tally in the Assembly, folks: 53-42, along mostly party lines. However:

    1 Republican senator defected–Dale Schultz.
    4 Republican assembly members defected – Dean Kraufert, Lee Nerison, Travis Tranel and Richard Spanbauer.

    Remember those names; those are the only Republican legislators from the 2011/2012 session that have political careers going forward.

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/117735163.html

    Naturally this is only the beginning of a long legal contest. There are numerous procedural grounds for contesting the legitimacy of this bill that I won’t go into here. I’ve already touched on the U.S. constitutional conundrum presented. I find it difficult to believe that any court would not quickly issue an injunction to prevent implementation, at least pending trial.

    Shit’s on for real now, boys.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Final tally in the Assembly, folks: 53-42, along mostly party lines. However:

    1 Republican senator defected–Dale Schultz.
    4 Republican assembly members defected – Dean Kraufert, Lee Nerison, Travis Tranel and Richard Spanbauer.

    Remember those names; those are the only Republican legislators from the 2011/2012 session that have political careers going forward.

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/117735163.html

    Naturally this is only the beginning of a long legal contest. There are numerous procedural grounds for contesting the legitimacy of this bill that I won’t go into here. I’ve already touched on the U.S. constitutional conundrum presented. I find it difficult to believe that any court would not quickly issue an injunction to prevent implementation, at least pending trial.

    Shit’s on for real now, boys.

  • Anonymous

    Liam, the last paragraph of your comment is gold. If they ever build a statue to commemorate the crisis, I want that on a plaque at the base of it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7IQWEDG6PFI5Y64PGEBKYDSIDY Mark

    Finally, political courage in this country!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7IQWEDG6PFI5Y64PGEBKYDSIDY Mark

    Finally, political courage in this country!

  • Halobndr

    KRAMPUS SAY YOU TALK POO POO TALK

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I’m beginning to love Krampus, injecting a little chuckle into any situation.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I’m beginning to love Krampus, injecting a little chuckle into any situation.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7IQWEDG6PFI5Y64PGEBKYDSIDY Mark

    Um, just who are the “vain and unproductive elite”?

    I believe in this case, they’re called “taxpayers”.

  • Bud Bundy

    The Military is not the tool for change.

  • Bud Bundy

    The Military is not the tool for change.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up the news from Michigan…but it looks like my turn to visit a capital is near at hand. Who would have guesses the endgame in the class war would pan out in MI OH WI IN and IL?

    • Rrauben

      I have heard some of what went down in Michigan, as have many of the Madison protesters– it drives a great deal of our urgency here. It’s bone-chilling to ponder.

      For instance, that woeful news about the MI governor being able to displace fiscally troubled municipal governments, and then unilaterally replacing them with his own appointments (including the possibility of said appointments being private corporations). I believe it was Naomi Kline on Democracy NOW! who suggested such an appointment could have a Blackwater Inc. running a Michigan town near you (like that is going to save the taxpayers money). Is it really as bad as that???

      If so…

      well…

      here in Wisconsin, most of us protesters assume Walker has similar ugliness in store for “the people.” It’s motivational to us in a big way.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Yeah–Marx always thought that his ideas would be most readily embraced in the industrial West of Europe instead of its agricultural backwater in Russia. I say that it is the more obvious dependence upon the rural hinterland that creates the conditions necessary for meaningful social change. This observation is an opportunity to draw some lessons from Marx’s blunders and maybe make some useful prognostication and suggestions for the unfolding of events in the U.S.

      Marx always misunderstood the strength of the underlying UNITY within societies–he consistently overplayed the alienation. Some Marxist apologists have suggested to me that this was just a necessary polemical oversimplification on his part, as he was so keen to accelerate the inevitable class conflicts that he consciously understated shared interests in its service. That may be, but I think that also accounts for the failure of all Marxist movements.

      While there are always tensions in a society, at its core it is fundamentally a cooperative endeavour. You can obtain an enthusiastic, informed cooperation in the service of shared ideals, or you can obtain a begrudging, coerced cooperation likely to break down at the most inopportune moments when the vicious violence of its enforcers lags. But make no mistake about it: there is no society without cooperation.

      That’s the advantage the U.S. has going for it–no dedicated social class of police, military. Yeah, the U.S. has the highest rates of incarceration in the world, and those demographics probably corelate more closely to income equality than any other characteristic such as race, etc. But the economic situation has declined so rapidly that we’re finding now that the bulk of the police and military forces are wading through the same shit as union members and everyone else. I see little reason to believe that Scott Walker, Rick Snyder or any other Republican governor will be able to weild the police forces into the type of tightly disciplined baton needed to enforce their brand of fascism.

      Not in the long run any way. Progress could be held up for years by misteps and misunderstandings during the upcoming National General Strikes. I give it no more than three weeks before some eejit either makes a martyr out of one of these tin pot dictators or the lack of strike funds or whatnot forces some of the more feeble minded strikers into an act of unforgivable chaos that public opinion will force the police to crush brutally. But without a separate social caste system of their own, the divisions separating police from the rest of a brutalized society can’t hold.

      The ideal situation would be that the labor and police unions are working together quietly right now in preparation for the strikes. If they’re able to establish reliable channels of communications and trust between the police and labor, I could foresee a situation of rotating, strategic regional general strikes rolling through the U.S. on a coordinated basis, minimizing protester/police conflict and public alienation.

      But that’s a tall order. True, it’s never been needed more than now, and we’ve never seen more inspiring examples of principled leadership as we have in the last three weeks, but the scale of the thing seems almost unprecedented.

      God save the U.S.A.!

      • Rrauben

        Intense Liam. Good job.

        But if labor and police were to coordinate would not federal security agencies interject themselves into the mix to disrupt such cooperation?

        Shall be believe the Obama administration could or would prevent such interference?

        • Liam_McGonagle

          Yeah, Rudy. I asked myself the same question. I don’t know the short-term answer.

          I’m tending towards the belief that Obama would actually try to sick the military AGAINST protesters rather than support them. You know, in an effort to appear “non-partisan” and all. To date he certainly hasn’t been willing to make more than the feeblest show of support for the unions in the face of their unconstitutional slaughter.

          But in the long run I’m mindful that the on-the-ground guys are overwhelmingly peasants. The paradigm established by Wall Street geniuses means that the military is largely skewed toward the poorest, most politically disenfranchised segments of society. That may mean that a few individuals are that much easier to peel off from their natural affiliates–not very expensive to tempt a starving man. But in the long run they will not be able to escape the fact Scott Walker is conducting outright class warfare against their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, wives, sons and daughters.

          In the long run, Walker can’t succeed. Foregone conclusion. However, impatient stupidity could drag the thing out for ungodly years.

      • MoralDrift

        Good point about police and soldiers being on fairly level playing field with the rest of the workers. Keep an eye on that, make no mistake that the powers may yet fix that omission before SHTF

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up the news from Michigan…but it looks like my turn to visit a capital is near at hand. Who would have guesses the endgame in the class war would pan out in MI OH WI IN and IL?

  • Rrauben

    I have heard some of what went down in Michigan, as have many of the Madison protesters– it drives a great deal of our urgency here. It’s bone-chilling to ponder.

    For instance, that woeful news about the MI governor being able to displace fiscally troubled municipal governments, and then unilaterally replacing them with his own appointments (including the possibility of said appointments being private corporations). I believe it was Naomi Kline on Democracy NOW! who suggested such an appointment could have a Blackwater Inc. running a Michigan town near you (like that is going to save the taxpayers money). Is it really as bad as that???

    If so…

    well…

    here in Wisconsin, most of us protesters assume Walker has similar ugliness in store for “the people.” It’s motivational to us in a big way.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah–Marx always thought that his ideas would be most readily embraced in the industrial West of Europe instead of its agricultural backwater in Russia. I say that it is the more obvious dependence upon the rural hinterland that creates the conditions necessary for meaningful social change. This observation is an opportunity to draw some lessons from Marx’s blunders and maybe make some useful prognostication and suggestions for the unfolding of events in the U.S.

    Marx always misunderstood the strength of the underlying UNITY within societies–he consistently overplayed the alienation. Some Marxist apologists have suggested to me that this was just a necessary polemical oversimplification on his part, as he was so keen to accelerate the inevitable class conflicts that he consciously understated shared interests in its service. That may be, but I think that also accounts for the failure of all Marxist movements.

    While there are always tensions in a society, at its core it is fundamentally a cooperative endeavour. You can obtain an enthusiastic, informed cooperation in the service of shared ideals, or you can obtain a begrudging, coerced cooperation likely to break down at the most inopportune moments when the vicious violence of its enforcers lags. But make no mistake about it: there is no society without cooperation.

    That’s the advantage the U.S. has going for it–no dedicated social class of police, military. Yeah, the U.S. has the highest rates of incarceration in the world, and those demographics probably corelate more closely to income equality than any other characteristic such as race, etc. But the economic situation has declined so rapidly that we’re finding now that the bulk of the police and military forces are wading through the same shit as union members and everyone else. I see little reason to believe that Scott Walker, Rick Snyder or any other Republican governor will be able to weild the police forces into the type of tightly disciplined baton needed to enforce their brand of fascism.

    Not in the long run any way. Progress could be held up for years by misteps and misunderstandings during the upcoming National General Strikes. I give it no more than three weeks before some eejit either makes a martyr out of one of these tin pot dictators or the lack of strike funds or whatnot forces some of the more feeble minded strikers into an act of unforgivable chaos that public opinion will force the police to crush brutally. But without a separate social caste system of their own, the divisions separating police from the rest of a brutalized society can’t hold.

    The ideal situation would be that the labor and police unions are working together quietly right now in preparation for the strikes. If they’re able to establish reliable channels of communications and trust between the police and labor, I could foresee a situation of rotating, strategic regional general strikes rolling through the U.S. on a coordinated basis, minimizing protester/police conflict and public alienation.

    But that’s a tall order. True, it’s never been needed more than now, and we’ve never seen more inspiring examples of principled leadership as we have in the last three weeks, but the scale of the thing seems almost unprecedented.

    God save the U.S.A.!

  • Rrauben

    Intense Liam. Good job.

    But if labor and police were to coordinate would not federal security agencies interject themselves into the mix to disrupt such cooperation?

    Shall be believe the Obama administration could or would prevent such interference?

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, Rudy. I asked myself the same question. I don’t know the short-term answer.

    I’m tending towards the belief that Obama would actually try to sick the military AGAINST protesters rather than support them. You know, in an effort to appear “non-partisan” and all. To date he certainly hasn’t been willing to make more than the feeblest show of support for the unions in the face of their unconstitutional slaughter.

    But in the long run I’m mindful that the on-the-ground guys are overwhelmingly peasants. The paradigm established by Wall Street geniuses means that the military is largely skewed toward the poorest, most politically disenfranchised segments of society. That may mean that a few individuals are that much easier to peel off from their natural affiliates–not very expensive to tempt a starving man. But in the long run they will not be able to escape the fact Scott Walker is conducting outright class warfare against their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, wives, sons and daughters.

    In the long run, Walker can’t succeed. Foregone conclusion. However, impatient stupidity could drag the thing out for ungodly years.

  • Anonymous

    Good point about police and soldiers being on fairly level playing field with the rest of the workers. Keep an eye on that, make no mistake that the powers may yet fix that omission before SHTF

  • Anonymous

    Good point about police and soldiers being on fairly level playing field with the rest of the workers. Keep an eye on that, make no mistake that the powers may yet fix that omission before SHTF