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The Original Tea Party Movement Was a Revolt Against a Corporation

Thom Hartmann, The Daily Take, on the origins of the REAL Tea Party movement:

The citizens of the colonies were preparing to throw off one of the corporations that for almost 200 years were determining nearly every aspect of their lives through its economic and political power. They were planning to destroy the goods o the world’s largest multinational corporation, to intimidate its employees, and to face down the guns of the government that supported it.

This is a fascinating and passionate video in which Thom Hartmann reads from an account of the Boston Tea Party by a man who actually took part in it. George R.T. Hewe’s account makes it plain that the Boston Tea Party was a revolt against a corporation – The British East India Tea Company – and the tax cuts that company was enjoying.

Hartmann reads an excerpt from a pamphlet by “Rusticus” which sums up the rage the American colonists felt towards this massive corporation.

Are we in like manner to be given up to the disposal of the East India Company who have now the assurance to step forth in aid of the minister to execute his plan of enslaving America? Their conduct in Asia for some years past has given simple proof how little they regard the laws of nations, the rights, liberties, and lives of men. fifteen hundred thousand, it is said, perished of famine in one year, not because the Earth denied its fruits, but because this company and its servants engulfed all the necessities of life and set them at so high a price that the poor could not purchase them.

Compare that to the Rick Santelli rant that started the modern “Tea Party Movement” that long screed aired on CNBC where, surrounded by cheering stock traders, Santelli attacked “losers” who were in foreclosure.

How about this, President New Administration? Why don’t you put up a website to have people vote on the Internet as a referendum to see if we really want to subsidize the losers’ mortgages or would we like to at least buy cars and buy houses in foreclosure and give them to people that might have a chance to actually prosper down the road and reward people that could carry the water rather than drink the water. (Applause from traders on floor around him)

…This is America! (Turning to speak to floor. Camera pulls back to show several thirtyish-to-fortyish white men in their shirt sleeves at terminals.)

How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills, raise their hands! (boos from the white guys.) …We’re thinkin’ of having a Chicago Tea Party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m gonna start organizing.

I wonder how many of those capitalists cheering behind Santelli would have joined with the colonists in fighting the East India Tea Company. Would they have been inspired by the words of “Rusticus” or would they have dismissed the famine victims he mentioned as “losers?’

This is why actual knowledge of history is so important. It’s also why paper and print remain such an important resource when it comes to understanding our history. Note, please, that Hartmann did not find this information online. He found it in a book that was written within actual living memory of the Boston Tea Party.

You know – a book — one of those square papery things with writing that can’t be altered or erased from some remote location.

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