Quantcast

Web Letters | The Nation

The Age of Paine > Letters

Web Letter

I have been a fan of Paine since high school in the 1970s. His passion and idealism and truth are unrivaled in US history. He was so idealistic that we should not over-emphasize his writings, for the logical conclusion of his dream is anarchy. (While most of us could truly be sovereign individuals and not need government to regulate us, many do.) Just as Ayn Rand's dessicated utopia is ultimately not possible in reality, so Paine's vision would be usurped by less idealistic tyrants. The primary founding father authors--Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Madison, had sufficient vision, without the recklessness of Paine, to get this grand experiment started.

Does Obama share the disposition of these guys? To push for change (revolution in Paine's time) but stop short of anarchy and tyranny?

Revolution, by definition, cannot be started by the most powerful man in the world. He can only be its victim, or become the usurping tyrant.

mike flynn

New York, ny

Jun 8 2009 - 3:03pm

Web Letter

It might be pointed out that George Washington required in his will that slaves of his estate be lawfully freed.How many other Founding Fathers did so? [QUIZ] No, really. How many others? [TEST]

John Carl Harper

San Antonio, TX

Jun 4 2009 - 7:57pm

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.