Why the Citizens of Wisconsin Must Stand with the Bad River Tribe and Protect our Environment
Corporate Colonization of Wisconsin
This post was originally posted last summer but is important again as outside mining interests attempt to force legislation through the legislature that they have already purchased
So many of the problems in today's world are the legacy colonization. This can be seen in the tensions between India and Pakistan, in the Gulf States in the Mideast, and in the disarray in Africa. A recurring theme in colonization has been the use of the people and the natural resources of the colonized in order to financially benefit the colonizer. This is an insightful backdrop in which to examine the current state of the most recently colonized State, Fitzwalkerstan.
A nation invests in its own sustainability by investing in its infrastructure and its people. Great nations have great universities, great schools, outstanding airports, high speed rail, sophisticated communication and technological infrastructure. Great nations are sustainable because they plan for their total future while protecting the environment. (Wisconsin, under Walker, can never become great.)
A colonized nation, on the other hand, exists to be exploited by the colonizer. A colonized nation has a low cost and submissive work force, a colonized nation is not in need of great universities but rather the briefest and most efficient work skills training, a colonized nation exploits its environment rather than protects it because the colonizer is more interested in profits than sustainability.
Clearly the Fitzwalkerstan of 2011-2012 is a colonized state. And these colonizers are leading the charge again in the 2013-2014 budget cycle. But, who are the colonizers? Nations or Empires are no longer the colonizers, but rather the new colonizers are multinational corporations. Follow the money and it will continually lead to the same set of corporations who fund puppet leaders such as Walker and the Fitzgeralds, who mold public opinion through think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, the Heartland Institute and the Maciver Institute, who create astro- turf organizations such as Americans for Prosperity and its brainchild the Tea Party, and who write legislation through the American Legislative Exchange Council. (ALEC). These are the “free-market solution” folks who are intent on treating Wisconsin in a similar fashion as the “free-market” corporations are treating Cambodia, Vietnam, and the other emerging third world countries.
The current governor of Fitzwalkerstan, Governor Walker is a Colonial Governor. Just as any Colonial Governor owes his allegiance to the colonizer who has placed him in power, so does Walker owe his allegiance to the Corporate interests who have put him in power. When Governor Walker isn't out of State raising money and getting his marching orders from the corporations, he is in Wisconsin attending unannounced meetings to hand picked friendly audiences in various corporate locations within the State. He is nervous around the natives of Wisconsin and avoids them whenever possible. As with any colonial power, certain indigenous people find it to their benefit to fraternize with the colonizer out of fear or need for personal gain. The colonized who support the colonizer generally feel as though they are better and better off than the colonized who resist the colonizer. This is the current state of Wisconsin Politics.
Colonial economies are most often extraction economies rather than sustainable economies. The most obvious example of an extraction economy is mining and the best example of the Corporate Colonialism of Fitzwalkerstan is the Gogebic Mining Bill that was written by the Gogebic Taconite company and handed to the agents of the Colonial Governor to implement. Even though some of the colonized Wisconsinites were also interested in carefully mining in Wisconsin while protecting the environment , respecting existing treaties and allowing for citizen input, the corporate colonizers would not allow any alternate mining proposal to be considered. In this case the colonized Wisconsinites prevailed.
A review of the first year of Colonial Rule in Fitzwallkerstan is depressing from the point of view of the colonized. The Brazilian educator/philosopher, Paulo Freire would understand the current situation in Fitzwalkerstan if he were here. His quote in “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” clearly illustrates what Colonial Governor Walker continues to do to keep his Corporate Colonizers in power.
“As the oppressor minority (the Corporate Colonizers/Koch/ALEC) subordinates and dominates the majority (Wisconsin citizens), it must divide it and keep it divided in order to stay in power. The minority cannot permit itself the luxury of tolerating the unification of the people, which would undoubtedly signify a serious threat to their own hegemony (free market solutions).”
Freire tells us that the first step to overcome the oppression of Colonialism is dialogue. That is the reason that the dominate party in Fitzwalkerstan, the Koch/ALEC Republicans, avoided dialogue throughout this past year. Walker has said that he is open to dialogue. He hasn't shown it yet. We will see the true colors of these new colonials by how they treat the Bad River Tribe in the dialogue around mining in northern Wisconsin. All of Wisconsin must stand with the Bad River Tribe as they fight off this newest colonialism.
That is also the reason we must return to two party governance in Fitzwalkerstan in order to return it to the Wisconsin that we love. The Colonial Governor must be removed and replaced with a local governor. The Koch/ALEC Republicans must be removed and replaced with Democrats, Non-ALEC Republicans, and Independents who are willing to serve the citizens of Wisconsin through meaningful dialog rather than the Corporate Colonizers.