M.C.'s Reviews > Common Sense

Common Sense by Thomas Paine
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's review
Dec 28, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: 2008-2009
Read in December, 2008

Known to some as a precursor to the Declaration of Independence, Common Sense by Thomas Paine may actually serve as evidence of the blinding effects of fervent patriotism.

Paine masterly grasped the attention of the reader by questioning about the origin of government to stir the desire to question about the evolution of government over time--how government has, over the course of centuries, became what it is. The choice to begin the text with regards to the origin and progress from hence is also effective because it creates a chronological effect. Not to mention, it is wise of Paine to apply to his work the ideas of Enlightenment philosophers such as those of John Locke.

However, Common Sense falls short in the discussion of the facts. Paine downplays the negatives of sovereignty, such as the consequences of becoming in debt and the political and economic issues an independent nation faces on a national scale. Such behavior indicates a fanatic obsession with nationalism and the desire to secure it through secession or other radical means. Though it may seem comical for a mere reader to remark upon the grave subjects of politics and the like, I must protest that the hype for revolution and Paine's vision on the readiness of his America is to an extent dangerous and naive.
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Ben Rickson Yeah you said it M.C. I'd say it's only worth NO stars!

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