Panic and hysteria this week propagated by the ruling class media and its Democratic Party middle class liberal/left milieu, leveraging mass shootings to "drive out Trump" and overturn 2016 election results, is part of the attempt over the last two years to convince the multinational U.S. working class that curbs on freedom of speech and democratic rights are politically correct. Or, as Ohio governor Mike Dewine said yesterday, "We have to do something, so we did."
....when Sullivan announced in January that he was joining Weinstein's defense team, a hue and cry went up by some so-called politically correct students demanding that he be ousted. In February two Harvard undergraduates wrote an op-ed piece in the campus newspaper titled, "Harvard, Remove Dean Sullivan," claiming his presence "could be deeply traumatic" and that he does not value "the safety of students."
Graffiti was spray painted on Harvard buildings and on Sullivan's office door that included slogans saying, "Our rage is self-defense" and "Whose side are you on?" Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana then initiated a review of "the climate" at Winthrop House, including questioning students about whether they found the dormitory "sexist" or "non-sexist."
Sullivan responded to the campaign against him with an email sent to all those involved with Winthrop and offered to meet with anyone who wanted to discuss the questions involved.
"It is particularly important for this category of unpopular defendant to receive the same process as everyone else — perhaps more important," he wrote. "To the degree we deny unpopular defendants basic due process rights we cease to be the country we imagine ourselves to be."
Others on the campus came to Sullivan's defense. There is "such a stigma attached to people accused of sexual misconduct that anyone who defends legal principles on their behalf risks being mistaken, in the public mind, for a defender of sexual violence," Harvard Law School professor Jeannie Suk Gersen wrote in the New Yorker.
On May 6 some 175 students protested in the Winthrop dining hall holding #MeToo and "Reclaim Winthrop" signs. Five days later Khurana announced that Sullivan and Robinson would no longer be faculty deans when their terms end June 30.
What's at stake for working class
"I am not personally accused of engaging in any misconduct," Sullivan said in a March 7 interview with the New Yorker. "Lawyers do not represent the ideology of their clients. Rather, lawyers are engaged in a long-standing tradition of service to people accused by the state."
"I have gotten scores of notes from students who very quietly give strong support to me, and I appreciate those notes," he added. "But one constant is that they say that they feel as though they cannot say anything publicly because they will be tarred and feathered as 'rape sympathizers' and that they're disinclined to step out publicly."
"People have to be able to exchange ideas, even ideas with which they disagree, freely and openly," he said.
"Regardless of where moves to attack political rights or to victimize people for acting on their beliefs begin," Seth Galinsky, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New York City public advocate, said May 17, "the capitalist rulers look to turn this against the working class and the communist movement. For years the Socialist Workers Party, Communist Party, groups fighting against Jim Crow segregation in the South and others faced serious challenges finding lawyers to defend them when the government tried to frame them up and shut them down."
"The right to have legal counsel to vigorously fight charges by the state will become even more important for working-class political organizations as the class struggle heats up," he said.
....they hate Trump because his election signaled a deep sense among millions of working people that capitalism's crisis today means their lives and their future are in jeopardy. These workers have a growing distrust and hatred for those they call "the political class." Liberals have a fear — shared broadly by the ruling capitalist families — that over time this will lead to large-scale labor battles and independent working-class political consciousness.
This is the rulers' real target — to weaken the rights of working people and attack their ability to act politically.
Disregarding the fact that special counsel Robert Mueller's report — despite all his partisan efforts — found no basis to the charges that Trump's 2016 campaign had colluded with Moscow, liberals are pushing new charges and fishing expeditions they hope will lead to indictment, impeachment or at least to uncover unseemly material that can cost him reelection.
The House Ways and Means Committee is demanding the release of six years of the president's tax returns. Trump says no way, they're my business.
Dovetailing with the congressional moves, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing a state bill that would prevent presidential candidates from getting on the ballot there if they don't make their tax returns public. This violates basic constitutional protections of the right to privacy. Similar laws are being pushed by liberals in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Rhode Island and elsewhere.
When some of Trump's older tax returns were released, showing he had lost money, he joked that this only meant he was smart and saved money on his taxes. Millionaire bourgeois politicians like Trump — and like Obama, the Clintons and Bernie Sanders — have an army of accountants and lawyers to doctor their taxes.
But Socialist Workers Party candidates and many other workers oppose efforts by government bureaucrats to pry into their families' financial affairs. They are nobody's business.
Democrats, and some Republicans, are also pushing to greatly increase the number of signatures parties have to collect to get on the ballot, as well as moving the deadline for filing to run earlier and earlier, in some cases into the year before the elections! The effect — and intention — of these bills is to make it harder for independent and working-class parties, like the Socialist Workers Party, to get on the ballot.
House Intelligence Committee chief Adam Schiff is seeking to open a new round of "investigation" into the president and others in his administration. He threatens to use Congress' "inherent contempt" power — which hasn't been used in nearly a century — on administration officials who refuse to agree to be grilled or to turn over personal material. The "contempt" rule allows Congress to issue sanctions, including imprison people in the Capitol.
The rulers' political police
Meanwhile, the Justice Department, headed by Attorney General William Barr, is opening a probe into the FBI's increasing role as a partisan spy operation against Trump's 2016 campaign and his administration. This makes Democrats nervous.
"We have to stop using the criminal-justice process as a political weapon," Barr said May 1, pointing to liberals' efforts to criminalize political differences between Democrats and Republicans. But the capitalist "justice" system and its FBI political police have been used for decades to target and attack working-class militants and revolutionists like the SWP, with the support of Democrats and Republicans alike. The liberals' push to do so today gives the rulers greater room to step up these attacks.
The 15-year successful political and legal fight by the Socialist Workers Party against spying and harassment by the FBI and other government agencies helped expose the scope of the rulers' political police. Both Democratic and Republican administrations back to Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s used the FBI to target the SWP and its participation in the unions, the fight against imperialist war, struggles to overturn Jim Crow segregation and other legal activity.
A 1986 court ruling in the lawsuit detailed the hundreds of informers the FBI sent into the party. It describes 20,000 days worth of wiretaps over two decades and hundreds of burglaries of party offices and homes of SWP members.
When the liberals turn similar methods loose against Trump's campaign and his presidency, it gives wider sway to political police spying and disruption and increases the danger to the working class. Every attack on constitutional rights will end up being directed against the working class and vanguard groups like the SWP. Working people need to fight every step advanced by liberals and the middle-class left — or anyone else — to undermine our political rights.
....social media restrictions are part of what's happening in current bourgeois politics — to bring in laws, not against criminal actions, but against ideas labeled as "hate speech."
This mirrors the widespread campaign by middle-class liberals and radicals to demand colleges, high schools and other academic institutions ban speakers whose ideas they don't like. Or to use their own thuggish methods to shout down, or physically shut down, any ideas they feel are "offensive."
Facebook's censorship today meets with approval and cries for more from the left. But steps like these always end up being used against the working class and the communist movement.
The rulers are only too happy to shut down the space working people need for political discussions as we fight to find an independent working-class political road forward. Only in this way can we advance along the road of building a mighty proletarian movement capable of transforming society — and ourselves.
....there is no significant fascist uprising today. What working people face in the U.S. is nothing like the slaughter of 6 million Jews by the Nazi regime in Germany.
The fact is that through their experiences in struggles over decades — from the popular movement that overthrew Jim Crow segregation to workers' actions to defend co-workers and neighbors without papers from raids by Washington's immigration police — there is less racism, less anti-immigrant sentiment and less Jew-hatred among workers than ever before.
Jew-hatred is a permanent feature of capitalist rule. Speaking out against it whenever it rears its ugly head is essential for advancing the unity of working people. Doing so does not need to be justified by false claims that it is on the rise.
So determined to give credibility to their claims of "rising bigotry," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the liberal press and others rushed to condemn a supposed racist and homophobic "attack" on actor Justin Smollett, who is Black and gay, without bothering to check the facts. The press widely repeated Smollett's claim that two "assailants" had tied a rope around the actor's neck and told him, "This is MAGA country [Make America Great Again]," as good coin.
But then the two people arrested for the assault told Chicago cops that Smollett had in fact paid them to stage the fake "attack," in an effort to bolster his efforts to get a raise. Smollett now faces multiple charges of lying to the authorities.
Claims that "hate crimes" are soaring are used to bolster the push for new, stronger laws and sentences for anyone charged with one. This means you can get longer time in prison not based on what you do, but on what you think. Thought-control laws like this are dangerous. The rulers always end up using them to target working people and those who fight against exploitation and oppression.
8 August 2019