Wisconsin is another in a long string of hard lessons for working people proving that:
(1) Democrats are just as much our enemies as Republicans – both bust unions, impose austerity, refuse to give us socialized medicine, want to slash Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, approve trillions in gifts for the banksters and a pittance for unemployment relief, homelessness and food stamp programs.
(2) That elections in a banana republic like the US are essentially rigged by the vast wealth of the .01% who own both parties and who’ve passes enough anti-democratic laws, beginning with the Electoral College, to keep the left off the ballot.
(3) That change – real, fundamental, revolutionary change – doesn’t come from elections but from mass movements and from mass actions, in particular general strikes. In the spring of 2011, shortly after Walker escalated his attack on union the South Central Federation of Labor (SCFL-Wisconsin) voted to support a general strike if the legislation was passed and signed. It took the combined efforts of the AFL-CIO leadership and Democrat scabs to block the strike and instead they proposed the electoral farce whose results we see today.
The goal for unions and the union left and our allies in the occupy movements has to be to continue to press for the unleashing of the AFL-CIOs Labor Party and other independent political action groups, to use elections for the only thing they’re good for, education and organizing, and to promote and plan for general strikes as a big step on the road to our ultimate goal, the creation of a government exclusively of, by and for working people.
Bill Perdue, Railroad Workers United, Transportation Communications Union, International Association of Machinists, AFL-CIO, retired