4th of july


When We Furnish the Means By Which We Suffer

“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. 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 one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

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: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without a government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”

-Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

post script,

Thomas Paine used all of his profits from the sales of Common Sense to purchase mittens for the Continental Army whom were to invade English-occupied Canada in the cold of winter.

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