We face the tyrannical attack of organized crime having hijacked the government, which now allows the syndicates and gangs to rampage and loot across the land. The worst examples among corporatized government power assaults are the health racket bailout and the looming food tyranny bill. These are two affirmatively aggressive policies. There’s also the passively aggressive intent to allow net neutrality and the vision of democratic broadband access to be destroyed, thus dooming the Internet as a space for economic innovation and as the last consistently democratic space in this corporate enclosure zone we call a “country”. The assault on civil liberties is a hybrid of the active and passive. All of this takes place under the blackened skies of the bank tyranny and the Permanent War.
“If taxes are laid on us in any shape without our having a legal representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the character of free subjects to the miserable state of tributary slaves?”
That’s Samuel Adams in Boston’s 1764 official Instructions to the Representatives to the Massachusetts Legislature, as the attempted British power grab was gathering force. The basic argument and tactic was the same throughout: Parliament could not represent the colonists, and therefore had no constitutional authority over them, and therefore they must refuse to cooperate even the slightest bit, lest this concede the principle.
Today the matter is clouded because “our” legislature isn’t geographically removed over the ocean, and we have modern communications. So it might seem that we don’t have as strong an argument of lack of representation and sovereignty. And yet the fact is every bit at true as in 1764. This government, having been corrupted by the purchase of stateless, alien interests, including the corporations which are literally unnatural and therefore monsters which can have no legitimate role in the human experience, has been abstracted from us every bit as surely as if it had been removed to another planet and was cut off from all communication. As Citizens United symbolically cinched, we the people are not represented*, and therefore cannot legitimately be taxed or subjected in any other way.
[*Nor does “representative” pseudo-democracy itself any longer have any legitimacy, having been empirically proven not to work. But that’s a matter for later posts. For today it’s sufficient to say this set-up can’t tax the citizens. The criminals and parasites, on the other hand, would be a different story.]
We must be clear that the health racket bailout is a severe tax. The government itself says so. It’s an arduous poll tax to be imposed on the citizen as the penalty for his very existence. This tax is intended to pay for no public service whatsoever. It’s intended to bring zero benefits to the victim. Instead, its practice and intent is to extort huge payments for a worthless piece of paper, which we can metaphorically call a Stamp. This protection money is earmarked for the personal luxury of insurance racket gangsters and the politicians they bought in order to have this hideous crime enacted in the first place. In every way this is our Stamp Act.
Speaking more broadly, the Stamp Act is everywhere a rent is extracted or police state “papers” are demanded. The health racket bailout is the poster child of it, but it all ramifies from the big banks, whose goal is to force each and every economic transaction down to the most miniscule through their toll booths. That’s why they cherish the goal of abolishing cash, and are working assiduously toward it.
So we have the broad stamp ideology and assault, as well as the proximate Stamp Act, which is the health racket bailout and perhaps the food tyranny bill. Whether it’s best to just reserve the term for the insurance mandate, I’m not sure. For a general audience, probably yes.
What can be done? How was it done the first time around?
In 1765 the proposed Stamp Act galvanized long-festering colonial resentment and grievance into systematic resistance. In Grenville’s plan to spread the burden of taxation as widely as possible he only succeeded in rendering resistance coherent among diverse interests who had previously often been at odds. Amid the spring agitation the patriots took the name “Sons of Liberty” from a fiery Isaac Barre speech in Parliament which was widely reprinted in the colonies. Over the next few months the agitators organized under this name. In June James Otis called for an intercolony Stamp Act Congress to convene in October, one month prior to the Act’s taking force, to coordinate message and resistance action. They agreed upon a broad campaign of passive resistance. They agreed to refuse to import British manufactures. They called this “Non-Importation”. Samuel Adams opined that no amount of British might could force the colonists to use the stamps or to buy British goods, and that the British wouldn’t try. (He also called for building an indigenous manufacturing economy to permanently replace the imports, but this didn’t get much response.)
The Bostonians frequently rallied under a big elm they christened the Liberty Tree, and the park under and around it they called Liberty Hall. All over the colonies activists named their own Liberty Trees. On August 14 they hanged an effigy of putative stampmaster Andrew Oliver, who was persuaded to pre-emptively resign that post. Other aspiring thugs were similarly persuaded throughout the colonies until by the time the Act took force there was no one to enforce it. Stamps were delivered but warehoused. Publication and business continued as before, stampless, in open flouting of the law. After a period of hesitation the courts reopened, without using stamps. That the colonial courts of law would now function in an openly (but just technically) illegal manner was an eloquent symbol of the Act’s own illegitimacy.
The British were powerless to enforce what had become a quixotic symbolic assertion even before it went into action. They had to capitulate, and the Act was repealed in March 1766. But the simultaneously passed Declaratory Act, while widely derided in the colonies as a pathetic face-saving squeak, portended further trouble. Within a few years the British would try again with the Townsend duties and suffer the same defeat.
Then, in a misguided attempt to succor a financially troubled corporation (sound familiar?), the British East India Company, the UK agreed to a tea-dumping monopoly scheme. They thought they could bail out a rich interest while finally getting their long-sought precedent, that the colonists had to pay duties on British demand.
Samuel Adams had already convinced Boston to take the lead in organizing Committees of Correspondence with neighboring towns at a vote on November 2, 1772. (He first had this idea back in 1764.) The idea was first to coordinate proclamations of principle and political messaging, to present a united front, and eventually to coordinate strategy and tactics. Although Adams’ fellow Bostonians were dubious at first (what if they got a poor response? it would be a big PR setback), the response was emphatic beyond even his expectations. Many towns demanded stronger language than even Boston had proposed.
The Committee idea spread through the colonies. In March 1773 the Virginia Legislature publicly read and approved the Boston resolution. The rebellious ideal became general. From here the fuse was lit, and it was only a matter of time.
The colonials had many advantages. They had a basically homogeneous and socially compact population; their legislature was their own (vs. the alien overseas Parliament); the interests of freedom and their commerce were clearly concurrent.
Today we have a fragmented and atomized populace. And while it remains equally true that our freedom and our economic prosperity are complements, it’s far more difficult to make that clear amid the propaganda smoke machines spewing lies about “growth”, the “free market”, “capitalism”, “libertarianism”, and all the other slogans perverted from any real meaning to the criminal interest of the elites.
As I’ve mentioned before, we also lack a geographical center of economic and political gravity comparable to Boston in 1765 or 73 or Paris in 1789.
So what must we do? It seems right that we must propagate the right ideas. It seems simple enough:
1. Understand and declare our principles.
2. Identify the enemy and analyze his attack.
3. Settle on the strategy and tactics of defense and counterattack.
4. Do it.
If anyone criticizes: “Who are you to speak for the people?”, the answer is, who else is going to? Who are we waiting for? Paul Volcker? Alan Grayson? Elizabeth Warren?
I think, whatever we are, we’re it. That means we in the blogosphere. So maybe that means we must coordinate and systematize our agitation. We’re still just “writing”, as some scoff, but trying to break out to a broader audience.
That’s the big question – how do we expand our activity beyond the Internet democracy? How do we get the truth to the masses? How do we break out of the blogosphere and either force ourselves on the MSM or find an alternative megaphone? This question is especially critical given the precarious fingerhold of net neutrality. As Samuel Adams wrote under the name “Populus”, one of his many pseudonyms:
“There is nothing so fretting and vexatious, nothing so justly TERRIBLE to tyrants, and their tools and abettors, as a FREE PRESS.”
Since the corporate media has abdicated, gone to treason, and become just a vile pack of abettors, here too the full responsibility is upon the citizen journalists of the blogosphere. We’re the torch bearers of truth, and we must find a way to bring this fire to illuminate the darkness the criminals have cast upon us all.
In the light, all will become clear, and we’ll find the path to our redemption.