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LOOK TO WISCONSIN

“Look to Wisconsin; this is the beginning of the American insurrection.”

Glenn Beck, 2/17/11

As the crisis unfolds across the globe, it is more apparent than ever that the situation in Wisconsin is not unique. Scott Walker means nothing: he is simply the local face of what has become a situation of globally imposed austerity.  All over the world, we can hear Scott Walkers of all shapes and sizes telling us that this is necessary, and that we all need to make sacrifices. In each instance, what’s clear is the willingness of those in power to continually sacrifice our lives and well-being in the name of the survival of the capitalist mode of production.

The redemptive quality of the current situation can be found in that everywhere austerity has been imposed, the dispossessed have revolted against the economic system and state apparatuses that degrade their lives. in Greece, France, Italy, England, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Iran, Bahrain, Libya, South Africa, Iraq. Street-fighting, occupations, festivals, barricades, fires, strikes. In each situation, the persistent triumph of misery over life is contested by life itself. As with the movements of capital, so too must resistance be diffuse, autonomous and international.

While the occupations and strikes in Wisconsin have not reached the intensity of the situation outside the United States, the intelligence of Glenn Beck’s ravings is that this unfolding struggle in the dairy state bears the same character as corresponding anti-austerity struggles elsewhere. As more and more people’s lives are rendered superfluous by the mandates of the economy, people respond in intensifying and dynamic ways to confront the flows of the economy and to stake out terrains for their own intentions. As state governments coast-to-coast lay out their hated restructuring, we can expect the exponential development and proliferation of resistance to those governments. One can almost feel the fear oozing from the figureheads and mouthpieces of capital; the fear of the coming insurrection.

– Wisconsin in exile, February 17

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