If you’ve been following the news lately, then you’d be familiar with the recent protests in Wisconsin over goobernor Scott Walker’s (former teen idol and member of the Walker Brothers – wouldn’t it be just too perfect?) efforts to pass a bill effectively ending state public employees from collective bargaining efforts. In addition to the exciting nature of the protests themselves (students and teachers walking out of class together in solidarity seems a more unlikely pairing than Israeli-Palestinian in my mind), some of the public reactions to the protests have been telling – foremost of which includes Paul Ryan’s (of the “forenames only coalition” alongside Ron and Rand Paul, or FOCers) association of the Wisconsin situation with that of Cairo!
On the more positive front, everyone’s favorite bore-inducing linguist Noam Chomsky was on Democracy Now the other day keeping us all in a state of perpetual narcoleptic stasis. And foremost of all, Lenin’s Tomb has a really exceptional post (with plenty more links!) outlining some of the structural similarities between the ME uprisings and the beginnings of the Wisconsin phenomenon. Ultimately, as TPM hints at, this looks a lot more like a premeditated plan of accumulation by dispossession: enacting, either actively or passively, legislation that puts the state at a budget shortfall in order to justify massive cuts and the dissipation of worker’s rights as a moral act of “shared sacrifice.” Of course, the upper class still got their tax cuts.