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Is Common Sense Common Sense?

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Is Common Sense common sense?

Dear Editor,

A few days ago I over heard two men discussing a recent writing release by one Thomas Paine entitled "Common Sense." Inevitably the two men were debating upon idea of American independence or to remain a colony under mother Britain. With each men taking a side the debate went on well over an hour all the while I sat listened. Afterwards, I could not help myself but to continue thinking about this topic of "Common Sense," and felt obliged to look ever more deeply into the writing itself.

Thomas Paine begins with a section entitled "Of the Origin and Design of Government." Here he begins with his problem towards how some writers and parts of the public view society and government. That many leave little or no distinction between the two, when yet they are very different. Paine professes government as a necessary evil, while society is something to stride for, that promotes happiness by uniting our affections. Continuing on that if society as a whole acted morally with no wrong doings, there would little or no need for a government at all. However, being that there is corruptness amongst society, government is an essential for the protection of life and property. Paine concludes this thought by stating the a government should be judge by its ability to fulfill the role of providing security for its people.

Mr. Paine uses a very relatable idea to describe how and why a government should come into existence. Take a small number of people who are stranded on an island. In a state of natural liberty, these people with inevitably interact as they set their minds on a society. Soon enough a sort of government will emerge, beginning as a simply meeting to discuss public matters. As this society grows, these meetings will become over crowded and potentially hard to travel to. It is here where the logical solution to this problem is to have representatives. One for each area of this society, who is committed to doing what he can to ensure happiness for those from where they were chosen. Paine admits that for this to work, the representatives must be frequently elected to ensure the goals they were towards are aligned with the people they represent. Further stating that the strength of a government is the happiness of the governed.


In the second section of his writing titled "Of Monarchy and Hereditary Succession," Thomas Paine attacks those very two things. According to him, mankind was originally is a state of equality. Although overtime, the present inequalities we see today were brought about by circumstance. With this in mind, Paine asked the question of what is the division between a king and his subjects? Going on to answer it with the thought the distinction is question, lacks any natural or religious basis. Compared to the differences between men and women or good and evil, which Paine considers "of heaven," the distinction between king and subjects does not exist. It is clear that Paine considers the practices of a monarchy evil and without proper reasoning. Continuing on the idea that all men are created equal, Paine refutes the idea that a man has the right to establish his family has forever presiding over others. Digressing that, even if one man does come



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