Photo by BlueRobotGov. Scott Walker is using the current state budget crisis as the cover to unveil a number of draconian reforms to Wisconsin state government. Crisis works here as it does elsewhere as a convenient opportunity to roll back democratic practices. If this were a movie, one could easily imagine Walker in front of the state capital building with an old school Jan Hammer Miami Vice score in the background.
“We’ve got to do SOMETHING!”
Under the auspices of crisis policies which were previously considered to be off the table, are now ON the table. And these policies just so happen to conveniently harm working class and poor citizens the most.
While we don’t know what’s going to happen, we know the response has been dramatic. There are petitions under way to recall of 8 Republican state senators who’ve expressed support. They need 15,000 signatures per/state senator so the task is daunting. But the blessing is that people now understand the stakes clearly, and organizers are actively seizing the moment. And just as Walker and his ilk are bringing back old Depression-era ideas designed to drastically reduce the progressive role of government, organizers are bringing back old New Deal era ideas designed to combat it.
We’ve long moved past the time where getting a permit to hold a protest was sufficient. To rollout egalitarian liberal reform we’re going to have to start thinking critically about nonviolent civil disobedience.
And here’s where even TALKING about a general strike is a positive move, even if they don’t quite have the resources to pull it off. Talking about it puts it back on the table as a conceivable political option. Brings it back to the realm of politics.