Thomas PaineThomas Paine, (1737-1809) US Founding father, pamphleteer, author

Famous Thomas Paine Quote

“Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides.”

Thomas PaineThomas Paine
~ Thomas Paine

Common Sense, February 14, 1776, Introduction

Ratings and Comments

E Archer, NYC

We can blame the government as much as we want, but we obey the unwritten rules of custom with more loyalty than legislation.

Croitoru Laurentiu-Aurel, Ramnicu Sarat

A little constitutional have it rights like a big constitutional?

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RAK    3/8/06
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Rekky    5/13/06
Jitendra K Kaushal, Gurgaon, India

Wonderful. Such gems of wisdom provide great joy to a thinking mind. Each quotation is essence of a great man's view of life and its situations, diverse and complex.

Ben, Springfield, MO

If there is a tradition of tyranny, the ideas of freedom may seem strange at first, but will eventually take root. Freedom has to win in the end, because it is the only thing that actually works. It is the only thing that allows virtue to truly exist. Tyranny may have occasional victories, but it can't last. Unfortunately, forces combine to overthrow freedom also. It is the duty of freedom-loving people to root them out. Sic semper tyrannus.

JoW, Utah
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JoW, Utah    4/16/08

Common Sense but then brilliant as well. True, simple and brilliant.

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Anonymous    5/4/08


Mike, Norwalk

A B S O L U T E L Y ! Ron Paul could have used this quote as his campaign moto. Save America, vote Libertarian!!! The pendulum is swinging.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

The old way of saying "paradigm shift". Such shifts effect society and history for a long time.

Me Again
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    Me Again    7/1/08

    A good quote but I'm not so sure on how soon "the tumult" will subside. Too many variables to address that question.

    Faiena, Tashkent

    a wise quote

    Johnny Smoke, Houston, TX

    This has captured the last 8 years of our lives. Well said.

    zeitgeist, los angeles

    We could use a good deal more of these "revolutionary, radical, outspoken pamphleteers" this very day. Thank goodness there are records of such thought.

    Justin, Springfield, Missouri

    The ideals of liberty and personal responsability have gone woefully out of fashion in America. I pray that the mob does not become too comfortable with tyrrany. There aren't any more continents to escape to.

    Dr. Dapo, Portland

    What I didn't see: Love your neighbor as yourself. Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. America the beautiful--but if we refuse to take care of the least, we end up being ugly--Dr. Dapo

    Mike, Norwalk
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    Mike, Norwalk Dr. Dapo, Portland 9/4/23

    Dr., who are the "we" you speak of and who are the "least"?  What do you mean, "take care of”? Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, financing the indigent, housing the homeless, supplying drug paraphernalia to the addicted and "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" are but a few tenants, acts and empowerments of religion — NOT law ! ! !  When religion and law are mingled, the result is a theocracy (in the carnal man’s scope of existence totalitarianism, enslavement and worse becomes the applied norm - mentally, physically and otherwise). When religion and law are separated one from the other, each individual may freely choose his/her own religion (so that they may take care of "the least" as they personally see fit). The noble being, man, is a religious creature. The occupying statist theocracy now infesting this land has acted as a god to usurp and diminish "at law" individual sovereignty, inalienable rights and liberty. The current "establishment of religion", with its beliefs and dogmas give it a superficial appearance of being right while rising to the greatest defense of custom!

    Dorothy E Eustace, Whitney


    Zachary, Washington, DC

    Thomas Paine is fantastic! A true "American" political philosopher in his own right.

    tom, 08028
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    tom, 08028    8/29/09

    he who trades liberties for freedoms will soon have neither

    jim k, austin

    I believe it's "He who trades liberty for security will soon have neither."

    anglicus, England

    Magnus Frater Spectat Te

    Mike, Norwalk
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    Mike, Norwalk anglicus, England 9/4/23

    anglicus, big brother only looks to me when I have a bigger gun. The de jure States united had no "big brothers" but equal  individual sovereigns. Those individual sovereigns elected and hired servants to protect and enhance each King of the universe's noble heir's personal sovereignty, inalienable rights and liberty at the laws of nature and of nature's God.

    GunnyCee, Durham

    Paine's words are as true today as they were in his time. Liberal progressives have believed the tripe they have been fed by Communists and Marxists for so long that they and other ignorant folk believe it. They think that collectivism is the only way to survive in a dog-eat-dog capitalist world. The government will protect these whiners, professional victims, and just plain useless flotsam from the cradle to the grave because they believe it is their God-given right to have the government take care of them. This unsavory portion of society has grown so large and are so active at the voting booth that it will be hard to defeat them. And even if we do, it will only serve to make them dig their heels even deeper to force the government to overcome the freedom loving people of America once and for all. It is no accident that both Bush and Obama were educated in the same Ivy-Leage schools and were taught that progressivism is the new wave for society. Progressives have only one goal and that is destroy the American way of life and to convert the unwashed masses to their way of dictatorship "for the good of society." Heil Obama!

    Elmer, Milwaukee

    What amazing foresight the writer possessed. If all true Americans would fully understand the meaningfulness of this quote we may yet be able remain a free and liberated society.

    Krista, Palm Springs

    Love that quote! Indeed, we have been sold a long bill of goods that are NOT good for "The People" at all! Now is the time to right those wrongs, and reduce our bill (ConsumerISM & Corporatism), and take back our lives and create real FREEdom(ain)!

    John Roane, Sarasota


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      Publius    2/12/11

      These are the first lines of Common Sense. Everyone should read the rest of it. Its a short read and well worth it.

      Kimo, Lahiana

      The sanity of those that came before us, keeps me sane.

      Buckeye, San Antonio

      Read enough of Paine and his contemporaries...and gain from the exposure....

      Drew Malone Raines III, Shreveport, La.

      Quotes of our Belief's that we must hold on to for our decency that shall also keep us in check. Semper Fi.

      Warrdoc, Elk Grove,CA.

      Nice quote, and very true today as it was back in Mr. Paine's day. But let me ask you all this, Have anyone, as I have, wondered why it is that while we as conservatives will fight fight a wrong or a threat, once we conceive the matter solved we return to our own lives and tend to leave the arena of debate. The left on the other hand will fight on no matter they win, lose, or draw. what is it that drives them and keeps them in the game long after we have gone back to our own business ?

      Patrick Henry, Red Hill

      The Truth stands on its own merits.

      Ultimately, by whom can it be gainsaid?

      As Daniel Webster expressed it:

      " There is nothing so powerful as truth, and often nothing so strange."

      Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

      This is the case of the recreational sex and drugs so normally practiced in our world. The normal vulgar accompanying behavior is just unreasonable. Humans practice sex to bring forth new members of the species. These drug concoctions, what can be described as garage and basement manufactured drugs are not needed because of no proven effectiveness. And humans try valiantly to present themselves dignified and honorably.


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