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"It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man.
“One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.”
“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish 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, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."
“Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.”
“Each of those churches shows certain books, which they call revelation, or the Word of God. The Jews say that their Word of God was given by God to Moses face to face; the Christians say, that their Word of God came by divine inspiration; and the Turks say, that their Word of God (the Koran) was brought by an angel from heaven. Each of those churches accuses the other of unbelief; and, for my own part, I disbelieve them all.”
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.”
“Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.”
“From the errors of other nations, let us learn wisdom,”
For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have the right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others forever, and tho' himself might deserve some decent degree of honours of his cotemporaries, yet his descendants might be far too unworthy to inherit them.
“Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer...
“When I was teaching children I began every day writing this on the blackboard: "Do to others what you would like them to do to you", telling them how much better the world would be if everybody lived by this rule.”
“Give me liberty, or give me death.”
“Common sense will tell us, that the power which hath endeavoured to subdue us, is of all others, the most improper to defend us.”
“I draw my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature, which no art can overturn, viz. that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and the easier repaired when disordered;”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense
In response to the private sale of royal (or common) lands, Paine proposed a detailed plan to tax property owners to pay for the needs of the poor, which could be considered as the precursor of the modern idea of citizen's income or basic income. The money would be raised by taxing all direct inheritances at 10%, and "indirect" inheritances – those not going to close relations – at a somewhat higher rate; this would, he estimated, raise around £5,700,000 per year in England.
Around two-thirds of the fund would be spent on pension payments of £10 per year to every person over the age of fifty, which Paine had taken as his average adult life expectancy, with most of the remainder allocated to making fixed payments of £15 to every man and woman on reaching the age of twenty-one, legal majority. The small remainder would then be able to be used for paying pensions to "the lame and blind". For context, the average weekly wage of an agricultural labourer was around 9 shillings, which would mean an annual income of about £23 for an able-bodied man working throughout the year.
Additionally, "a one-time stipend of 15 pounds sterling would be paid to each citizen upon attaining age 21, to give them a start in life."
The work is based on the contention that in the state of nature, "the earth, in its natural uncultivated state... was the common property of the human race"; the concept of private ownership arose as a necessary result of the development of agriculture, since it was impossible to distinguish the possession of improvements to the land from the possession of the land itself. Thus Paine views private property as necessary, but that the basic needs of all humanity must be provided for by those with property, who have originally taken it from the general public. This in some sense is their "payment" to non-property holders for the right to hold private property.
originally posted by: Kandinsky
Those guys fought and died against the status quo and would likely be appalled with how it's turned out.
In taking the matter upon this ground, the first principle of civilization ought to have been, and ought still to be, that the condition of every person born into the world, after a state of civilization commences, ought not to be worse than if he had been born before that period.
But the fact is that the condition of millions, in every country in Europe, is far worse than if they had been born before civilization begin, had been born among the Indians of North America at the present. I will show how this fact has happened.
It is a position not to be controverted that the earth, in its natural, cultivated state was, and ever would have continued to be, the common property of the human race. In that state every man would have been born to property. He would have been a joint life proprietor with rest in the property of the soil, and in all its natural productions, vegetable and animal.
But the earth in its natural state, as before said, is capable of supporting but a small number of inhabitants compared with what it is capable of doing in a cultivated state. And as it is impossible to separate the improvement made by cultivation from the earth itself, upon which that improvement is made, the idea of landed property arose from that parable connection; but it is nevertheless true, that it is the value of the improvement, only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property.
Every proprietor, therefore, of cultivated lands, owes to the community ground-rent (for I know of no better term to express the idea) for the land which he holds; and it is from this ground-rent that the fund prod in this plan is to issue.
There are, in every country, some magnificent charities established by individuals. It is, however, but little that any individual can do, when the whole extent of the misery to be relieved is considered. He may satisfy his conscience, but not his heart. He may give all that he has, and that all will relieve but little. It is only by organizing civilization upon such principles as to act like a system of pulleys, that the whole weight of misery can be removed.
The plan here proposed will reach the whole. It will immediately relieve and take out of view three classes of wretchedness-the blind, the lame, and the aged poor; and it will furnish the rising generation with means to prevent their becoming poor; and it will do this without deranging or interfering with any national measures.
It is the practice of what has unjustly obtained the name of civilization (and the practice merits not to be called either charity or policy) to make some provision for persons becoming poor and wretched only at the time they become so. Would it not, even as a matter of economy, be far better to adopt means to prevent their becoming poor? This can best be done by making every person when arrived at the age of twenty-one years an inheritor of something to begin with.
The rugged face of society, checkered with the extremes of affluence and want, proves that some extraordinary violence has been committed upon it, and calls on justice for redress. The great mass of the poor in countries are become an hereditary race, and it is next to impossible them to get out of that state of themselves. It ought also to be observed that this mass increases in all countries that are called civilized. re persons fall annually into it than get out of it.
I fully agree with the premise that wealth distribution is necessary in order to provide the basic needs to everyone, for the general good of the society. One of the first to come up with such ideas, which is very positive in my eyes