A Letter from Bayfield, Wisconsin
Dear Socialist Viewpoint,
If you look at a map of this area of Wisconsin and Minnesota, you can locate our area of existence. It is along the western-southern edge of Lake Superior. Not too far from Canada. Ashland has a population of eight to nine thousand and Bayfield, somewhat on the order of 600. The “economy” is mostly tourism, forestry, with some farming. Our two counties are among the lowest per-capita income in the State of Wisconsin.
Recently, in our local, five-day-a-week newspaper, an article told us Border Security forces would be stationed in Ashland. It didn’t say how many; “just a few.” The reason given is to help secure our borders with Canada. And to work with other Border Security people in Minnesota—Duluth, etc. The Ashland county sheriff and local Ashland police are planning on cooperating with them.
You know as well as I do that there are so-called “gated communities” in this country. This is where the “over-privileged” like to keep out the riff-raff according to their distorted and disturbed thinking, which includes most of the rest of us.
Well, the ruling class with their efforts to “secure” our borders with Mexico and Canada iscreating a monstrous “gated-country.” How obscene!
And then there’s the Pentagon. Years ago, the Pinkerton Agency, a private company, protected the property of the capitalists against attempted rebellion of the workers. The capitalists paid for the protection. Of course, State militias were also used for the protection of capitalist private property. But now the completely funded protection agency, The Pentagon, is used to protect the capitalists everywhere with over 800 military bases in over 100 countries. And then, I’m sure, some become protectors of the rules in exchange for arbitrary power over their fellow working class members—sadistic impulses given a “legal” outlet.
We have loyal working class, publicly-funded local, state and federal security forces to protect the ruling class and their stolen property at home—loyal working class security forces—betrayers of working class interests.
And now I read of Universities doing research work on so-called “non-lethal” means to control rebellion. I’m reasonably sure the rulers, as always, are aware of the final awakening of enough of the working class to demand change. They are getting ready. And as long as working class security forces remain loyal to the rulers, the more difficult it will be for change.
I am 83-years-old now and I may not live long enough to see the rebellion. But if there is no change in orientation of the security forces, there not only will be mass arrests, but people shot down in the streets—beyond Kent State and Haymarket, etc.
The contradiction is in security forces that are made up of individual humans struggling for survival. They need to sell their labor power in exchange for money to buy what they need to stay alive from one day to the next. And, of course, with fewer and fewer jobs, more young people will join the military with deluded hopes for survival—the so-called “economic draft.” If one wants to be cynically conspiratorial, then one can say this economic collapse was planned to force more to join. A so-called “legal” draft is not acceptable to the rulers. This would stir up too much resistance. So the more expendable of us are forced, economically, to protect the rulers’ interests here and everywhere.
Thank you for your analysis in Socialist Viewpoint. The Black Agenda Report items are very good.
Best wishes in your struggle of this one-time existence to live in a more real reality.