by Michael Gulett –
The pamphlet Common Sense by Thomas Paine was originally titled Plain Truth. The title was changed before it was published in Philadelphia on January 10, 1776.
There were a few hundred thousand pamphlets printed and read by the American colonists. The ideas presented in Common Sense were important to galvanize the American Colonies to move for freedom from the British.
Proving again that ideas and words are powerful.
In the opening paragraph Paine writes,
Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first a patron, the last a punisher.
Many details about our modern life differ from Thomas Paine’s day yet ideas and words are as important now as they were in 1776. His ideas about the differences between society and government are still thought provoking.
The world is going through profound changes, as it was in 1776, and we must adapt to those changes and help society and government move forward in a positive way.
I intend to do what I can to that end by sharing ideas here. I hope you will join me.