CrimethInc. has posted an excellent analysis of the situation in Wisconsin, essentially arguing that the demands of the people actually cannot be met by the status quo, that austerity measures are here to stay as long as we accept the capitalist system. Here are some highlights:
However devious the Republican Senators’ machinations, the bill was passed by democratic process, the same way countless other bills are passed. Those who protest against it are essentially proclaiming that representative democracy has failed them: they are asserting that there is more legitimacy in angry people occupying the capitol building than there is in Senators doing what they were elected to do. As anarchists, we wholeheartedly agree–-workers deserve access to the resources currently being hoarded by capitalists regardless of what goes on in voting booths or politicians’ offices. The question is whether the movement will adopt this position outright, or remain mired in the contradictions of claiming to pose a democratic opposition to the democratic process.
There’s another way to say this: capitalism has reached its limits and can only produce one crisis after another—war, recession, bailouts, austerity measures. Politicians are being honest when they say they see no other way, but only because they’re not willing to consider the possibility that the system itself is the problem. It’s up to us to point the way to another social system that could distribute wealth and power more sensibly.
In this context, it’s a mistake to expect a little protesting to achieve immediate results. Even if we manage to stop one wave of cutbacks and rollbacks, a thousand more assaults will follow. The state literally can’t back down—the politicians have nowhere to go. So rather than focusing on achieving “realistic” goals, such as blocking a particular budget or bill, we have to think bigger.