On the Meaning of July 4th for Communists On July 4 we celebrate one of the greatest events of history - the signing of the first great modern charter of democracy, the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Though five more years of war were needed to give King George III and his Tory supporters their final defeat, the democratic American nation had its birth on that day. The Declaration of Independence was based on a solid confidence and faith in the common man, in the ability of people to govern themselves. The final authority rests with the people who are the real rulers. According to the intentions of Jefferson and most of the signers, this principle was to be the basis for the American system of government. This doctrine was most disagreeable to the big American merchants who did a prosperous trade with England, to the aristocratic, the prosperous and the privileged, to the officers, judges, and countless other officials of the British crown and their hangers-on. To these gentry Washington's army and supporters were the "propertyless rabble" whom they hated and feared far more than foreign domination. These are the gentlemen who organized the Tory party, who financed, supported and spied for the English king against their countrymen. But side by side with riches there grew poverty. We have within our borders some of the most beautiful cities in the world, but in those cities there are slums that breed crime and disease. We have factories and plants that can produce food, clothing and modern housing for twice our population, but many of our people ar hungry, ill-clad, ill-housed. Our old people approach age with fear and insecurity. What has happened to the America of Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Tom Paine, the America of Valley Forge and Yorktown? The answer is: the rise of monopoly capital. Stated in another way, great banks and corporations, fattening on the labor of workers and farmers and by devouring small enterprises, have gathered in to their hands ownership and control of the sources of wealth of our country. The concentration of wealth into the hands of the few has naturally meant that enormous political power has also been concentrated into these same hands. Exactly what Thomas Jefferson feared and sought to prevent had come to pass. The history of America since Jefferson has been largely the struggle of the American people against the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few. Even at the very birth of the republic the representatives of the entrenched wealth of the day, of whom Alexander Hamilton was the outstanding spokesman, sought to secure economic and political power for the large propertied interests. To this end they bitterly opposed a democratic constitution. It was only after a long popular struggle that Jefferson won the inclusion of the Bill of Rights in to the Constitution as the first ten Amendments. Today the nation is again faced with a decisive struggle between the forces of democracy and progress and the forces of reaction.