Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fascism Express

News of the past few days has brought:
  • A Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that the state legislature is exempt from open meeting laws, and its questionably-passed law stripping the state's public empolyye unions of most of their bargaining rights therefore stands. Report. The ruling is, at its base, an abrogation of law.
  • Darrell Issa, Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee, interfering with the testimony of Democratic witnesses. Report & analysis.
  • An amazingly racist and sexist campaign ad. Report.
If the courts have been corrupted, and the legislature is dominated by the radical right, what is to stop the legislature, or the shadowy powers behind it, from dismantling the rule of law completely? Totalitarian states have the forms of democracy. They have legislatures, courts, unions. But none of them are free to act: the power is centralized in a small group. This is how legislation is created in a totalitarian state. The rulers say what the legislation is, distribute it to their tame legislature, silence or stifle all opposition, and then use their captive courts to interpret the law in their favor.

The legislation here comes from the State Policy Network, funded by a few wealthy right-wing radicals. We only know some of their names. The content of the legislative program is anti-union, anti-environmentalist, sexist, racist, corporatist, classist: in a word, fascist.

Now what? Do we step off the train?

Postscript, 2011.06.16: Today brings the news that the CIA was asked to attack the reputation of Juan Cole, one of the most informed public critics of the Iraq war. Report.

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