A Bridge To The 19th Century (Update)

In my post Monday Don’t Let The Economic Terrorists Win, I drew a brief but straight line between the the union busting attempts of Wisconsin Governor Scott ‘Wanker” Walker, and Naomi Klein‘s thesis of economic terrorism desscribed in her book The Shock Doctrine. On last night’s show, Rachel Maddow interviewed Klein after detailing a hideous piece legislation that just passed the Rethug dominated Michigan Senate that shows precisely how Klein’s doctrine applies to the USA.

In other words, Wisconsin was just the beginning of what is taking shape as a well thought out 30 year by “conservatives”– actually, right wing extremists disguising themselves as such — plan to build a bridge to the 19th century, to an autocratic age when the Robber Barons ruled and nobody had heard of FDR and his New Deal. A plan that finds it modern roots in a memo written by Lewis F. Powell, Jr. to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1971 outlining what he thought were the dangers to the free enterprise system and what must be done to uproot its demise, targeting the educational system, left wing intellectuals, and the media in general.

As the WikiP entry has it:

The memo called for corporate America to become more aggressive in molding politics and law in the U.S. and may have sparked the formation of one or more influential right-wing think tanks.

Enter the Koch Brothers, whose father was a founding member of the extremisit John Birch Society. They set up the Cato Institute and The Heritage Foundation, Americans For Prosperity, among others. The rotten apples don’t fall very far from the tree.

(A few months after the memo was circulated among the powers that be, President Richard Nixon nominated Powell and William Rehnquist to positions on the US Supreme Court.)

Make no mistake: these people had declared an ideological war on “liberuls” and the middle class. And they ain’t taking prisoners. It’s Robbin’ Hood in reverse: stealing from the poor and middle class in order to pay for the trangressions of the rich.

On the Federal level, that this isn’t a battle over deficits but an ideological war is evidenced by Rethugs’ proposal to cut $600m from the IRS, whose enforcement bureau returns $10 in stolen tax revenues for every dollar it spends.

UPDATE : 3/13/11 2:49 PST:

Allan Grayson weighs in:

The right to organize also is a fundamental principle of international law. Over 150 countries have ratified the “Right to Organize” Convention, an international treaty. It was adopted in 1949, over 60 years ago.

So why are we even talking about this, 11 years into the 21st century?

Because the teabaggers want to “take back America.” They want to take it back, all right — take it all the way back to the 19th century. When there was no right to organize. When people worked for a dollar a day. When grown men competed against children for jobs. When women were barred from most jobs entirely. When you worked until you died.

Not to mention slavery.

I want to see an America that is healthy and wealthy.

They want an America that provides cheap labor to our corporate overlords. An America where the middle class is chained by debt.

We didn’t ask for this fight. But we have no choice except to fight back. For the survival of the middle class in America. For us, for our children, and for our grandchildren. And so that the victims in Haymarket, in Homestead and in Ludlow did not die in vain.

As Cardinal Spellman said 45 years ago, “it is a war thrust upon us, and we cannot yield to tyranny.”

I’m ready to fight for what’s right. What about you?


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