In Memory of Our Founder
By: T. D. Duff
This is the memory of a man who was a quintessential revolutionary. No other person has ever captured a society so explosively. He came to be a symbol of rebellion and civil unrest. A gentle man of peace, he regularly wrote sedition and inspired men to take up arms in the cause of liberty. A pensive philosopher he was always the zealot taken to action. He refused to profit financially from his God-given talents as a writer.
He was a fervent spokesman for limited government, he was a sincere proponent of social welfare programs for the poor, the infirm, and the aged. He was a citizen of the world. Though an eternal optimist, he was also a sage skeptic.
More than any other person in memory, he was responsible for changing the "former habits of thinking." His talent for writing was remarkable. He possessed a wonderful talent of writing to the tempers and feelings of the public. He wrote in simple direct prose, discarding ornamentation and stylistic rules, readily understood by everyone. Through the use of provocative assertions and vivid original imagery, his writings were always geared to and understood by the common people. His books and pamphlets sold at record levels never seen before.
He was one of those slender reeds that contains the flame stolen so audaciously by Prometheus from the gods themselves. The point of his pen was as formidable in politics as the point of the sword in the field.
He boldly demonstrated the inutility of monarchs and kings, asserting that hereditary monarchy was inherently contrary to the laws of nature. He was his era's most adamantine evangelist. He was the era's Mercury, the greatest proponent of Diogenes citizens of the world. This great prophet sparked the political common cause between men who worked for a living and empowered and enlightened aristocrats across three nations.
He was the distinguished leader of a group of modern thinkers who believed they had it in their power to begin the world over again, to end relentless poverty and widespread ignorance while destroying the mindless and oppressive power of parasitic monarchs and idle aristocrats.
In his epic pamphlet, Common Sense, published on January 10, 1776, he set out to destroy all of the political paradigms of his day, in his 79-page epistle. It was published anonymously, "like an orphan to shift for itself." It was reported that whoever the author, he had "Genius in his Eyes." He repudiated European monarchy, government, mercantilism, the British constitution, and America as part of the British Empire. He asked a band of loosely connected colonists, many of whom disliked each other, to declare war against the British Empire, the mightiest nation in the world.
Common Sense was an immediate success throughout Europe and America. It passed through the continents like an electric spark. It flashed conviction and aroused determined spirits. George Washington said that, "I find that 'Common Sense' is working a powerful change here in the minds of many men."
Not long after Common Sense was published, John Adams published his own pamphlet, Thoughts on Government, which advocated a different kind of state government that was far less balanced, disfavoring the rights of common man.
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