Monday, July 09, 2007

Paine of Government

I'm reading this book on Thomas Paine. He is the author of the book called Common Sense and because of the book (or I guess I should call it a pamphlet) he kick started the public ideal that American Revolution was a great idea.

A little bit of info on this is that Thomas Paine worked as a Excise Officer which the book equated to being a customs agent. The taxes were being raised in England and so it affect his job. He was asked to write something, because he was a fine writer, to present to Parliament.

The problem was that these Excise officers had to pay for travel and lodging when they went from location to location and on top of that with the higher taxes they were not making enough money to make it worth it.

So he asked for them to get more money.

They said no.

Here is the paragraph I think is very interesting:

"Paine left for London in the winter of 1772, no doubt confident of his work on the petition and consequently of achieving his comrades' just aims of a pay raise. But, as Paine would soon learn, the will of the British government during this period was not swayed by sound logic or just arguments. A jaded political veteran such as Benjamin Franklin, then in London representing the colonies of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, could have saved him the disappointment. Unlike the naive Englishman, the famous American knew that success in such cases depended too often on the support of powerful friends and interested parties within the government. In representing a group of investors attempting to acquire a large tract of land in the Ohio Valley, Franklin recommended that they offer shares in the project to persons of influence at court and in Parliament. Without such maneuvers, Franklin told his partners, their cause didn't stand a chance. Such facts must have come as harsh realizations to Paine, still innocent in the ways of government. In spite of the fact that his pamphlet was well written, generally praised, and widely circulated the campaign for a salary increase came to naught. As he later summarized bitterly, "...the King, or somebody for him, applied to Parliament to have his own salary raised 100,000 pounds, which being done, everything else was laid aside.""

The amusing part is that the American Government is what the British Parliament and King were like when the Americans wanted a Revolution.

it is not just because of Bush or's the whole Government.

The founding fathers would want another Revolution for nothing that the American Government is right now has not already been played out by the British Parliament of the 1700's.

We need a Thomas Paine, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin