Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion;  and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think.

Thomas Paine – Rights of Man

From Tom Paine and Revolutionary America by Eric Foner, beginning on pg 87, “For Paine, what distinguished republican government was not the ‘particular form’ of government but its object:  “the public good.”  Sprinkled through Paine’s writings are references to “the cloven foot” of faction,” and the need to prevent “governing by party.”  Both class and party conflict were, in a sense, incompatible with the essence of republicanism, which, Paine believed, “does not admit of an interest distinct from that of the nation.”  Legislation, for Paine, should simply reflect the united interest of a homogenous people, rather than private or narrow needs.  “Whatever is of consequence to any, is so to all,” Paine wrote in 1779, “for wealth like water soon spreads over the surface. . . .

Explore posts in the same categories: Politics


You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: