Richard (RJ) Eskow – Consultant, Writer, Senior Fellow with The Campaign for America’s Future: Posted: March 11, 2011 01:09 AM
Today we saw state troopers in Madison tearing peaceful protestors out of their own capitol after the state’s Senate voted to deprive them of their rights. Video footage of that event should come with a label: Brought to you by the State of Wisconsin, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries.
Right now Wisconsin is serving as the prototype for United States 2.0, a newly reconstituted nation where corporations have all the rights of personhood without any of the responsibilities – and people have all the duties of personhood without any of the rights.
Welcome to your future. They’re preparing it for you right now in America’s heartland.
The Madison Experiment
Think of Madison as a laboratory where the nation’s billionaires are field-testing the roll-out of their latest product: a quasi-democratic state where government exists exclusively to execute decisions made by corporate interests. The purpose of any field test is to find the bugs in any product before it goes into wider distribution. Maybe the team was a little surprised at the level of pushback they got. But hey,that’s what tests are for.
Whenever human rights are being revoked, the fail-safe mechanism is always the use of excessive force. Madison’s no exception. As you watch the video of demonstrators below, listen as the onlookers ask the troopers why peaceful citizens are being removed if they haven’t committed a crime. Nobody answers.
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution provides “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.” But human rights are incompatible with the self-interests of the corporate state. That’s why we’re seeing these steps to strip people of their rights to assemble and negotiate on their own behalf.