Common Sense, with Dissertations on Government, the Affairs of the Bank, and Paper Money

Common Sense, with Dissertations on Government, the Affairs of the Bank, and Paper Money

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It is said that in 1775, hardly any Americans believed in ending British rule. By the spring of 1776, the opinion had become mainstream and British rule over the Colonies was widely seen as untenable and ending. A major reason for this change of opinion was Thomas Paine's remarkable monograph Common Sense. As a revolutionary pamphlet, and even as a piece of political philosophy, it is nearly unequaled in the history of the human race.

At the first outset of the his pamphlet, Paine sets the stage by laying out a theory of government. He argues that it is not essential to the social order and even that it can be abolished. It is not the British government that is responsible for the good life in the Colonies. That is due to society alone, and society and government are distinct. To abolish government, then, is not to abolish society. When government is abolished, society begins to act.

The essay ends with some of most astonishing rhetorical flourishes in the history of politics. The purpose of overthrowing British rule is to begin the world anew and prepare an asylum for freedom for the entire world.

This edition pairs Common Sense with Paine's very impressive thoughts on paper money. He clearly distinguishes between money and paper. One cannot be made into the other and retain its integrity. Money emerges from work. Paper is printed with no cost and no work and ends up creating an illusion of wealth that "turns the whole country into stock jobbers." Paper money dissolves bonds of society. Therefore, paper money must be suppressed as a preventive measure to stop the unleashing of vice and immorality.

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940150617179
Publisher: Laissez Faire Books
Publication date: 06/01/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 654 KB

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