Thursday, December 14, 2006

About that famous tea party

The legendary Tea Party strikes us as quaint, almost childish: men disguising themselves as Indians, like kids on Halloween, then stealing out one night to destroy a shipment of tea. And all over a tax so tiny we smile. (Or so we think.) Oh, for problems as simple as our forefathers'!

But we actually confront the same problem. The issue was not taxation, with or without representation. The evil that sparked the Boston Tea Party stalks us today: the alliance of money, power, and weapons that subjugates the many for the benefit of the few. We call it fair trade, protectionism, corporatism, the military-industrial complex. The colonists knew it as mercantilism and fought it in the British East India Tea Company.