Wednesday, July 04, 2012

East India Company

“The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.”
Thomas Jefferson

Long before July 4, 1776, the American colonists were exercising their independence from corporate rule.

As kids in classrooms, we learned about the Revolutionary War and the tyranny of King George, but that history gives the role of the corporation short shrift. We fail — to this day — to teach our children that global corporations were a big part of British imperial expansion. Corporations like the British East India Company were larger than governments and shaped policy that impacted British subjects, at home and in the American colonies.

In 1773, the East India Company was granted a monopoly on the importation of tea to the colonies. On December 16, the colonists staged the first major anti-corporate uprising in the country — the Boston Tea Party. Just two and a half years later, we declared independence. Fast-forward 238 years to Occupy Wall Street, where modern patriots are staging a massive protest against corporate rule.

Why is this history lesson important to us?

It defines who we are as a nation. We have a rich history of standing up and fighting for our rights as human beings, no matter the personal cost. The signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for American independence. Will we, as a nation, follow them or will we let large corporations rule the day?

Move To Amend is firmly on the side of American patriots, living and dead. We pledge to continue our fight to end corporate rule by amending the Constitution to abolish corporate personhood and money as speech. For the sake of the patriots who came before us, and those to come, we cannot and must not fail. 

-from a letter from Move to Amend