I’ve read so many articles, ad nauseum, about how the rebels in America had such a short fuse; how the things that they rebelled against were so trivial; how the revolution itself was just a rich man’s effort to get more money and avoid taxes; but the truth of the story is that all of these articles list one, or two – maybe even three – things that are what they refer to as the “root cause” of the revolution, whereas the true cause of the revolution goes all the way back to the reason that the colonials left their homelands in the first damned place hundreds of years before – they were tired as hell of the old world’s way of doing things, and wanted a place where they could live free by their own accord.
The tipping point wasn’t one or two writs of legislation; it was a long string of usurpations. Long, as in generations long. As in, the reason that the grandparents of our founding fathers left England in the first place. It wasn’t a few trivial things, like a 3% tax on tea, or the greed of a few wealthy tea merchants that caused the revolution any more than it was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand that caused WWI.
When you have a huge pile of tinder soaked in gasoline, it only takes one tiny spark to set the whole mess off. If it weren’t for Franz Ferdinand, WWI would have still happened – it was inevitable. The spark would simply have been something else. The same is true for the revolution.
Our current “masters” would do well to remember this. I hear the “you can slow boil a frog and it won’t even notice” thing being thrown about a lot as it relates to the concept of incrementalism, and its erosion of our essential liberties, but I always remember that the colonists were also slow-boiled over 150 years, and they eventually had enough. I think that there is going to be an uncanny valley event that occurs before too much longer. I think it will be a small, almost inconsequential thing that finally tips the populace over into outright confrontation and possibly even rebellion. I also think that the histories will get it wrong again, and write story after story about how the right-wing reactionary tea-baggers over-reacted to some tiny writ of legislation, just like the same histories are now saying that our founding fathers over-reacted to a 3% tax on tea. I don’t really care, because those of us that know the truth… well, we know the truth.