Common Sense by Thomas Paine

 

  • a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong,gives it a superficial appearance of being right
  • Time makes more converts than reasondownload
  • 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
  • the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and the easier repaired when disordered
  • The state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly
  • Oppression is often the consequence, but seldom or never the means of riches
  • there is another and greater distinction for which no truly natural or religious reason can be assigned, and that is, the distinction of men into KINGS and SUBJECTS. Male and female are the distinctions of nature, good and bad the distinctions of heaven; but how a race of men came into the world so exalted above the rest, and distinguished like some new species, is worth enquiring into, and whether they are the means of happiness or of misery to mankind.
  • Monarchy is ranked in scripture as one of the sins of the Jews
  • For as in Adam all sinned, and as in the first electors all men obeyed; as in the one all mankind were subjected to Satan, and in the other to Sovereignty; as our innocence was lost in the first, and our authority in the last; and as both disable us from reassuming some former state and privilege, it unanswerably follows that original sin and hereditary succession are parallels
  • Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.
  • And so uncertain is the fate of war and the temper of a nation, when nothing but personal matters are the ground of a quarrel
  • Even the distance at which the Almighty hath placed England and America, is a strong and natural proof, that the authority of the one, over the other, was never the design of Heaven
  • as Milton wisely expresses, “never can true reconcilement grow where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep.”
  • there is something very absurd, in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island
  • When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember, that virtue is not hereditary
  • For no nation in a state of foreign dependance, limited in its commerce, and cramped and fettered in its legislative powers, can ever arrive at any material eminence
  • peace with trade, is preferable to war without
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