17 February 2011

But fear itself


Anna Rose is studying World War II in her American history class. Last evening I was reading the “Scylla and Charybdis” chapter in Joyce’s Ulysses (how I wish I understood that better), struggling my way through the conversations and consciousness of the characters who attempted to grab me (Scylla) and suck me into the fiercely swirling eddies of absurd conversation (Charybdis), really trying to follow Stephen and understand his sense of lostness, when AR threw open the door and said, “What is fascism?” It was almost a relief to come out of the whirlpool and escape the eight-headed monster. “Well,” I said, “fascism is a system of government in which all of the rights of the individual are subsumed by the authority and welfare of the state.” I continued: “Under fascism, only the good of the state matters, and the state can do anything to ensure its success. Individuals are nothing.”  She nodded her head.

Wisconsin is governed now by leaders leaning towards fascism. The assault on individual and human rights by the governor’s fiat to decertify all public unions (except the police and the firefighters, the only public unions who supported the governor in the last election) without negotiation or compromise is the act of a megalomaniac. I am enraged by his disregard for the basic civil and human rights he is sworn to defend. Here is a man who spent millions to get himself elected now maneuvering to take from those with far, far less than he and his insidious cohorts to benefit those who already have more than they could ever spend. All in the service, he would say, of the state. Bourgeois, I say.

In the great emporium of dictators, the chief government official in Wisconsin is merely another flavor of the screaming and cruel monsters who terrorized Europe and Asia during at least the twentieth century. And he would take from the poor and give to the rich, of which he would count himself as one. And then he would castigate and punish  he poor for their rage.

Oh yes, this is a rant. But I recall Richard Nixon’s proud boast that while they marched in the streets against the Vietnam War he watched the football game. I remember where he finally ended up.

And now happily back to the whirlpools and monsters as an escape from this horror.

1 Comments:

Blogger Steve & Judy said...

I was hoping your write something about this travesty.

I fear we are going to lose this short-term battle. However, I suspect the short-term battle has produced long-term warriors.

19 February, 2011 00:57  

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