- When in 1776 the United States of America broke away
from Britain, a country without a written constitution, with an established
Church and an unelected House of Lords, Thomas Paine, an artisan from Thetford
in Norfolk England, made a call for freedom that is still reverberating
around the world today. Thanks mainly to the American broadcaster, Jeff
Rense, and the Internet.
- At the end of the 18th century this great free thinking
philosopher was wanted dead or alive in England for daring to fight for
democracy, votes for all men and women, the abolition of slavery and a
welfare state with pensions for all. Those caught reading the following
books were heavily fined or transported to Australia:
- Common Sense 1776
- "The sun never shone on a greater worth. It is not
the concern of a day, a year or an age, posterity is virtually involved
in the contest, and will be more or less affected, even to the end of time,
by the proceedings now: now is the seed time of American continental union,
faith and honour. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe, Asia and Africa
hath long expelled freedom. Europe regards freedom like a stranger, and
England hath given freedom warning to depart. O America, receive the fugitive
freedom, and prepare, it time, an asylum for humankind."
- Crisis 1777
- "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer
soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis turn from the service
of his country, but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks
of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered, yet we have
the consolation with us, the harder the conflict, the more glorious the
triumph. Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter,
when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, the city and the country,
alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it."
- Rights of Man 1791
- "When it can be said by any country in the world,
my poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among
them, my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, the aged
are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive, the rational world is my
friend because I am the friend of happiness. When these things can be said,
then may that country boast its constitution and government Independence
is my happiness, the world is my country and my religion is to do good."
- The Age of Reason 1794
- "I hope for happiness beyond this life, I believe
in the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in
going justice, loving mercy, and endeavouring to make our fellow creatures
happy. I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by
the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Muslim Church, by the Protestant
Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church.
- "All national institutions of Churches appear to
me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind,
and to monopolise power and profit Now some will say are we to have no
word of God, no revelation? I answer, yes, there is a word of God, there
is a revelation, the word of God is in the creation we behold, and it is
in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God,
speaketh, universally to man."
- "Where freedom is", said Benjamin Franklin,
"there is my country,"
- "Where freedom is not," replied his friend
Paine, "there is mine,"
- All these quotations are taken from the brilliant Thomas
Paine documentary that somehow, in 1982, crept past the thought police
who control the BBC in England. All requests for a repeat have been flatly
- 'The Most Valuable Englishman Ever'
- This masterpiece written and presented by Kenneth Griffith
is now available as a commercial video. Watch this film and you will never
again see the world in the same way. It's a hard person indeed who at the
end does not shed a few tears when contemplating the appalling treatment
that was meted out to this great philosopher whose only "crime"
was to tell the truth.
- PAL (Not compatible with most video players in the USA.)
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