In Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, the pamphlet that came out in January 1776 and turned the public toward seeking independence from Britain, he speaks directly to the question posed above:
“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, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”
Read Common Sense here. Substitute our own piece-of-shit known as “Barack Obama” for the “King” (not a far substitution in his mind) and substitute our feckless, no-balls-having punk-ass “Congress” for “Parliament”.
The presumption throughout the text of Common Sense is that tyranny should never again be tolerated. Despotism was for the old world. Tyranny was outdated. It belonged nowhere in a land conceived in liberty. The only question was when and how to overthrow despotic rule. The upshot of Paine’s book was that now was the time. Waiting would only lead to continuing and deepening calamity.
Paine’s idea was that society needed no overarching ruler to give it direction. It needed no official church to make it religious. No king was necessary to give society decorum or to manage relations with other nations. It needed no central plan to spell out a list of priorities. It was an attempt to wholly recast the way people thought about how the world works.
And people believed it would work. Why? Because they saw it all around them. The world of the Colonies was made by Americans, not by some far-off, distant, deeply ignorant ruler in ermine robes living in London… or now in Washington D.C.
It is a sad commentary indeed that the distance between the ideals found in Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and those of today’s America are so vastly differing as to be nearly unrecognizable. The world that Thomas Paine dreaded — the thing he feared the most and the tyranny that he had dedicated his life to opposing — is now upon us. Today, successors like Edward Snowden are not writing monographs for us to read, but languishing in sanctuary in Russia, of all places. In the very nation that fought a revolution for the rights of the individual against the state and has fought a multitude of wars… two World Wars… against tyranny, aggression and oppression, the brilliant innovators and freedom fighters of our time are no longer welcome even inside our own borders.
Think of it… How much of what we love was actually built by the politicians, bureaucratic armies, and the central planners within the Beltway? Are these not the disposable ones? If you believe so, then once again the time is now! Waiting will only lead to continuing and deepening calamity.
How enduring is the message of Thomas Paine? Listen to these words:
“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.”