Paine on Rights


I have been reading Thomas Paine slowly over the tumult of the last few months in current events, and am struck again and again with how much history resonates. It’s nothing I didn’t already know. Still, it’s not something I thought of on a daily basis. The momentous events get lost in the noise of the everyday. 

Most of the time. Not always. I said here on the blog, a bit less than a year ago now, that I could feel as though the world were pivoting and changing course right then and there. I was right. 

I could wish I had been wrong. 

We live in interesting times, and that was never a comforting phrase. 

I recommend, have you not read him lately, that you tuck into a copy of Thomas Paine’s work. They are free, and they are nourishing to the mind. 

Volume I: The American Crisis

Volume II: The Rights of Man


Paine’s take on the initiation of the French Revolution, in light of what came after, seems ominously appropriate at this juncture in time. Which road we take is… up to each of us, and yet not. There is nothing I can do that would affect the actions of those who would spill blood in anger at their oppression. All I can do is remind my readers of their rights. 

Rights that are not granted unto us. Rights which must be protected, lest we fall into one of the various forms of slavery. Ours was created to be a free society. If we can keep it. 
None of us – not even a politician – is any less than another. Nor more.