The progress of humanity has been greatly enhanced by those who, after thoughtful analysis, expressed views that are contrary to popular thought. Persons like Voltaire, Galileo, Socrates, Nietzsche, and the father of both the American and French revolutions, the great Thomas Paine, whose "Rights of Man" and "Age of Reason" would make him the contrarian of all time in my book.

It is in the spirit of these polemicists that I create this blog. It is my intent to challenge popular suppositions. While it will become evident that I am generally a progressive liberal, hopefully I will have the courage to take opposing viewpoints to those of my own comrades when appropriate.

No comments will be deleted based solely on the political , social, economic or religious views you may have. In fact I encourage thoughtful discourse. I will however promptly remove any postings that contain overtly vulgar comments, racial slurs, hate speech of any kind, or multiple postings of "conspiracy theories". Though not required, please post links for references to the point you are trying to make, or at the least, give us an idea of where you found the information that supports your cause or claim.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hitchens on Thomas Paine

I thought it appropriate to begin my blogging with reference and reverence to two of my polemic heroes, both authors of British origin: The revolutionary Thomas Paine, without whose pamphlet "Common Sense" there most likely would have never been an American Revolution and Christopher Hitchens, a recently naturalized citizen of The United States and perhaps the preeminent thinker and writer of out time. I could never give a more accurate and insightful overview of Paine than did Hitchens in this four part presentation.

Christopher Hitchens wrote, "The noblest verdict on Paine is that he wanted the French Revolution to be more temperate and humane, and the American Revolution (by abolishing slavery and being decent to the Indians) to be more thoroughgoing and profound." Thomas Paine, in a letter to George Washington wrote, A share in two revolutions is living to some purpose." Paine had a hand in both revolutions and he thought the American revolution did not go far enough in its fight against slavery. To his critics he stated, Let them call me rebel.
"A human has no property in another human."

Thomas Paine: "To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself."


  1. Welcome to the blogosphere!

    I try not to listen to anyone dead or alive, who is telling me how to think or live. That doesn't mean I don't watch, listen, read and think about what is said. I find if I let the words of those I admire or abhor wash over me, the right thing for me reveals itself.

    As it's been said by smarter people than me, the job of citizen is the most important job there is. Instead of accepting the status quo when you know it's wrong, it is our responsibility to be involved, read, vote, debate reasonably, protest inequity and demand our hired representatives take their jobs
    seriously in representing the people.

  2. Charlene: Yes, I'm blogging...A friend once told me that "all writers are narcissists". I was offended, but it was cause for thought. Hopefully I can keep that in check.

    And having read the story about your mother's farm and the preacher I can't imagine you ever letting anyone tell you how to think, feel, or live!