Like most of you, I am following what's happening in Madison with great interest.
I believe strongly in the right to organize—believe it to be among our most vital rights—derived from sacrifice often paid for in blood, and built on the ashes of literally millions of powerless, oppressed people. I believe the United States, as we know it, could not have emerged from the thirties without the Unions—the short-sighted greed of capitalists having brought us to the precipice—and that labor unions (and John Maynard Keynes) prevented our utter collapse into fascism.
Many of you are very heartened, I know, by the thousands who have taken to the streets in Wisconsin, occupying the capital for some days now. As am I. Heartened, and hoping against hope.
However, please appreciate what it is we're up against. Scott Walker, the little weasel Governor there, is only an errand boy, of course (Walcott accurately describes him as possessing the "dumb, subservient-to-power junior executive look of a man who will never be more than a low-level prick on the national stage"). What we're facing is far more menacing. It is the same cabal as in the thirties, that tried to remove FDR via a coup. They have been systematically breaking the unions since another of their errand-boys fired the air-traffic controllers in 1981, and they are ecstatic at the idea of finishing the job now.
Look into the dead-fish eyes of David Koch, pictured in his natural state of smugness at right, to understand what we're up against (read about and listen to Ian Murphy's hilarious and instructive punking of Walker—as Koch—here).
Their hatred of the unions is so consuming it brings to mind Nietzche's unhinged slave-morality polemic, in which he blamed the Jews for what he saw as the dominance of inferior values. He was infuriated that ideas like humbleness, meekness, and kindness could be used as weapons against the rich and powerful supermen he so longed to fellate, just as the Koch's of the world are moved to apoplexy by the audacity of unions. In their minds, the will of the possessor of capital is absolute. The arrangement of others into a counterbalancing force—the union of workers, into one—interrupts that unfettered will, and must be prevented, or destroyed, at any cost. It's really that simple.
This is not to say that unions are always right, or that unions are not succeptible to being corrupted by individuals. In this way, they are similar to democracy itself—the worst system in the world, except for all the others. Take a look at Koch's picture again. Imagine a world with no unions, and ultimately no democracy, where he and other well-fed white-men call all the shots.
Did you just shiver, too?