[A] by-stander, not blinded by prejudice… would declare, that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes.”
– Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man
Thomas Paine, whose name sadly few Americans will even recognize, is undeniably as central a hero of the American Revolution as any of the Founding Fathers. Without Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, there isn’t Paul Revere‘s midnight ride, Thomas Jefferson‘s Declaration of Independence, or George Washington‘s ultimate victory at Yorktown. Without Paine, the American Revolution dies stillborn in the hearts and minds of the American colonists, muttering impotently under the heeled boots of the British army.
The colonists were no fools. They could add two and two as they watched their legislatures being disbanded, their rights disregarded, and their colonial autonomy diminished at precisely when their economies were steadily growing. After generations of blood, sweat, and tears had gone into building their thriving colonies, the royals wanted their cut, and the colonists were about to let them do it. That is, until Thomas Paine convinced them that they had both a right and a duty to remain free!
It was Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” that inspired Paul Revere to ride warning of the coming redcoat army. It was Thomas Paine’s friendship that inspired Jefferson’s pen in Philadelphia. It was Paine’s words “THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph…” that George Washington read to his troops to reignite their revolutionary hearts.
It was God that put the hunger for Liberty in the hearts of men, it was Thomas Paine that convinced men to do something about it.
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
– George Orwell, 1984
After the American Revolution, Thomas Paine ran afoul of the staunch Toryism of the British Isles. In response to crown loyalist, Edmund Burke, Paine made an observation in his “Rights of Man” that cut through the heart of the Tory Statist ethic, noting “In reviewing the history of the English government, its wars and its taxes, a by-stander, not blinded by prejudice, nor warped by interest, would declare, that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes.“
In an honest assessment of human history, one would see that no state made fat on the taxes of their citizenry has ever made a habit of leaving other people alone, which brings us to this last Friday, when the United States military, by the order of president “Bone Spurs“, attacked Syria (again) using long ranged missiles in a joint mission with England and France. On Twitter, the president declared “Mission Accomplished” (apparently the missile strikes he ordered in 2017 were just a practice run).
After having launched millions of dollars of Tomahawk missiles into Syria, apparently the military doesn’t actually have evidence was even a chemical attack in Douma. So with no demonstrable national security interest, no long-term strategic goal, no United Nations resolution on Syria, for all intents and purposes, the United States, France, and England are rogue states acting without even a pretense of international authority other than to play “world police“.
This is a side show for fools, and America is overflowing with them.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
– Matthew 18:17
Thomas Paine saw through the Burkean statist lie and, more importantly, he got the Founding Fathers and the American colonists, to varying degrees, to see through the elitist statist lie as well. He spent his life railing against the elitist statist Establishment and their constant wars of aggression against their neighbors and the world, which only ever benefited the elite but was paid for with the blood and treasure of the common man.
And how do millions of Americans honor Thomas Paine’s memory today in the United States? By spending hours of our lives filling out incomprehensible government forms (or paying someone else to do so), so we can all turn ourselves into piggy banks so Donald Trump and his elite cabal of cronies can play world police and spend billions to demolish a handful buildings halfway around the world in the Syrian desert?
Liberty is For The Win!