"CommonSense" by Thomas Paines 1700s
Thebook ‘common sense,’ describes Thomas Paine’s writing opinionsin regard to his dissatisfaction with British colonialism, usingAmerican troops in war and taxing the Americans this influencedPaines to write on what people should do to alleviate themselves fromthe bondage of British colonialism. His writing of ‘common sense’aimed to compel Americans to have faith and reason in liberatingthemselves from the British rule. In his writing, Paine ridiculedBritain for ruling America and challenged the Americans to fight backfor liberation, ‘Wehave it in our power to begin the world over again’(Perkins,2009 335).
Byhis writing, Thomas Paine was a key figure in inspiring AmericanRevolution and the writing influenced the writing of ‘Declarationof independence charter’ as espoused in this quote, ‘Iconsider the war of America against Britain as the country`s war, thepublic`s war, or the war of the people in their own behalf, for thesecurity of their natural rights, and the protection of their ownproperty’ (Perkins,2009 353). The simplicity that characterized Pains times enabled himto write a simple yet clear and controversial document this was agreat feat compared to the fast paced complex modern society. As suchhis simplicity and passionate opinions influenced the public and thecolonialists in supporting independent movement. It is recorded that,his ideas were even part of U.S constitution though he never tookpart in writing it.
Similarly,his ideas were adopted as part of fundamental human rights and ameasure of subservient governments, ‘Freedomhad been hunted round the globe reason was considered as rebellionand the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is theirresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, isthe liberty of appearing’(Perkins,2009 335). These ideas the common sense formed part of what istoday adopted in democratic governments management, disputeresolutions and encouraging common sense in running governments. Heused common sense approach to influence independence decision on thecolonialist this logic embodied on the fundamental nature of man wasdifficult to attack. These principles were essential beliefs inreinforcing government principles and human rights. These ideals arestill pursued in the 21stcentury where many developing countries governments have beenpressured protect the fundamental human rights for their citizens(Perkins,2009 345).
Inthis modern age characterized by competition for power in thegovernment systems, common sense and basic principles have beencompromised and obscured in most cases. Political governments servingnations today, engage in decisions that contravene the fundamentalbasis of the constitution, producing results that the foundingfathers would view as unconstitutional and violating common sense.Thomas Pains audiences were living in simpler and hard times thatmade it easy for them to use common sense. In this light, politicalleaders could be ridiculed and challenged when they violated commonsense unlike in the modern world today, ‘Anation under a well regulated government should permit none to remainuninstructed. It is monarchical and aristocratical government onlythat requires ignorance for its support’ (Perkins,2009 350).
Declinein common sense in modern times could be attributed to votermanipulation by political leaders that allow them to contravene basichuman rights and effective government management contrary to ThomasPaines visions. Political dialogues in the modern world involveoverwhelming emotions rather than common sense this affects thedevelopment of passion for serve people. Writing in pre-modern worldwhere common sense was more meaningful, Thomas had faith on thepublic ability to sort the issue of independence when given relevantinformation. Despite the prevalent of adequate information in themodern age, most people do not use reason and ordinary sense toengage in meaningful issues.
Mostprofessional politicians, today, lack logical and fundamentalprinciples rather they use transient and superficial common senseand logic when dealing with matters of public interests. Politicalcampaigns are devoid of fundamental issues of the common man andinstead they are used as platforms of confusing voters to gain power.When challenged these political leaders embrace emotions and abandonlogic in order to please voters in total disregard to their integrity(Perkins,2009 360).
Perkins,George, and Barbara Perkins, eds. “ThomasPaine.” TheAmerican Tradition in Literature.’12th ed. Vol. 1. New York: McGraw Hill, 2009. 333-57. Print