Last week we noted the 243rd anniversary of the publication of Common Sense — Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, that is.
The importance of this document for the formation of the United States of America can hardly be over-estimated. And the general good . . . sense . . . of the pamphlet still impresses. It is, in fact, one of the classics of Western literature, political polemics, and social philosophy. And it radicalized Americans to dare declare their independence from King George III.
We here at ThisIsCommonSense.com can hardly be more emphatic: if you have not read the pamphlet, you really should. If your spouse, or children, or neighbors have not read it, please send them a copy. We provide one in our Library, as a webpage.
And, also in our Library, we offer something else by Tom Paine, his essay against slavery. It seems to be one of the first anti-slavery pamphlets published in America. Read our webpage or download the PDF. And send it to your friends.
The fight against slavery is inextricably linked, in American history, to the fight for freedom. Slavery is one of freedom’s most stark opposites.
“One of?” we hear you protest. Well, tyranny is slavery’s twin. But we grant you, maybe they are the same thing: tyranny is the slavery of a populace, slavery the tyranny over an individual person.
Paine wrote even more controversial works. He also went to France to aid in the French Revolution only to get put in prison for his trouble. And he came back to America, for refuge, and was forsaken by its people, dying in poverty.
His ideas are not impoverished though. And not dead. Not so long as we keep them alive.
This is Common Sense. And he was Tom Paine, American hero.