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Rights of Man, a book by Thomas Paine, including 31 articles, posits that popular political revolution is permissible when a government does not safeguard the natural rights of its people. Using these points as a base it defends the French Revolution against Edmund Burke's attack in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790). It was published in two parts in March 1791 Rights of Man, a book by Thomas Paine, including 31 articles, posits that popular political revolution is permissible when a government does not safeguard the natural rights of its people. Using these points as a base it defends the French Revolution against Edmund Burke's attack in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790). It was published in two parts in March 1791 and February 1792. BONUS : • The Rights of Man Audiobook. • Thomas Paine : A Chronology of his Life. • The 29 Best Thomas Paine Quotes.


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Rights of Man, a book by Thomas Paine, including 31 articles, posits that popular political revolution is permissible when a government does not safeguard the natural rights of its people. Using these points as a base it defends the French Revolution against Edmund Burke's attack in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790). It was published in two parts in March 1791 Rights of Man, a book by Thomas Paine, including 31 articles, posits that popular political revolution is permissible when a government does not safeguard the natural rights of its people. Using these points as a base it defends the French Revolution against Edmund Burke's attack in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790). It was published in two parts in March 1791 and February 1792. BONUS : • The Rights of Man Audiobook. • Thomas Paine : A Chronology of his Life. • The 29 Best Thomas Paine Quotes.

30 review for The Rights Of Man (Illustrated) + Free Audiobook - Jeana Classics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    Under what circumstances is political revolution permissible? What should the people do when a government no longer safeguards the rights of all classes? I look at the turmoil that is going on in America right now and wish that our elected officials would read this book; perhaps this old ideological 'midwife' could help our country now - as it labors to give birth to our future.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    “The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” The ruling governments have no special rights; they have no privileges and they have no entitlements. At least, they ought not to have according to Paine. For him the government exists to serve; it has a duty to its nation the same way a solider or a peacekeeper may have. And if they break that duty, if they become corrupt, then it is our moral right to call for revolution. “Whatever is my right as a man “The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” The ruling governments have no special rights; they have no privileges and they have no entitlements. At least, they ought not to have according to Paine. For him the government exists to serve; it has a duty to its nation the same way a solider or a peacekeeper may have. And if they break that duty, if they become corrupt, then it is our moral right to call for revolution. “Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.” -"Liberty Leading the People" by Eugène Delacroix, 1830 Revolution is permissible then if the government does not protect the natural rights of man, rights of liberty and society. Why should we exist under the thumb of another man? Paine speaks openly about revolution and argues that the French revolution was an attack against the monarchy as a construct not an attack on the French King specifically. It was politically driven and when the Bastille was taken, it was a supposed symbolic end of an age of imprisonment. The bars of the prison were opened and liberty began, at least, in theory. Paine was part of a large liberal wave that poured through the west at this time. He despised the idiotic Burke and his Reflections of a Revolution in France. In contrast to Burke’s conservatism, Paine argue that each new generation has the right to choose how they will be governed. Just because our ancestors agreed to something, it doesn’t mean that the people of the present are beholden to it. His arguments are sound and his intentions benevolent, though I would love no know what he thought of the aftermath of the French Revolution. The dreams of liberty were truly shattered. The only real limiting factor of this work is its complete lack of rhetoric and persuasive devices. Paine was not a very creative writer; he gives you his ideas but he certainly doesn’t sell them to you.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Warwick

    · Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790 · Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791 These two pamphlets represent the premier bare-knuckle political prize-fight of its time. In the blue corner – Irish statesman and Whig grandee, aesthetic theorist and small-C conservative, it's the Dublin Dynamo, Edmund ‘Berserk’ Burke. And in the red corner – the stay-maker's son from rural Norfolk, the world's first true international revolutionary, delivering the right hooks of man, it's Thomas ‘ · Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790 · Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791 These two pamphlets represent the premier bare-knuckle political prize-fight of its time. In the blue corner – Irish statesman and Whig grandee, aesthetic theorist and small-C conservative, it's the Dublin Dynamo, Edmund ‘Berserk’ Burke. And in the red corner – the stay-maker's son from rural Norfolk, the world's first true international revolutionary, delivering the right hooks of man, it's Thomas ‘Max’ Paine. I am a Photoshop master So iconic has this confrontation become that it's difficult, now, to work out what exactly each side represented. There's a lot of people who want to interpret their polemic in modern terms: Right versus Left, Republican versus Liberal, Conservative versus Progressive. Those on the right like to see Burke as ‘the father of modern conservatism’, and view Paine by contrast as reckless and unrealistic; lefties see Paine as rational and empathetic, and consider Burke to be an apologist for inequality. None of these interpretations satisfies me much. In many ways, this argument about how to understand the French Revolution is historically specific, and not a great analogue to right-v.-left debates today. Burke was certainly conservative in some ways, but he was not a Tory; he was a prominent and generally liberal Whig who had backed the American Revolution. Support for the dissenters and ‘republicans’ (meaning then ‘anti-monarchists’, i.e. chiefly leftwing radicals) was coming from Burke's own party, and his book – which seems eloquent and well-reasoned today, even to its critics – was attacked almost across the board by his contemporaries, including by other Whigs (Fox, the party leader, hated it). At that point, before the Terror, the revolution in France was broadly welcomed not just by those to the left of Burke – the radicals – but also by those to his right, since Pitt and the Tories thought it represented an excellent opportunity for Britain. Why did all these people care what was happening in France, anyway? The point was that the ideals animating the revolution in France might soon spread elsewhere. Paine talks eagerly of ‘general revolution in Europe’, and Burke too is less concerned with events in France than with how they're received in England. For Burke, revolution is anathema: change should be effected incrementally, by building on a foundation of existing institutions. He justifies the revolution in America and the Glorious Revolution of 1688 as being matters of last resort, as means of connecting with pre-existing rights and duties, rather than complete novelties. What upsets him about the revolutionaries in France is their ‘total contempt…of all antient institutions, when set in opposition to a present sense of convenience, or to the bent of a present inclination’. ‘People will not look forward to posterity,’ he intones, ‘who never look backward to their ancestors.’ Paine, on the other hand, could not care less about ancestors or their ancient institutions. His whole deal is that it is ‘the living, and not the dead, that are to be accommodated’, and talk of inherited rights and traditional privileges is, as far as he is concerned, a complete waste of breath: The circumstances of the world are continually changing, and the opinions of men change also; and as government is for the living, and not for the dead, it is the living only that has any right in it. That which may be thought right and found convenient in one age, may be thought wrong and found inconvenient in another. In such cases, Who is to decide, the living, or the dead? This seems all very well in principle; but Burke's objection is precisely that acting according to abstract principles is a fatal error. It is not that he disagrees with Paine that men have a right to liberty or justice – but such concepts, he feels, are a matter of philosophy, not of politics. Paine can chatter all he likes about a ‘beam of light over the world, which reaches into man’; for Burke, ‘in proportion as [such things] are metaphysically true, they are morally and politically false’: What is the use of discussing a man's abstract right to food or to medicine? The question is upon the method of procuring and administering them. Here we see the practical statesman set against the idealist. Burke's stance here represents a very British, liberal pragmatism, opposed to continental theory, which I personally find deeply appealing; in this limited area of disagreement, I much prefer his approach. But – with Burke as with many writers – care must be taken not to mistake eloquence for veracity. Behind his appeals to sensibleness, it has to be said that one can detect a note of personal alarm. Surveying the new Assemblée Nationale, he is outraged that there is ‘scarcely to be perceived the slightest traces of what we call the natural landed interest of the country’. France is being run by – shock horror! – normal people. For Burke, it's horrifying to see supreme authority placed in the hands of men not taught habitually to respect themselves; who had no previous fortune in character at stake; who could not be expected to bear with moderation, or to conduct with discretion, a power which they themselves, more than any others, must be surprized to find in their hands. It is not the liberté of revolutionary France that Burke objects to, but the égalité. All titles have been abolished (‘It is by distortedly exalting some men, that others are distortedly debased,’ Paine explains); every man is now as honourable as any other. Burke cannot contain himself: The occupation of an hair-dresser, or of a working tallow-chandler, cannot be a matter of honour to any person—to say nothing of a number of other more servile employments. Few people nowadays, no matter how much they admire Burke, will follow him into these arguments for what he calls ‘some decent, regulated pre-eminence’, but actually this is one of the cornerstones of his thesis. He wants titles, honours and the rest of the inherited privileges to stay – especially property, whose ‘characteristic essence’, as he admits, ‘is to be unequal’. So his argument often amounts to a defence of inequality. Burke's snobbishness and antidisestablishmentarianism have become unfashionable; Paine has won these debates. But the key problem with criticising Burke now is that, of course, on the central facts he turned out to be right. His dire predictions about where the French Revolution would lead – ‘There must be blood’ – came spectacularly true, and this has made it difficult to evaluate (or at any rate to dismiss) his argument. ‘Massacre, torture, hanging! These are your rights of men!’ he predicted. At the time, he was seen as too sanguinary; now, we see that Paine was too sanguine. [W]hen the French Revolution is compared with the revolutions of other countries [Paine wrote], the astonishment will be, that it is marked with so few sacrifices. Well that didn't age well. Paine's belief – based on those abstract ideals he was so fond of – was that because the revolution was ‘rational’, it had made a point of distinguishing ‘between persons and principles’. ‘It was not against Louis the XVIth, but against the despotic principles of the government, that the nation revolted,’ he claims. But less than two years later they would cut Louis's head off. Paine's rhetorical questions now seem grimly ironic: Whom has the National Assembly brought to the scaffold? None. …A figure that would unfortunately rise to 16,594 official death sentences handed out before the fall of Robespierre three years later. Paine's own name was nearly on one of them, imprisoned as he was by the Jacobins and only freed at the insistence of the new American ambassador. How quickly radicals and republicans elsewhere would recognise the awfulness of the Terror became a key test for their politics – not unlike the situation for socialists looking to the Soviet Union in the twentieth century. But throwing away either side of the argument seems like a mistake to me: it's true that Burke v. Paine may be seen as crystallising the ‘revolutionary tendencies of the left’ or the ‘self-serving heartlessness of the right’, but more than either of those things it's a reminder that partisanship is unproductive. If Burke's pragmatism could be separated from his defence of privilege and allied, somehow, with Paine's idealism, then the appeal would be huge. In the pamphlet wars of the 1790s, there was still some good faith that this might be possible – more then, I think, than there is in many modern evaluations of the issues. They're both still very much worth reading, even if neither lands a knockout blow.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robert Owen

    In an age of brilliant political writers, Paine, a naturalized American citizen and inspired propagandist for the American Revolutionary cause, represents perhaps the era’s most radical and unfiltered ideological voice. Written in the immediate aftermath of the French Revolution and the somewhat removed aftermath of the American, “The Rights of Man”, published in two parts (1791 and 1792) is one of Thomas Paine’s most influential treatises on the nature and form of just government. In it, Paine In an age of brilliant political writers, Paine, a naturalized American citizen and inspired propagandist for the American Revolutionary cause, represents perhaps the era’s most radical and unfiltered ideological voice. Written in the immediate aftermath of the French Revolution and the somewhat removed aftermath of the American, “The Rights of Man”, published in two parts (1791 and 1792) is one of Thomas Paine’s most influential treatises on the nature and form of just government. In it, Paine articulates the then-revolutionary view that government’s purpose was to serve the will of the people and, to the extent that it didn’t, the people had the right to rebel against it. Despite having been written in the 18th century, the form and language of “The Rights of Man” is clear and comprehensible to modern readers. As has been commented elsewhere, owing to the fact Paine wrote the book in haste, he occasionally wanders; starting with one point, only to meander off on fascinating yet incongruous tangents. Notwithstanding this, Paine’s arguments are clear, eloquent and utterly compelling and the tangents, while sometimes odd, inevitably contribute to strengthening the force of the whole. For those inclined to cite the “Founding Fathers” in support of whatever particular view they happen to espouse, Paine’s ideological purity makes him an interesting touchstone. Having never held public office himself, Paine was an ideologue whose views were untempered by the necessity of compromise. As a result, his ideas represent the embodiment of radical Enlightenment theory regarding a new form government that rejected hereditary monarchy in favor of representative democracy. While Paine serves up some tasty out-of-context sound bites for the tri-cornered hat crowd, there is actually little comfort for neoconservative ideas in a thoughtful reading of his work. Yes, he railed against government and taxes, but what is often lost when summoning him as an authority on modern liberty is the context in which he expressed his views. By “government”, Paine meant a hereditary monarchy and an attending court of aristocrats whose power originated from the Norman Conquest and perpetuated itself in succeeding generations by fraud, force, oppression and patronage. His objection to “government” was not that they exist, but that, except for in America and France, the “governments” of Europe were illegitimate in that they were not of and subject to the will of the people. His objection to taxes was not necessarily that they be levied, but rather, in who they were levied against and in how they were used. In Paine’s time taxes were nothing more than a conduit through which money was taken from the poor and siphoned into the pockets of the rich. Certainly shocking for anyone inclined to adorn their arguments with the presumed conservative aura of “the Founders”, Paine advocated, in addition to the establishment of representative democracy for progressive taxes, cutting military spending and (get this) using the money educate the poor, provide public housing, provide support for the indigent, provide universal employment in urban centers and care for the aged. In short, “When it shall be said in 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 its happiness: when these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and its government.” If one didn’t know better, one might suspect the man had been born in Kenya.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    Paine’s political manifesto details how governments and hierarchies are, in his opinion, corrupt, as they rely on the power of a few rather than of everyone equally. He devises a plan where the elite few, who often gain power through birth rights, to have their control abolished and a democratic, representative and equal community created in its place, where every person has an equal say and an equal part in the running of the community. Power to all or power to none! The latter part of this refo Paine’s political manifesto details how governments and hierarchies are, in his opinion, corrupt, as they rely on the power of a few rather than of everyone equally. He devises a plan where the elite few, who often gain power through birth rights, to have their control abolished and a democratic, representative and equal community created in its place, where every person has an equal say and an equal part in the running of the community. Power to all or power to none! The latter part of this reformist agenda includes particulars concerning liberal taxation and the redistribution of wealth, much of which still holds political interest and relevance today. Radical and revolutionary, this has serious weight behind its arguments and yet it is in actuality no more than a retort to the alternative philosophy of the French Revolution as proposed by British politician Edmund Burke. For that reason, this is brilliant and yet flawed. The prose, in respect to language alone, is understandable, more so than the political and philosophical tags would have had me think, and yet the central message was buried under argument and criticism that muddied my understanding in some areas. It is answering questions raised in Burke’s writing in a disjointed fashion that leaves me turning to Google for further understanding in more than one area. I felt that this was delivered in a somewhat confusing manner, leading my attention to stray numerous times and me to skim some areas in the latter parts of this. The central message is of great interest and importance, and yet the delivery is lacking for me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    Thomas Paine is one of those writers who seemed to have been dropped by a deist God 200 years before the world was really ready for him. His energy, honesty and political bravery was intense. By his voice alone he helped to transform the West. Common Sense, the Rights of Man, and finally the Age of Reason have all thrown the political and social gauntlet down and caused people to either cheer him (Common Sense) or hiss his name (Age of Reason). The Rights of Man was visionary in its call for int Thomas Paine is one of those writers who seemed to have been dropped by a deist God 200 years before the world was really ready for him. His energy, honesty and political bravery was intense. By his voice alone he helped to transform the West. Common Sense, the Rights of Man, and finally the Age of Reason have all thrown the political and social gauntlet down and caused people to either cheer him (Common Sense) or hiss his name (Age of Reason). The Rights of Man was visionary in its call for intellectual republicanism and social justice. Paine was and is a prophetic voice for individual freedom and moral equality. He is my favorite founder to quote whenever I find myself in a debate where someone wants to lump the 'Founders' together in some giant Libertarian Christianity pudding. He was a true radical and a true American.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kate Woods Walker

    A pleasure to read beginning to end, Rights of Man by Thomas Paine is the third book in a discussion series in which I am currently participating, and for the life of me I can't figure out why this masterpiece of history, philosophy, politics and statecraft was not the lead-off book in the series. Not only does the clear-thinking Paine lay out with understatement and restraint winning arguments against the ridiculous Edmund Burke and his Reflections on the Revolution in France, but in the first A pleasure to read beginning to end, Rights of Man by Thomas Paine is the third book in a discussion series in which I am currently participating, and for the life of me I can't figure out why this masterpiece of history, philosophy, politics and statecraft was not the lead-off book in the series. Not only does the clear-thinking Paine lay out with understatement and restraint winning arguments against the ridiculous Edmund Burke and his Reflections on the Revolution in France, but in the first section provides an understandable narrative of the history of events leading to the French Revolution and proves himself quite the capable journalist to boot. I'd trust Paine's account any day over that of the supposed "objective" historian Christopher Hibbert, who wrote The Days of the French Revolution, the first book in the series. And of course, this book reprints The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens by the National Assembly of France, something one would think would be a centerpiece in any serious work about the French Revolution. I often found myself, in reading Part One, stopping to put down the book and raise my hand in salute to Mr. Paine, who decimated the monarchist arguments of the conservative Mr. Burke. Then in Part Two, I found myself stopping to put down the book and marvel at the forward-thinking economic ideas of our rabble-rousing Founding Father. Burke gets all the credit for precognition for a brief passage that foretells the rise of a military dictator in France, but it seems Paine was recommending measures that sound an awful lot like Social Security, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and a progressive tax system well before the turn of the 19th Century. Everyone should read this book. A good dose of Rights of Man would do much to temper the current hard-hearted anti-tax fervor of supposed "patriots" and remind supposed "Christians" that this freethinking revolutionary never lost his compassion for the aged, infirm and poor. I wonder what would happen if people substituted references to "monarch" with "corporation."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michael Cabus

    Thomas Paine lived in the town I live in, in New Jersey. It's the town he lived the longest in, and was affectionate for it, once writing while in France that he wished he was home in Bordentown and that he missed his horse buttons. Despite his affection there is scant evidence or memorial; no Thomas Paine day, no historical tours..just a statue in a park. Even in statue Paine looks poised for action, like a sort of contained energy in marble. Writing is also a still art form, there within a mome Thomas Paine lived in the town I live in, in New Jersey. It's the town he lived the longest in, and was affectionate for it, once writing while in France that he wished he was home in Bordentown and that he missed his horse buttons. Despite his affection there is scant evidence or memorial; no Thomas Paine day, no historical tours..just a statue in a park. Even in statue Paine looks poised for action, like a sort of contained energy in marble. Writing is also a still art form, there within a moment, immovable, yet Paine wrote with such electric it seems alive; his defence of the French Revolution and republican government is full of revolutionary excitement. He was aided in Burke's disapproval of it, his conclusion that after the revolution France was no longer there. Reading a skilled writer work against a text, to refute its arguments, is fun if it's done correctly and here, it is. Our modern political debate seldom has this, it's simply filled with advertising and bad photographs of opponents. That's not to admit much of this reads like propaganda; Paine writing of the rights of man in a country that did not allow the vote to men based on color, and women not at all, seems to be on shaky ground. Yet taken as the idea that government needs change occasionally to reinvent itself; that government can become despotic and that this worth fighting against, these ideas still inspire. When Paine writes that once monarchy is abolished war for profit, corruption, and excessive government spending will diminish, us moderns can only say, "hey monarchy, hold my beer". Yet that is millennial cynicism perhaps; or gen x angst; maybe it would do to see that it's possible for big change, not even possible but necessary, required, prerequisite to everything. It almost makes one want to get off social media and do something. For that reason everyone should read this. A+

  9. 5 out of 5

    John Doyle

    The Rights of Man is a political masterwork that lays bare the bankruptcy of governments and political systems that derive their authority from any other source than the People. In his time, Paine was specifically eviscerating monarchies (i.e. 18th century Britain) that established themselves through military conquest and then claimed legitimacy over generations based on biology. By contrast, the revolutions in America and France had established the primacy of the nation (i.e. the People) to def The Rights of Man is a political masterwork that lays bare the bankruptcy of governments and political systems that derive their authority from any other source than the People. In his time, Paine was specifically eviscerating monarchies (i.e. 18th century Britain) that established themselves through military conquest and then claimed legitimacy over generations based on biology. By contrast, the revolutions in America and France had established the primacy of the nation (i.e. the People) to define a country and establish rules to govern it based on the choices of citizens over time. Reflecting more than 200 years after Paine wrote this book I think much of our Country's political history and its foreseeable future is about whether and when the fundamental rights of "man" will apply to all of us equally regardless of race, wealth, gender, etc etc.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ben Lever

    This books has patches of brilliance buried in amongst many pages of Paine picking a fight with Edmund Burke. This is somewhat typical of "classics" of political theory like this - they were designed only as pamphlets to deal with the issues of the day, and were not meant to be timeless. While there is indeed timeless wisdom in here, a modern reader must sift through a lot of dirt to get to it - hence the two-star rating

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ian Ayris

    Years ahead of his time, the all too unknown Englishman, Thomas Paine - from Thetford, Norfolk - had a large hand in setting out the constitutions for both the French Revolution and the newly formed country of America. Rights of Man is Paine's political treatise - a reply to the insanely monarchical English philosopher, Edmund Burke - wherein he sets out his view for a new politics - basically inventing the idea of a fair tax system, pensions, welfare benefits for the poor and needy, and blastin Years ahead of his time, the all too unknown Englishman, Thomas Paine - from Thetford, Norfolk - had a large hand in setting out the constitutions for both the French Revolution and the newly formed country of America. Rights of Man is Paine's political treatise - a reply to the insanely monarchical English philosopher, Edmund Burke - wherein he sets out his view for a new politics - basically inventing the idea of a fair tax system, pensions, welfare benefits for the poor and needy, and blasting the idea of primogeniture (heredity) every chance he gets. Of unelected government (the House of Lords, for example), Paine says: 'A body of men accountable to nobody, ought not to be trusted by anybody.' Brilliant :) Of a country's right to preen itself (think here of the United Kingdom and the USA today) he says: 'When it shall 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 not in want, the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am the friend of its happiness: When these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and its government.' For anyone with the slightest interest in Brexit, and all that malarky, Paine is essential reading. He should be taught in schools. Everywhere. In Rights of Man, Paine says, 'My country is the world, my religion is to do good.' Forward thinking, without being self-righteous. He'd scare the life out of all these so-called politicians of today. That is why Thomas Paine is incredible. A man of courage and brilliance, a true voice of the common man. And sorely missed.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sean Chick

    Flawed but vastly superior to Burke. Paine relies more upon the argument that man has rights, than any form of historical tradition. Paine was right in that there is no “political Adam” from which all laws derive. People have a right to revolution, because government is a construct of man, not an organic system ordained by god and the dead hand of tradition. Also, the unity of man is an absolute and based upon natural rights, while nobles hold their position through coercion and war. He correctl Flawed but vastly superior to Burke. Paine relies more upon the argument that man has rights, than any form of historical tradition. Paine was right in that there is no “political Adam” from which all laws derive. People have a right to revolution, because government is a construct of man, not an organic system ordained by god and the dead hand of tradition. Also, the unity of man is an absolute and based upon natural rights, while nobles hold their position through coercion and war. He correctly sees that peace in Europe will come with democracy, and that the French Revolution is both a continuation of the American Revolution and the dawn of something greater. Those are just my scattered thoughts on this remarkable book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nandini Goel

    “Rights of Man by Thomas Paine” is an excellent piece of work where Paine focuses on the flaws and ascendancies of one type of government over the other. In the first part, Paine discusses about the various rights of man where he says that men are all of one degree and consequently all men are born equal with equal natural right and every child born into the world must be considered as deriving its existence from god. After that Paine put forwards his inputs by condemning Mr Burke with whose writ “Rights of Man by Thomas Paine” is an excellent piece of work where Paine focuses on the flaws and ascendancies of one type of government over the other. In the first part, Paine discusses about the various rights of man where he says that men are all of one degree and consequently all men are born equal with equal natural right and every child born into the world must be considered as deriving its existence from god. After that Paine put forwards his inputs by condemning Mr Burke with whose writings he completely disagree. He calls his writings more of a kind of Shakespearean Drama than of truth, which is a necessity of historical works. Paine supports the American Revolution and the French Revolution and praises America by describing it as a country being governed peacefully even after having an amalgamation of religions, customs, languages etc. This also gives brief introduction of Paine's understanding towards society in general. How he visions Bourgeois to be part of his politics and governance. He believes that as long as there will be an abuse of monarchy, such revolutions will persist in the future. He condemns hereditary monarchical system of government and says that it is like putting an idiot on the throne with no qualifications. He says that even if Homer or Euclid had sons, they would not have been able to finish their fathers’ incomplete work as sons are not equally capable as their fathers. He then shares how a leader becomes a leader. He describes three ways through which a leader comes to power. Firstly, superstition, Secondly, power and thirdly, by upholding the common rights of the man. In the first case like an oracle makes a prophecy and people follow it, so as long as this kind of superstition exists, people will accept the leader. In the second case, till the time, the king is able to keep control of the territory, he will be the king. In the third case, however, till the time the leader is able to uphold the common rights of man, the leader shall maintain as the ruler.( Which is an interesting explanation **smile**) Paine describes government as a national association and meant only and only for the welfare of the people. When the government is unable to do so, the people revolt. Then Paine discusses an instance when there was an abuse of government. In France, a government had been developed but only the people who pay tax of more than sixty sous per annum were allowed to vote or elect their leaders. So, in an area consisting of thirty thousand people, only two people voted. After that, Thomas Paine discusses the importance of constitution. He describes constitution as an antecedent for the government. He discusses that the constitution should consist of values that uphold the rights of the man. Also, he describes that constitution is valid only till the time it is enforced. He says that the government shall follow what is laid down in the constitution and the people and the people only have the right to amend it, not those who exercise power in the government. He describes the government only as a creature of the constitution. Best Regards Nandini

  14. 5 out of 5

    Toni Daugherty

    I'm re-reading this book in light of the current administration. I'm confident that Pres. Bush played "hookie" the week his college class read & discussed this book. everyone interested in politics & mankind should give this a go! I'm re-reading this book in light of the current administration. I'm confident that Pres. Bush played "hookie" the week his college class read & discussed this book. everyone interested in politics & mankind should give this a go!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Egerer

    A masterpiece of political literature that deserves to be read by every American. Essentially beginning as a refutation of Burke's confusing, backward Reflections on the Revolution in France, it ends as a treatise about why governments exist and how they ought to behave. Thomas Paine is a saint.

  16. 5 out of 5

    R.K. Byers

    perhaps the most amazing thing about this treastie on freedom is that it's dedicated to my favorite slave-owner, George Washington!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Illiterate

    Natural rights are nonsense on stilts. Still, Paine’s attacks on monarchy and privilege are fun.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I read this following reading Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France as it is Paine’s response to that work. I was honestly surprised that I disagreed more with Paine’s ideas (on which my own government is at least in part based) than with Burke’s. I did not agree with the philosophical foundation for Paine’s ideas - Rousseau, Locke, and others. And the historical results of the French Revolution fail to match with what Paine was sure would happen when these ideas were implemented as th I read this following reading Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France as it is Paine’s response to that work. I was honestly surprised that I disagreed more with Paine’s ideas (on which my own government is at least in part based) than with Burke’s. I did not agree with the philosophical foundation for Paine’s ideas - Rousseau, Locke, and others. And the historical results of the French Revolution fail to match with what Paine was sure would happen when these ideas were implemented as they were in France. Paine’s tone struck me as stubborn, rude, arrogant, idealistic, and even libelous and reminded me too much of all the worst parts of American political bickering that is so common now. And the last section of the work was entirely financial figures specific to the time period in which Paine wrote which made for a rather boring and tedious conclusion. In spite of being unconvinced by Paine myself, I think this work would be an excellent choice for a book club discussion group. Topics for discussion might include: the inherent goodness (or sinfulness) of man, what rights man has, from where or whom do those rights derive, gradual v. immediate change, the role of tradition, reformation v. replacement of government, the role of government in taxation and commerce, the welfare state, pros and cons of social or economic classes, the role of religion in life or the state, whether corrupt governments directly lead to piracy, and many others...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Luís

    Thomas Paine was an Englishman, participated in the American Revolution and wrote this book in 1792 from the homonymous declaration coming out of the French revolution to defend these principles. A little book, very well written, well-argued, where it theorizes what the liberals who made the revolutions of this century that is the world today in the West. So he says it would end all wars and the money spent on them would use with older people, children's education, health, country roads, etc.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Ray

    Thomas Paine, Rights of Man (1792). Abridged from 90,000 down to 7200 words by Glyn Hughes in this pdf: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&s... Paine justly knocks monarchy. He supposes representative government will abolish many of the world's ills. Sadly, no. England had Rule by Landowner enshrined in law. The 21st century world is increasingly ruled by an aristocracy of wealth. As Noam Chomsky explains in Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky, real power is in the private economy. Corporat Thomas Paine, Rights of Man (1792). Abridged from 90,000 down to 7200 words by Glyn Hughes in this pdf: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&s... Paine justly knocks monarchy. He supposes representative government will abolish many of the world's ills. Sadly, no. England had Rule by Landowner enshrined in law. The 21st century world is increasingly ruled by an aristocracy of wealth. As Noam Chomsky explains in Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky, real power is in the private economy. Corporate wealth dictates a race to the bottom in its obligations, and to the top in its freedoms and rewards. As Chomsky understands and Paine did not, it's the owners of wealth who control the world, not the nominal form of government. Thomas Paine failed to predict that the minuscule-government, negligible flat-rate taxes and Sacred Right of Property he championed, would lead right back to the hereditary aristocracy of wealth and power he abhorred. Paine also put the constant warring among nations down to abuses inherent only to monarchy. Paine would've been surprised at the hundreds of military campaigns the U.S. has waged, between the states and around the world. "Monarchy (banditry), by admitting a participation of the spoil, makes itself friends." [pp. 14, 16 of 20, of the pdf linked above]. Capitalism does the same thing, even more effectively. Paine saw that only the corrupt could be elected to Parliament [p. 17 of 20]. He didn't predict that, 200 years later, /no/ president could be elected without kissing Wall Street's ring. Nor that representative government represents the loudest voice: nearly always the voice of wealth. He couldn't have known that laws would be written by armies of lobbyists, paid by corporate wealth, the laws being enacted without even being /read/ by the congressional representatives and senators. He didn't know that the public would need not just to elect a representative but to also hire a lobbyist on every issue that wealth lobbies on. Largely, we the people have not hired a lobbyist. So we have no voice. https://politics.theonion.com/america...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Written in response to Edmund Burke's "Reflections on the French Revolution," Paine obliterates the ideology of monarchical government. I probably should have read Burke's piece first to get a better understanding of Paine's counter-arguments, but this still provides a solid philosophical analysis of the role of government and the origin of sovereignty. He even goes to the length that countries start wars to increase their coffers from taxes, an interesting position I had not considered before. Written in response to Edmund Burke's "Reflections on the French Revolution," Paine obliterates the ideology of monarchical government. I probably should have read Burke's piece first to get a better understanding of Paine's counter-arguments, but this still provides a solid philosophical analysis of the role of government and the origin of sovereignty. He even goes to the length that countries start wars to increase their coffers from taxes, an interesting position I had not considered before. Paine unfortunately did not have the benefit of hindsight to see the horrors of the French Revolution before writing this piece, but I suppose a new country and constitution throwing off monarchical servitude and based on an American model would be exhilarating. Even if you do not believe in "natural rights," this pamphlet breaks down the major arguments for natural rights advocates in a simple and succinct way. Not quite as good as "Common Sense" in my opinion, but a pamphlet nonetheless that should be read by any freedom loving citizen. My favorite quotes: "Wrongs cannot have a legal descent." "Government is arbitrary." "The Government should reform the system, not reform the people." "'A' cannot take away from 'B' to give to 'C'." "What started as 'plunder' assumed the softer name of 'revenue.'"

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tom Lowe

    If you really want to fully understand the American Revolution and what we were fighting against, I recommend you read this amazing book. Paine analyzes, in full detail, the societies and governments of The United States, Britain, and post-revolutionary France. The monarchy and aristocracy of Britain suffers the most from the pen of Thomas Paine. It truly was an evil empire we were up against. The landed gentry of England was relatively tax free, compared to the tax burden laid on the merchants, If you really want to fully understand the American Revolution and what we were fighting against, I recommend you read this amazing book. Paine analyzes, in full detail, the societies and governments of The United States, Britain, and post-revolutionary France. The monarchy and aristocracy of Britain suffers the most from the pen of Thomas Paine. It truly was an evil empire we were up against. The landed gentry of England was relatively tax free, compared to the tax burden laid on the merchants, working class, and poor. And the inanity and stupidity of the hereditary monarchy was laid bare. Paine provided fact after fact, barb after barb. Add him to the founding father genius list of John Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Matt Smart

    I knew nothing of the French Revolution so I was pleased to see that Paine actually explains much of the situation within his rebuttal of Edmond Burke. While I feel like I missed half the story by skipping over Burke’s original essay, I think Paine makes a compelling case for the abandonment of a hereditary government. TRoM is organized really well so even someone of my ignorance of 18th century writings could follow along with his arguments.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Guy Sandison

    Two very different books, bound as one. The first considering when it’s permissible to overthrow governments, and what guise government should take, and on what principles it should be constituted. The second, asking what should government actually do, with a plan to both cut taxes for the majority and increase spending on the oppressed. A clear, relatively easy to read summary of classical Liberalism.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    A lot of really important and relevant information is in this book. Paine gets a little lost in breaking down numbers of the history of taxation in part 2 but other than that, this is an essential read especially considering our current political climate.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    "my country is the world, and my religion is to do good."

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    7/10 I would not want to be on the receiving end of the retort, as Mr. Burke was. Systematically and convincingly, Paine moves from point to point and utterly destroys all of Burkes arguments, making Burke look the fool. In so doing, Paine provides the basis for the government by which America was founded, most strikingly in his stance that "all men are created equal", a phrase which the founders borrowed exactly. More then this however, his general argument, that the government should for the co 7/10 I would not want to be on the receiving end of the retort, as Mr. Burke was. Systematically and convincingly, Paine moves from point to point and utterly destroys all of Burkes arguments, making Burke look the fool. In so doing, Paine provides the basis for the government by which America was founded, most strikingly in his stance that "all men are created equal", a phrase which the founders borrowed exactly. More then this however, his general argument, that the government should for the common good, and done as cheaply as possible, was directly transferred into American doctrine. He also provides much of the basis for the belief that government should be by the people, for the people, rather then the people supporting the government, as was done in England. My lone complaint is that when he provides the basis for the actual rights of man (in which the Declaration of Independence comes up similarly short), he assumes "these truths to be self evident", rather then going on the arduous journey to find some deeper foundation for these rights, which obviously would have been far more difficult, even if its something generally agreed upon.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Hageman

    Good context having first read Levin's Great Debate. Though, I wouldn't read this without also reading Levin's work, if only for the sake of hearing Burke's legitimate points of view on Paine's shortcoming when it comes to the practicality of government setup.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    This work, broken into two parts, contains Thomas Paine's defense of the French Revolution against Edmund Burke's criticism of it in "Reflections on the Revolution in France." The first part is as fierce as Paine's polemic against General Howe in "The American Crisis." Paine's logic and reasoning are well-structured and supported even if his critique is perhaps incendiary in nature. The first part, addressed to President Washington, is much more enjoyable a read than the second half, which is ad This work, broken into two parts, contains Thomas Paine's defense of the French Revolution against Edmund Burke's criticism of it in "Reflections on the Revolution in France." The first part is as fierce as Paine's polemic against General Howe in "The American Crisis." Paine's logic and reasoning are well-structured and supported even if his critique is perhaps incendiary in nature. The first part, addressed to President Washington, is much more enjoyable a read than the second half, which is addressed to the Marquis de La Fayette. The second part is equally well-reasoned and supported, but less incendiary, and in this sense less of a page turner (insomuch as a historical work such as this can be a "page turner"). As a whole, the work provides a justification for revolution when a government fails to protect the natural rights of its citizens, and includes much relevant discussion and historical analysis of the events leading up to the Revolution in France, with some discussion of the Revolution in America and a comparison of these struggles of the people to the government in Britain. As always, Tom Paine fulminates against the idea of hereditary monarchy and aristocracy, a "silly" idea to him. His writings provide a message of hope that governments are the product of man and are subject to change when citizens are no longer kept ignorant, when they reason and discover truth. Once truth is tasted, Paine says, there is no going back into the darkness of ignorance: "The mind, in discovering truth, acts in the same manner as it acts through the eye in discovering objects; when once any object is seen, it is impossible to put the mind back to the same condition it was in before it saw it." And, characteristic of this Age of Enlightenment and Reason (the end of part two also sets the stage for his next major work, "The Age of Reason"), Paine writes at the end of Part 1, "From what we now see, nothing of reform in the political world ought to be held improbable. It is an age of Revolutions, in which everything may be looked for." At the end of Part 2, he adds, rather poetically: It is now towards the middle of February. Were I to take a turn into the country the trees would present a leafless winterly appearance. As people are apt to pluck twigs as they walk along, I perhaps might do the same, and by chance might observe that a single bud on that twig had begun to swell. I should reason very unnaturally, or rather not reason at all, to suppose this was the only bud in England which had this appearance. Instead of deciding thus, I should instantly conclude that the same appearance was beginning, or about to begin, everywhere; and though the vegetable sleep will continue longer on some trees and plants than on others, and though some of them may not blossom for two or three years, all will be in leaf in the summer, except those which are rotten. What pace the political summer may keep with the natural, no human foresight can determine. It is, however, not difficult to perceive that the spring is begun. A sense of hope that what is does not always have to be and that when pursuing a good, common goal that change for the better is possible in terms of the governance of man.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dru

    Thomas Paine is a man of deep thoughts. Perhaps that states the obvious, but before reading this I really was barely aware of his works. I was astounded to find a man who was eloquent and gentlemanly in his arguments. This book is mostly a rebuttal to Edmund Burke's attack on the French Revolution. In it, Paine tears down all possible justification for monarchy and aristocracy (which are upheld in Burke's work). If this were a presidential debate, Burke would've left the stage embarrassed and wr Thomas Paine is a man of deep thoughts. Perhaps that states the obvious, but before reading this I really was barely aware of his works. I was astounded to find a man who was eloquent and gentlemanly in his arguments. This book is mostly a rebuttal to Edmund Burke's attack on the French Revolution. In it, Paine tears down all possible justification for monarchy and aristocracy (which are upheld in Burke's work). If this were a presidential debate, Burke would've left the stage embarrassed and wrong but not necessarily humiliated. It would've won Paine the presidency. In this age of our fascist traitor-in-chief president, when his mindless monkeys wear their "MAGA" hats and chant "lock her up" it is even more poignant to consider that we need a deep thinker like Thomas Paine today. But sadly his voice would be lost in the millions of squeeks of nonsense that are the internet. I'm going to keep reading Paine. He inspires me to truly make government work for the people...to consider the REASON for government and the honor which elected officials SHOULD have. Favorite quotes: “In despotic governments, wars are the effect of pride, but in those governments by which they become the means of taxation, they acquire thereby a more permanent promptitude.” “Government ought to be as much open to improvement as anything which appertains to man. Instead of which, it has been monopolized from age to age by the most ignorant and vicious of the human race” “...Man finds himself changed, he scarcely perceived how. He acquires so knowledge of his rights by attending justly to his interest and discovers in the event that the strength and powers of despotism consist wholly in the fears of resisting it and in order to be free, it is sufficient that he wills it.” “It is in the power of taxation being in those who can throw so great a part of it from their own shoulder that it has raged without a check” “When it shall be said in any country in the world: ‘My poorer happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them. My jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, my aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive. The rational world is my friend because I am the friend of its happiness.’ When these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution, and its government.”

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