America on the Fourth of July: From Thomas Jefferson to Donald Trump
4 July 2018
The Fourth of July marks the anniversary—242 years ago—when the Congress representing thirteen colonies on the Eastern seaboard of the North American continent voted unanimously to declare independence from Great Britain and the British Crown. The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, remains one of the great revolutionary documents.
Marxists are well aware of the historical limitations within which the Founding Fathers operated. They were men of the new bourgeois world, just emerging from centuries of feudal despotism and religious obscurantism. Nothing, however, is more contemptible than the postmodernist deconstruction of history by contemporary middle-class identity politics, which is itself based on a repudiation of the Enlightenment conceptions summed up in the declaration that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Any reading of the document today stands as a condemnation of the ruling class that presides over American society. Every basic right enumerated in it is openly flouted. The elementary principle of due process is a dead letter. The Fourth of July is being marked under conditions of the mass roundup of immigrants, openly fascistic declarations from President Trump, and the construction of modern-day concentration camps.
It is worth noting, in the aftermath of the June 30 protests against Trump’s persecution of immigrants, that one of the wrongs alleged against King George in the Declaration of Independence was his effort to prevent immigration to the 13 colonies by “obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of…