Friday, May 31, 2013

Why Samuel Adams Matters Today

'Drink More Beer, Not Tea!'
And no, it is not because his name is on the great beer brewed by the Boston Lager Company.

Samuel Adams actually was not a very good brewer back in the day and probably lost more money borrowed from his wealthy dad than he ever made in any venture he undertook.

But he was a darned good writer and was able to catch the Revolutionary Spirit about as well as Thomas Paine or Benjamin Franklin or anyone else back in the day.

For his senior thesis at a small community college back then known as Harvard, Sam Adams wrote on this question:

"Whether it be lawful to resist the supreme magistrate, if the commonwealth cannot be otherwise preserved?"

Wonder what his senior thesis would be today in the wake of the IRS targeting of political opponents by the Obama Administration?

Or the AP wiretapping of FOX news reporters James Rosen?

Or the cover-up of the Benghazi murders by blaming the riots in Libya supposedly on this video, 'The Real Life of Muhammad?

Mr. Adams would have a lot to say about all of these we would imagine. As would virtually all of the founders and patriots of this nation we believe.

The one thing that bound them together like brothers and family was this:

They distrusted any concentration of power in any governmental body or institution, especially when it was concentrated solely in the power of one person, a king.

Aren't we today seeing the dangers of giving our taxpayer money to support more and more government at every level of our lives?

The tendency of mankind is not to become more 'generous' and 'beneficent' the more power we control.

Very, very few political leaders have been 'philosopher-kings' in the best sense of the words or 'reluctant kings' as exemplified by George Washington who willingly gave up his Presidency after 2 terms to go back to live on his farm at Mount Vernon.

King George remarked upon hearing the news that Washington had willingly resigned as Commander of US military forces upon the cessation of hostilities in 1783 after Yorktown:

'If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world."

The tendency is for men and women in power to assume more power and use it to suit their benefit, their pensions, their long-term interests rather than the people they are purportedly 'sworn to serve' as public servants.

Take a look at what Mr. Samuel Adams wrote back in 1773 and see if you have the 'revolutionary spirit' to do what he said we should do when faced with oppressive, over-reaching power from an oppressive, over-reaching government:

Resolutions of the Town of Boston - 1773

Published on November 3rd, 1773, the article called for the dissolution of the Tea Act. The Tea Act gave the East Indian Company the monopoly in the importation and distribution of tea in the colony and allowed the company to tax the commodity. Samuel Adams’ objective was to create enough opposition to prevent the shipment of tea to unload in the Boston Harbor which consequently lead to the Boston Tea Party.

'Whereas it appears by an Act of the British Parliament passed in the last Sessions, that the East India Company are by the said Act allowed to export their Teas into America, in such Quantities as the Lord of the Treasury shall Judge proper;
And some People with an evil intent to amuse the People, and others thro’ inattention to the true design of the Act, have so construed the same, as that the Tribute of three Pence on every Pound of Tea is not to be enacted by the detestable Task Masters there – Upon the due consideration thereof, Resolved, That the Sense of the Town cannot be better expressed on this Occasion, than in the words of certain Judicious Resolves lately entered into by our worthy Brethren, the Citizens of Philadelphia – wherefore:
Resolved, that the disposal of their own property is the Inherent Right of Freemen; that there can be no property in that which another can of right take from us without our consent; that the Claim of Parliament to tax America, is in other words a claim of Right to buy Contributions on us at pleasure –
2nd That the Duty imposed by Parliament upon Tea landed in America, is a tax on the Americans, or levying Contributions on them without their consent --
3rd That the express purpose for which the Tax is levied on the Americans, namely for the support of Government, the Administration of Justice, and the defence of His Majesty's Dominions in America, has a direct tendency to render Assemblies useless, and to introduce Arbitrary Government and Slavery --
4th That a virtuous and steady opposition to the Ministerial Plan of governing America, is absolutely necessary to preserve even the shadow of Liberty, and is a duty which every Freeman in America owes to his Country to himself and to his Posterity –
5th That the Resolutions lately come by the East India Company, to send out their Teas to America Subject to the payment of Duties on its being landed here, is an open attempt to enforce the Ministerial Plan, and a violent attack upon the Liberties of America –
6th That it is the Duty of every American to oppose this attempt
7th That whoever shall directly or indirectly countenance this attempt, or in any wise aid or abet in unloading receiving or vending the Tea sent or to be sent out by the East India Company while it remains subject to the payment of a duty here is an Enemy to America
8th That a Committee be immediately chosen to wait on those Gentlemen, who it is reported are appointed by the East India Company to receive and sell said Tea, and to request them from a regard to their own characters and the peace and good order of this Town and Province immediately to resign their appointment.'*

*Samuel Adams, “Resolutions of the Town of Boston,” The Writings of Samuel Adams. Vol. III, ed. Harry Alonzo Cushing (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1907), 67-69.

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