Editorial:

Lawlessness and Violence

(Reprinted from "The Worker," newspaper of the Workers Party, USA)

March 27, 2006

These days the U.S. government does not even try to cover over its lawlessness and extreme violence.

- Earlier this month, the Bush administration's updated National Security Strategy again affirmed the government's policy of "preemptive war" - that the U.S. will start war against any country, at any time, in order to insure the U.S. position as the dominant world power.

- Similarly, when Bush administration officials were asked how they could supply India with nuclear fuel, in defiance of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and U.S. law, even while using the same treaty as an excuse to attack Iran, the official response amounted to: "We like India, and don't like Iran." Countless more examples can be given.

Things are no different at home. Whenever Bush is asked about flagrant violations of U.S. law and the Constitution such as warrantless wiretaps, torture of prisoners, arbitrary detention and rendition, secret dossiers and police spying, etc., etc., he says "we are only wiretapping, torturing, detaining, and spying on terrorists."

In other words, Bush does not even acknowledge the question. For the U. S. government, the rights of the American people and the rights of other nations simply do not exist. All that exists is the power of the

U. S. government - a government which tells us, again and again, in words and in deeds, that it is a power unrestrained by any law, by any standard of civilized human behavior. It is an arbitrary power based on violence.

This fascism has become so virulent and so naked, that there are those in the government who are trying to cover over the worst abuses in the hopes of restoring "legitimacy." Thus the American people were treated to the farce of a Congressional "struggle" allegedly mandating an end to torture - even while the torture continues and increases. Thus, we are told that the dangers of warrantless wiretaps will be removed, if the executive branch first gets the approval of a court of anonymous, handpicked judges. Thus, some politicians insist that it is better PR not to admit to the preemptive war doctrine but simply to follow it in practice.

The lawlessness and violence of the U.S. government will not be restrained, much less stopped, by the government itself. On the contrary, this is the very basis of the government. Whenever the basic interests of the capitalist class are at stake, the government is prepared to use all the force at its disposal. Today's "anti-terror" crusade is just a new version of the government's COINTELPRO operations in the 1960's, of its anti-communist hysteria in the 1950's, etc. How many times have strikes or struggles of the oppressed minorities been suppressed by police and the national guard in the name of "national interests and national security." How many countries have been invaded and taken over by the U.S. corporations in the name of "spreading democracy?"

Today, the fact that the lawlessness and violence is becoming more extreme is not an accident or simply the policy of a handful of "neoconservatives." The growing fascism of the U.S. government is its response to the crisis and weakness of U.S. capitalist-imperialism. It relies on violence because it is completely unable and unwilling to meet the urgent demands of the people. Rather, hell-bent on ruling the world, the U.S. capitalists have declared a "war on terrorism" as their strategy for world domination. With their mouths watering at the prospect of robbing the whole of our country's economy, the capitalists are using this same "war on terrorism" as a means to suppress the American people.

It is only the peoples who can defeat this growing fascism. The people must multiply their struggles to demand and defend their economic and political rights. We must organize ourselves as an independent force, in opposition to and struggle against the capitalist class and its government. Our goal can be nothing less than defeating the arbitrary, violent power of the capitalists and creating a new political power which arises from and empowers the people themselves.