Why Thomas Paine’s Common Sense Is Important: Chris Hedges, Cornel West, and Richard Wolff (2014)

Published on Dec 12, 2014

From the 2014 Left Forum in NYC
_____________________________________________________________________________
thomas paine image
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Thomas Paine (February 9, 1737 [O.S. January 29, 1736] – June 8, 1809) was an English and American political activist, philosopher, political theorist and revolutionary. As the author of the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, he inspired the rebels in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era rhetoric of transnational human rights. He has been called “a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination”.
______________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________

Thomas Paine (February 9, 1737 [O.S. January 29, 1736] – June 8, 1809) was an English and American political activist, philosopher, political theorist and revolutionary. As the author of the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, he inspired the rebels in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era rhetoric of transnational human rights. He has been called “a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination”.

Born in Thetford, England, in the county of Norfolk, Paine emigrated to the British American colonies in 1774 with the help of Benjamin Franklin, arriving just in time to participate in the American Revolution. Virtually every rebel read (or listened to a reading) of his powerful pamphlet Common Sense (1776), which crystallized the rebellious demand for independence from Great Britain. His The American Crisis (1776–83) was a prorevolutionary pamphlet series. Common Sense was so influential that John Adams said, “Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”

Paine lived in France for most of the 1790s, becoming deeply involved in the French Revolution. He wrote Rights of Man (1791), in part a defense of the French Revolution against its critics. His attacks on British writer Edmund Burke led to a trial and conviction in absentia in 1792 for the crime of seditious libel. In 1792, despite not being able to speak French, he was elected to the French National Convention. The Girondists regarded him as an ally. Consequently, the Montagnards, especially Robespierre, regarded him as an enemy.

In December 1793, he was arrested and imprisoned in Paris, then released in 1794. He became notorious because of his pamphlet The Age of Reason (1793–94), in which he advocated deism, promoted reason and free thought, and argued against institutionalized religion in general and Christian doctrine in particular. He also wrote the pamphlet Agrarian Justice (1795), discussing the origins of property, and introduced the concept of a guaranteed minimum income. In 1802, he returned to the U.S. where he died on June 8, 1809. Only six people attended his funeral as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity.

Thomas Paine has a claim to the title The Father of the American Revolution because of Common Sense, the pro-independence monograph pamphlet he anonymously published on January 10, 1776; signed “Written by an Englishman”, the pamphlet became an immediate success.[21] It quickly spread among the literate, and, in three months, 100,000 copies (estimated 500,000 total including unauthorized editions sold during the course of the Revolution)[22] sold throughout the American British colonies (with only two million free inhabitants), making it the best-selling American title of the period.[22][23] Paine’s original title for the pamphlet was Plain Truth; Paine’s friend, pro-independence advocate Benjamin Rush, suggested Common Sense instead.

The pamphlet came into circulation in January 1776, after the Revolution had started. It was passed around, and often read aloud in taverns, contributing significantly to spreading the idea of republicanism, bolstering enthusiasm for separation from Britain, and encouraging recruitment for the Continental Army. Paine provided a new and convincing argument for independence by advocating a complete break with history. Common Sense is oriented to the future in a way that compels the reader to make an immediate choice. It offers a solution for Americans disgusted with and alarmed at the threat of tyranny.[24]

Paine was not, on the whole, expressing original ideas in Common Sense, but rather employing rhetoric as a means to arouse resentment of the Crown. To achieve these ends, he pioneered a style of political writing suited to the democratic society he envisioned, with Common Sense serving as a primary example. Part of Paine’s work was to render complex ideas intelligible to average readers of the day, with clear, concise writing unlike the formal, learned style favored by many of Paine’s contemporaries.[25] Scholars have put forward various explanations to account for its success, including the historic moment, Paine’s easy-to-understand style, his democratic ethos, and his use of psychology and ideology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_P…

______________________________________________________________________________________

EXCELLENT BLOG BY JILL DALTON OF THE ABOVE PRESENTATION:

THE ANATOMY OF REVOLUTION: PART I: THOMAS PAINE

 A Report from the Left Forum (6-1-14) with: Chris Hedges, Dr. Cornel West, and Richard Wolff.

Moderated by: Laura Flanders.

By Jill Dalton, NYC June 5, 2014

This seminar was part of the Left Forum’s three day symposium,Reform and/or Revolution: Imagining a World with Transformative Justice, held at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City (May 30 – June 1). The turn out at this conference was their largest to date, which I consider a very good sign.

Chris Hedges, Dr. Cornel West and Richard Wolff began a ten-part series starting with, according to Chris Hedges, America’s only real revolutionist, Thomas Paine. In Paine’s three great works,Common Sense, The Rights of Man and The Age of Reason, he laid down the foundations by which rebellion is morally and legally permissible. With the rise of the corporate state, they ask whether the conditions set by Paine have been met, and if Paine’s call to overthrow British tyranny should be our own.

Continued at link.

Thomas Paine image on reason

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

FINALLY i HAVE ADDED A FREE AUDIO BOOK “COMMON SENSE” BY THOMAS PAINE

Published on Nov 13, 2013

Common Sense by Thomas Paine, Audiobook, Audio Philosophy.
Thomas Paine has a claim to the title The Father of the American Revolution because of Common Sense, the pro-independence monograph pamphlet he anonymously published on January 10, 1776; signed “Written by an Englishman”, the pamphlet became an immediate success. It quickly spread among the literate, and, in three months, 100,000 copies (estimated 500,000 total including pirated editions sold during the course of the Revolution) sold throughout the American British colonies (with only two million free inhabitants), making it the best-selling book ever. Paine’s original title for the pamphlet was Plain Truth; Paine’s friend, pro-independence advocate Benjamin Rush, suggested Common Sense instead.
The pamphlet appeared in January 1776, after the Revolution had started. It was passed around, and often read aloud in taverns, contributing significantly to spreading the idea of republicanism, bolstering enthusiasm for separation from Britain, and encouraging recruitment for the Continental Army. Paine provided a new and convincing argument for independence by advocating a complete break with history. Common Sense is oriented to the future in a way that compels the reader to make an immediate choice. It offers a solution for Americans disgusted and alarmed at the threat of tyranny. (Introduction by Wikipedia)
Common Sense by Thomas Paine [Philosophy Audiobook]

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s