When all else fails, revert to common sense. This is why we must teach true and accurate history. Throughout history, we learn that big bloated, and corrupt government always results in tyranny. To rid themselves of tyranny, the population revolts against the tyrants and starts over with limited government and choosing virtuous people to run the government. The people realize again that “government that governs least governs best.”
The American colonists were suffering under the tyrannical forces of the King in the 1760’s and 1770’s. As always happens there was the force that wanted complete separation from tyranny, estimated to be about 20% of the population, those who for whatever reasons strongly supported remaining subjects of the King were again about 20%, and 60% who were non-committal because of fear or indifference. It was the 60% that changed the course of our history.
This is always what happens. It is not the people on the ends of the spectrum, but those who are non-committal or indifferent that when they gain common sense, change the course of history. This is why the 20% who are Freedom Loving Americans today must become dedicated to Setting Brushfires of Freedom in the minds of our 60%.
This is what Thomas Paine did when the pamphlet he wrote called “Common Sense” was released in January of 1776. It changed history. The United States today is suffering under a more tyrannical government, our own, than what the colonists suffered under in the 1760’s and 1770’s.
One aspect of Paine’s writing that is particularly worth remembering in our current circumstance was his attempt to establish “principles...on which government ought to be erected,” which our government today has migrated far from. They were and still are:
"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."
"Governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind."
"Some writers have…confounded society with government…[but] Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices...The first is a patron, the last a punisher."
"An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws."
"Governments...pervert the abundance which civilized life produces...It affords to them pretenses for power and revenue, for which there would be neither occasion nor apology, if the circle of civilization were rendered complete."
"We still feel the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping at the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretenses for revenue and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without a tribute."
"All power exercised over a nation...must be either delegated, or assumed...All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation."
"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression."
"Government...[has] no other object than the general happiness. When, instead of this, it operates to create and increase wretchedness in any of the parts of society, it is on a wrong system, and reformation is necessary."
"The American constitutions were to liberty what a grammar is to language: they define its parts of speech and practically construct them into syntax."
"The original principles upon which [America] resisted…to remember them rightly is repossessing them."
"What are [other things] to the inestimable blessings of 'Liberty and Safety!'"
"I become irritated at the attempt to govern mankind by force and fraud, as if they were all knaves and fools."
Big government always becomes corrupted and then tyrannical and despotic.
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