The Wisconsin Senate succeeded in voting to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers, after Republicans outmaneuvered the chamber’s missing Democrats and approved an explosive proposal that has rocked the state and unions nationwide.
Tonight’s vote was history repeating itself.
When Adolph Hitler came to power in 1933, his Nazi regime restored economic prosperity and ended mass unemployment by spending on the country’s military. At the same time, he suppressed labor unions and banned strikes.
The Gestapo, or its secret police, destroyed liberal, Socialist and Communist opposition and persecuted Jews and other minorities, forcing them into exile, while taking their property.
The Nazis then took control of the courts, local government, and all civic organizations, except Protestant and Catholic churches. All expressions of public opinion were controlled by Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, who made effective use of film, mass rallies, and Hitler’s hypnotic speaking.
Fast forward to 2011. What do you see?
Republican majorities in states after sweeping into office and suppressing and taking away collective bargaining rights (Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana & Michigan). The first thing the Nazis did when they came to power was suppress the labor movement. That’s what’s happening today!
The next step is to take over the courts. That’s already happened!
The US Supreme Court that made it perfectly legal for corporations to spend millions and millions of dollars on right-wing candidates and causes, unchecked and unaccounted for. (Citizens United) At the same time, Billionaires created a movement to confuse and divide the middle class. (Tea Party), at the same time, supporting candidates to follow their own agenda (Koch Brothers).
Add a propaganda machine to suppress information (Withhold funding to PBS/NPR) and distort the truth (Faux News) and what do you got? 1933 all over again! The good news in all of this is that unlike in 1933, technology doesn’t allow individuals to get away with it, scot-free!
Bloggers, Twitter and Facebook have become effective in bringing down dictators and suppressive regimes in the Middle East. It’s also been a great source for breaking news in the absence of traditional news sources, who have downsized their resources (TV News, Newspapers).
The story in Wisconsin will soon focus from the loss of collective bargaining rights to a full-fledged, recall election. By taking the un-democratic route, state legislators have now been served notice that their actions tonight will be remembered in due time.
Democracy has been replaced by Fascism in Wisconsin. Which state is next?