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Thomas Paine Today

13/05/2019

Thomas Paine, has been,ever since as an adolescent I learned about him in history, a personal hero.

In many ways his ideas are even more relevant in today’s world

Wikipedia

Thomas Paine (born Thomas Pain) (February 9, 1737– June 8, 1809) was an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary.

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, he authored the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution and inspired the patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Britain His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era ideals of transnational human rights. Historian Saul K. Padover described him as “a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination”.

and

Paine’s writing greatly influenced his contemporaries and especially the American revolutionaries. His books provoked an upsurge in deism in the United States, but in the long term inspired philosophic and working-class radicals in the United Kingdom and United States.

Liberals, libertarians, left-libertarians, feminists, democratic socialists, social democrats, anarchists, free thinkers and progressives often claim him as an intellectual ancestor.

Therefore he was not a figure we can pigeonhole today for a sound bit

Paine’s critique of institutionalized religion and advocacy of rational thinking influenced many British free thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such as William Cobbett, George Holyoake, Charles Bradlaugh, Christopher Hitchens and Bertrand Russell.

Again, not a writer for pigeonholing

However, I suspect that today many would denounce him and seek to deny him any opportunity to promote his to them,radical ideas such as freedom of thought and expression.

It is a very sad reality that we are in 2019 in a world that has as far as free speech is concerned regressed to before Paine.

I believe Paine would be dismayed at the current climate around the concept of freedom of expression.

 

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