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Oct 15, 2013

Paine-ful Thoughts

Tonight, I read sections of Common Sense by Thomas Paine. I specifically was looking for the opening paragraph addressed to General Sir William Howe, where he compares arguing with another to administering medicine on the dead.
I don't necessarily agree with everything Thomas Paine wrote; however, he does make many notable points. Much of what he said 250 years ago seems applicable and appropriate today. Further, he is the great source of wonderful quotes. Thus, I thought I would take this opportunity to share a random few:
Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.
Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.
Character is much easier kept than recovered.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
Those who want to reap the benefits of this great nation must bear the fatigue of supporting it.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.
When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.
The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance.
The instant formal government is abolished, society begins to act. A general association takes place, and common interest produces common security.
There are two distinct classes of what are called thoughts: those that we produce in ourselves by reflection and the act of thinking and those that bolt into the mind of their own accord.

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