The following is an excerpt from the Political Resolution adopted by the SWP at its convention last December and printed in The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us: The Socialist Workers Party Looks Forward by Jack Barnes, Mary-Alice Waters and Steve Clark. Copyright © 2023 by Pathfinder Press. Reprinted by permission.
Defending and extending the freedoms protected by the US Constitution is at the center of the class struggle today. Workers and farmers must organize and act to prevent the federal government’s assault on these freedoms, which we have won in class battles over some two and a half centuries. We must oppose the US rulers’ relentless drive to refurbish the reputation and expand the use of the government’s political police, first and foremost the FBI.
The political course of the current Democratic administration includes an open assault on these very freedoms. Employing violent and provocative demagogy, President Biden, in his September 1, 2022, “Battle for the Soul of the Nation” speech in Philadelphia, condemned as “a threat to this country” tens of millions of US citizens who voted for former President Donald Trump in 2020 or who would have done so if they had the chance (74 million people cast ballots for him). The “MAGA Republicans,” Biden said, are carrying out an “ongoing attack on democracy.” They represent “a clear and present danger,” he warned, “an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
A week earlier, Biden had branded “MAGA Republicans” as “semi-fascists.” There is no rise of fascism in the US today, but Biden’s Philadelphia performance did call up images of Nuremberg rallies. It was staged against the backdrop of garish red lighting, with two active duty Marines in uniform flanking an American flag. In defiance of government and US Armed Forces policy against uniformed soldiers being used at political events, the Democratic administration mobilized Marine sentries and had the Marine Band play “Hail to the Chief” as Biden walked to the podium. …
Class-conscious workers, the trade unions, and organizations of the oppressed and exploited must unconditionally oppose anti-constitutional assaults by the government on freedom of worship and speech; freedom of the press, association, and assembly; prohibition of “unreasonable search and seizure”; and other liberties needed and used by the toilers. …
In August 2022 the Biden administration’s “Justice Department” staged a nine-hour raid on former president Trump’s Florida home, carried out by more than thirty FBI and Secret Service agents, many of them heavily armed. Long experience has taught class-conscious workers that when the government, in a violent or threatening manner, takes aim at a rival capitalist politician or party, the same methods and worse have been and will again be used by the rulers to harass and disrupt union battles, struggles by working farmers, opponents of Washington’s wars, fighters for Black liberation, and communists.
As Leon Trotsky forcefully reminded us in 1939, “Under conditions of the bourgeois regime, all suppression of political rights and freedom, no matter whom they are directed against in the beginning, in the end inevitably bear down upon the working class, particularly its most advanced elements. That is a law of history.”