With no end in sight to widespread joblessness, continuing deaths and lockdowns from COVID, inflation eating up our wages and employer attacks on working conditions, growing numbers of workers are looking for ways to use our unions to defend ourselves and strengthen our ability to fight boss attacks on the job. We’ve made some gains, like in the recently concluded strike at Nabisco.
While both of the bosses’ two political parties — the Democrats and Republicans — posture as defenders of working people, they in fact defend the profits and power of the capitalist rulers both at home and abroad.
The Joseph Biden administration and his Democratic Party are concerned about how they can keep Republicans from making gains in the 2022 midterm elections. Biden’s approval ratings are falling, as workers continue to struggle under today’s capitalist crisis.
The Democrats plan to hang on to congressional control by demonizing former President Donald Trump. They blame the millions of “deplorable” working people who voted for him — in disgust at the disdain shown to them by both the Democratic and Republican parties — for Biden’s problems.
The contempt for working people by the capitalist rulers and their two main parties has grown, as the crisis of their for-profit system has deepened and more workers see the need for deep-going change. Trump ran for office in 2016 presenting himself as an “outsider” out to “drain the swamp” in Washington.
In his campaign against being recalled in California, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom focused on labeling Republican Larry Elder as a toxic replica of Trump.
With Newsom managing to hang on to power, the liberal media announced attacking Trump has to be their main theme through the 2022 elections, not debating the issues facing working people. The media immediately began a new round of front-page hysteria, claiming that Trump instigated a full-scale “insurrection” on Jan. 6, when a few hundred right-wing militia members, conspiracy theorists and some of his supporters broke into the Capitol Building.
Court probes into Trump’s finances, bans on his use of “social media,” and other attacks are ballyhooed daily in the press by the liberals and middle-class radicals. Further fodder for their salvos was provided by authors Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in their new Trump exposé Peril. They say Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took it upon himself to call Chinese Gen. Li Zuocheng last Oct. 30 to “reassure” him that he would be alerted if Trump flipped out and authorized a military attack on Beijing.
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin says Milley helped prevent “an unstable president from setting off a nuclear war.” No one has been able to present any evidence that Trump or anyone in his administration was considering an attack on China. Milley hasn’t disputed the book’s story.
Milley’s actions had nothing to do with opposition to the massive military armaments and war threats of the U.S. capitalist rulers. Neither he nor anyone else in the Pentagon brass have uttered any concern over the Biden administration’s new alliances against Beijing and spread of nuclear-powered submarines in the Pacific. His call to the generals in Beijing — an unprecedented break with the chain of command — was political, an attack on Trump and a threat to anyone who supported him.
Milley told subordinates President Trump was “a classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose.”
Milley’s decision to put his partisan views above his job became common knowledge among Democratic officials. “You know [Trump’s] crazy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told him two days after Jan. 6, according to the book’s authors. “Madame Speaker. I agree with you on everything,” Milley replied.
Following the November election Milley told his deputies they had to guard against a Trump coup attempt. “You can’t do this without the military,” he allegedly bragged. “We’re the guys with the guns.”
Working people have no interest in the machinations at the Pentagon, one of the capitalist rulers’ central institutions to defend their rule. But any idea that generals are more “normal” or defenders of political rights is dangerous. Side by side with their portrayal of Milley as a hero who saved the country from a “deranged” president, liberals paint Trump supporters as a threat who could launch another “attack” on the Capitol at any moment.
Assault on political rights
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin put the National Guard on standby when a mere 200 people protested outside the U.S. Capitol Sept. 18, demanding those arrested for entering the building on Jan. 6 be released.
Assaults on political rights and due process — rights that workers need for protection from the rulers’ cops and courts — are part and parcel of the prosecutions being carried out against those arrested for entering the Capitol Building Jan. 6.
The FBI was unable to gather evidence of any “conspiracy” to carry out an insurrection among the 570 plus people arrested, despite a far-reaching probe. Among the 40 who do face thought-control conspiracy charges is Doug Jensen. He only got bail six months after being arrested when he told District Judge Timothy Kelly that he had changed his mind and renounced his political views.
Kelly said he hadn’t granted bail before because Jensen “wanted to be part of a revolution.” And as a condition of bail, Jensen had to consent to not using either the internet or a cellphone. When he was caught by a court officer listening to an online broadcast by Trump supporter Mike Lindell, his bail was revoked.
“All workers have a stake in opposing attacks on due process and the rulers’ use of thought-control laws, no matter who is targeted,” Rachele Fruit, Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor of Atlanta, told the Militant. “The capitalist ‘justice’ system — its FBI, cops, courts and prisons — are used to frame up working people, to target our unions and working-class organizations like the Socialist Workers Party.
“The most important question facing working people today is to break from the dead end of backing one or another of the candidates of the ruling capitalist families,” Fruit said. “We need to form our own party, a labor party, to lead all those oppressed and exploited by capital to fight to take power into our own hands.”