Freedom Series 1 – An Uncommon Sense

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Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes us POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first a patron, the last a punisher.

Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and end of government, viz. freedom and security.

I draw my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature, which no art can overturn, viz. that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered; and the easier repaired when disordered.

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Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT… our calamity is heightened by reflecting that WE furnish the means by which we suffer.

Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived.

It is the good fortune of many to live distant from the scene of sorrow; the evil is not sufficient brought to their doors to make THEM feel the precariousness with which all (Indian) property is possessed.

Men of passive tempers look somewhat lightly over the offences of (Politicians in power) and still, hoping for the best, are apt to call out, “COME, COME, WE SHALL BE FRIENDS AGAIN, FOR ALL THIS.” But examine the passions and feelings of mankind, Bring the doctrine of reconciliation to the touchstone of nature, and then tell me, whether you can hereafter love, honour, and faithfully serve the power that hath carried fire and sword into your land? Your future connection with (your politicians), whom you can neither love nor honour will be forced and unnatural, and being formed only on the plan of present convenience, will in a little time fall into a relapse more wretched than the first.

But if you say, you can still pass the violations over, then I ask, Hath your house been burnt? Hath your property been destroyed before your face! Are your wife and children destitute of a bed to lie on, or bread to live on? Have you lost a parent or a child by their hands, and yourself the ruined and wretched survivor! If you have not, then are you not a judge of those who have.

This is not inflaming or exaggerating matters, but trying them by those feelings and affections which nature justifies, and without which, we should be incapable of discharging the social duties of life, or enjoying the felicities of it. I mean not to exhibit horror for the purpose of provoking revenge, but to awaken us from fatal and unmanly slumbers, that we may pursue determinately some fixed object.

But if you have, and still can shake hands with the murderers, then are you unworthy of the name of husband, father, friend, or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward, and the spirit of a sycophant.

It is repugnant to reason, to the universal order of things, to all examples from former ages, to suppose, that this (country) can longer remain subject to any external power.

And a government which cannot preserve the peace, is no government at all, and in that case we pay our money for nothing;

“The science” says … “of the politician consists in fixing the true point of happiness and freedom. Those men would deserve the gratitude of ages, who should discover a mode of government that contained the greatest sum of individual happiness, with the least national expense.”For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law OUGHT to be King; and there ought to be no other.

Common sense will tell us, that the power which hath endeavoured to subdue us, is of all others the most improper to defend us.

The rich are in general slaves to fear, and submit to courtly power with the trembling duplicity of a Spaniel. Youth is the seed time of good habits, as well in nations as in individuals.

Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which if continued would grow into oppressions. Expedience and right are different things.

Here is idolatry even without a mask: And he who can calmly hear, and digest such doctrine, hath forfeited his claim to rationality an apostate from the order of manhood; and ought to be considered as one, who hath not only given up the proper dignity of man, but sunk himself beneath the rank of animals, and contemptibly crawl through the world like a worm.

In short, Independence is the only BOND that can tye and keep us together. We shall then see our object, and our ears will be legally shut against the schemes of an intriguing, as well, as a cruel enemy.

POST SCRIPT

O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her— Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.

SOURCE: Excerpts from – Common Sense by Thomas Paine, Waxkeep Publishing, Kindle Edition

Common Sense by Thomas Paine

1-4 Paine, Thomas (p. 3)
5 Paine, Thomas. pp. (16-17)
6-10 Paine, Thomas.(p. 23)
11- Paine, Thomas (p. 24)
12 – Paine, Thomas  (p. 28)
13-14 – Paine, Thomas (p. 30)
15 – Paine, Thomas (p. 36)
16 – Paine, Thomas (p. 38)
17 – Paine, Thomas (p. 40)
18 – Paine, Thomas (p. 44)
19 – Paine, Thomas (p. 49)

POSTCRIPT

Paine, Thomas. Common Sense (p. 36)

NOTE: Words in Paragraphs changed from original

About Thomas Paine

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