Feb 10

Thomas Paine –Common Sense

When men yield up the exclusive privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon,”

Thomas Paine


Common Sense, the short and concise pamphlet by Thomas Paine, enumerated some of the basic tenets of the Liberty Philosophy. Paine was an American revolutionary war era propagandist. He put forth the argument for American independence and asserted the underlying premise that distinguished society from government. Society defined as everything good and constructive that people join together to accomplish, contrasted to government, which at best was a necessary evil. Common Sense is a short read and gives insight into the thought process of the era. I encourage you to follow the first link and read it.


Another link that explains in video format the Liberty Philosophy can be found here.


In the early part of the 20th Century, the political commentator & satirist, H.L. Mencken was known for his outspoken criticism of government. In the following quote he echoes a similar sentiment as Thomas Paine from nearly 2 centuries earlier:

“Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent.”H.L. Mencken

Permanent link to this article: http://english-speak-english.com/thomas-paine/

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