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Corporations are People, My Friend

© Tom Tomorrow

The ironic thing about all this is that we’ve had this fight before. The American Revolution was as much a fight against the original multinational corporations as it was against the British government. After all, one of the most famous events in the run up to the revolution was the Boston Tea Party, where colonists destroyed tea owned by the monopolistic British East India Company, which was so large it had its own army and effectively ruled India for 100 years (resulting in the Indian Rebellion of 1857).

In response to the Boston Tea Party, the British government passed the infamous Intolerable Acts (also called the Coercive Acts), which ordered the colonists to repay the East India Company for the destroyed tea. The colonists refused, and the rest is history.

And the reason the colonists destroyed the tea in the first place? It was a protest against the Tea Act, which was passed in order to save the East India Company from bankruptcy. It was the original government bailout of a company that was too big to fail!

Does this all sound too familiar? Will history repeat itself?



  1. Dan wrote:

    Problem is the people that are calling for armed rebellion are pawns for the corporate Plutocracy and they don’t even know it.

    Monday, July 9, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink
  2. IK: Reddit loves to bat around rhetoric about US rebellion, and I’ve certainly stated that I fear our experiences dangerously mimic the stresses in France building up to the French Revolution.

    But you’ve consistently resisted that rhetoric. What made you change your mind?

    Monday, July 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    Why do you think I changed my mind? I was just pointing out that some of the causes of the American revolution are strangely echoed in things that are happening again today. I’m definitely not saying we need a revolution, or that we could have one even if we wanted one. As Dan points out, corporation have become much better at PR.

    Monday, July 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink
  4. IK: Ah, that makes sense. I also don’t think we need a revolution, nor that we are primed for one now.

    Unlike you, I fear that we could end up in one if some of the patterns from the last few decades continue. People, as a group, amaze me in how very patient they can be. But they also amaze me in how that patience can fuel violence.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 6:43 am | Permalink