Thomas Paine, son of a queer dressmaker, was a British printer and intellectual. Being a British intellectual translates to “highbrow snob” for the purposes of this article. Paine spent his free time trolling the British Parliament, the British Monarchy, and just about every other British person he could meet. Ever the trolling opportunist, Paine decided to move to the North American colonies, conveniently just in time for the American Revolution to start. During the move to America, Paine changed his name from Pain to Paine in an attempt to downplay the astounding level of faggotry in which his family (especially his father) was involved.
While in America, Paine wrote Common Sense, a pamphlet considered by many to be a major impetus behind the American Revolution.
During his childhood, Thomas Paine was shipped off to a number of snobby educational facilities before he finally settled on helping his father out with the dress making business. After a few years of this service, he realized what sort of faggotry he was involved in and quietly left the family home to become a privateer. It was too late to save his manhood, however, as he had attained the title of “Master Dress Maker and Ladies Undies Sniffer.” He then embarked upon a plan to save his flagging reputation by first marrying a woman (which did not work) and then just saying fuck it, and moving to the Americas.
Ever the consummate troll, Paine arrived in the Colonies and began writing articles that were scathing diatribes aimed at his former country and his current monarch for newspapers. As he ramped up his hate speech, the British Crown began to take notice and placed him on the Terrorist Watch List.
By 1776, Paine had pissed off just about everybody he could and most people generally knew that he was writing his attack articles for the lulz. It is at this time that he decided to go underground and publish his finest work “Common Sense” anonymously. He also avoided British entanglements (hanging, tar and feathering, rail riding) by doing this, as it is generally known that writers are also pussies.
Notable Events in Thomas Paine's Early Years
- Taught little boys in a local school.
- Served on his town's city council.
- Formed a debate club attended by little boys.
- Waited exactly four months to marry his second wife after his first wife died.
- Opened a shop.
- Closed a shop.
- Legally separated from his second wife just prior to moving to the Colonies.
- Was helped by Benjamin Franklin to cross the Atlantic and set up life in the Colonies.
- Settled in Philadelphia and "miraculously" was given a job as a journalist, even though he had no prior experience.
- Began stirring up trouble for the British.
- Often penniless and destitute he relied on American "friends" to support him for much of his adult life.
- Tried to invent the smokeless candle.
Thomas Paine originally wanted to call his pamphlet that demanded independence for the American Colonies “Surprise Buttsecks in the New World,” but friends successfully persuaded Paine to change the title to it’s now famous name: Common Sense.
Common Sense is a 48-page pamphlet, the perfect size for sitting on the paper shelf in any New World outhouse. The paper was very fine with just enough grit in it to be abrasive, giving it excellent wiping qualities. Once published, printers quickly ran off over 100,000 copies of Common Sense to the needy public who were tired of using corncobs to wipe. After the initial printing was finished, it was succeeded by three more printings, making Paine a very wealthy man. After some thought, Paine “did the right thing” and donated the proceeds of his publication to George Washington’s war funds.
Sections of the Pamphlet
Common Sense is divided into four sections. Four sections that describe, in wordy and minute detail, just what everybody was thinking already.
On the title page of the book is a brief quote James Thomson's poem "Liberty":
This is a rather dramatic opening for an otherwise boring book that contains no pictures. He then starts his introduction and is sure to put several more famous quotes in it. Paine, ever a wordy and snobby bastard, places these quotes in the front of his book to garner some level of acceptance by both the intelligencia and the bandwagon fans of New England as well.
In the first section of Common Sense, Paine compares society and the government. He refers to the people in society as “the patron, produced by wants and desires” and he refers to government as “the punisher.” He goes on to state that the government is produced by wicked men and itself is in fact wicked.
After Paine finishes telling his readers this astounding and WHOLLY UNEXPECTED news, he really goes off the deep end by telling us that as society grows, so do its problems. Following this incredible arc of logic, Paine goes so far as to state that finally society becomes so big, it must form a regulating body to enact laws and control the people. He finds these sorts of things to be okay, as long as it isn’t a monarchy that is the regulating body and agrees that an elected form of government is the only way to truly avoid tyranny.
After basically pointing a grubby, accusing finger at the English monarchy, Paine then decides to tell us how really bad the whole monarchy thing is. He states that a king is pretty much just a person, born into office and who does nothing. This is not a proper form of government. He backs this up by citing that the Creator has made all men equal and he uses several quotes from the Bible to strengthen his position. Today, one must consider that Paine is, in fact, supplanting a functioning, historically factual, and realistic government with an invisible and absent deity in a hoodwink that the general population would be sure to eat right up.
Paine ends this section by telling the reader that a tyrant and a Parliamentary system cannot work together because when the tyrant is strong, the Parliament is weak. Paine was a true genius.
In section three, Paine gives the reader a brief synopsis of what has been going on between England and the American colonies. He then offers some solutions to the problem lest the problem grow so large that a war becomes inevitable. His first solution to the problem is to make a new Magna Carta for George III to sign, this will limit his ability to meddle in the affairs of the colonies and give the colonies more voice in Parliament. He forgets (or omits) the fact that a war had to be fought for the original Magna Carta to be signed by the British monarchy in the first place.
Paine’s next suggestion is to form a Congress so that the voices of the colonies will be considered while legislation arises in Parliament. He then goes on to talk about making a Lottery.
In the final section, Paine beats his chest and states that he feels America’s armed might would be sufficient to beat off any British forces and would be effective should a revolution be necessary. Please note again that Paine was writing his pamphlet from the comfort of his own home, under the protection of anonymity. He spends whole pages detailing how America could, if need be, build a navy larger than the British Royal Navy.
Many things come to mind when reading these pages. First, that the British Royal Navy, at the time, had over 500 ships of war. Second, that there was absolutely no Colonial Navy and no means by which to create a Colonial Navy. The third and final thing that comes to mind when considering Paine’s lunacy is that 80 British ships of war were sitting in Boston harbor at the time of Common Sense’s writing.
Finally, Paine boils down his key arguments against the British monarchy by making a few concise points, making the writing of a 48-page book kind of a silly idea. Here are those points:
- A little island is too little to rule a big continent that is big.
- America has a bunch of criminals and undesirables from other countries besides England
- British rule is very cruel
- The British Monarchy fights too much
- England and the colonies are really far apart
- God gave the New World to Christian reformers only
- British rule is very cruel, did you know that?
Despite the fact that Common Sense is a pamphlet, it was America’s first certified bestselling book. This is rather incredible due to the fact that there were exactly 17 literate people in the whole North American continent. Many believe that Common Sense’s main popularity stemmed from its simplicity rather than it’s distressingly over used (for the times) message. Even though it was very popular, scholars debate whether Common Sense had much direct influence on the Declaration of Independence or the Revolutionary war, citing that it was a case of “preaching to the choir” rather than a groundbreaking and fabulously new idea.
Paine in the Post Revolutionary World
Paine was convinced that the American Revolution was a crusade for a superior political system and that America was ultimately unconquerable. Because of these feelings, he found himself in an ever restless state, and desired to foment revolution elsewhere.
France and England
When the Revolutionary War ended, Paine was downright poor. He was forced to openly beg for recompense from the government. After much debate and a bit of wrangling, Congress opened the national wallet and gave Paine three thousand dollars for his "service to the country." Paine then later received £500 from Pennsylvania just because he used to hang out with Ben Franklin. New York went crazy and donated a confiscated farm where Paine himself would later be buried.
Because he was wearing out his welcome in the New World (Paine was a very irritating person in real life), and because he was not the center of attention anymore, Paine decided to troll in other parts of the world. He immediately booked passage on a ship bound for Britain, but upon his arrival there, he was asked to kindly leave before he was hanged in a public square. He traveled to Paris next, and was given a warmer welcome there due to the fact that Thomas Jefferson was the only person in the whole city who knew of his arrival. While in Paris, Paine wrote his very controversial and very popular "Rights of Man" which was just a longer and more verbose version of his earlier "Common Sense."
In typical French fashion, the Frogs greeted his new work with a ho-hum attitude that later built itself up into a craze when it was found that the book dealt with the British in an almost outlandishly derogatory rant. Because of this sweeping fad of revolutions against Monarchies in Europe, Paine was made an outlaw in Britain and was told that if he were to come to any part of the British Empire, he would be summarily tried, found guilty, shot, hung, burned at the stake, and then shot again.
Paine spent ten full years in France. He waited there, hoping that the dirty unwashed masses of Britain would explode forth in a full Revolution, but his plans were never to see this occur due to the fact that the British were generally well-fed and happy with their lot in life. If a problem came up, the Brits would generally reform their government just enough to keep the sweaty, gin-soaked bums in line.
Because he was overseas, Paine missed out on helping frame the Constitution of the United States, but that was okay because he was generally butthurt over the whole new government that had sprung up there. Also, he was a bit miffed because he hadn't been asked to attend in the first place. He assuaged these bitter feelings by becoming a full fledged citizen of France. Four months later, he entered into the service of the French National Convention, but nobody really gave a shit about it because he could not speak a word of French. His speeches before the assembly were generally greeted by yawns.
Suddenly, the French Revolution caught fire. Paine argued that Louis XVI should not be executed. Because of this, he was finally taken seriously by the French National Convention; they escorted him out of the building and placed him into a prison in Luxemborg for nearly a year. It took the intercession of James Monroe, another of his very familiar male friends, go spring him from the joint and he moved back to the North American Continent.
Thomas Paine was forever bitching like a little girl about the evils of the British Monarchy, but he could never understand that some people just plain wanted it. In all of his works he argued that political reform was not a viable way to change a government and that only through the sword could real political change occur. People understood his theories, but since Paine himself was such an incredibly huge faggot, nobody really paid attention to him, unless it was to sneer at his increasing decrepitude and madness.
Later Years and Death
America had changed for Paine, he no longer felt at home in his second adopted country. He began writing "The Age of Reason" but felt that he needed to leave the former Colonies and return to Europe, despite the fact that Thomas Jefferson told him not to leave. He bummed around Paris for a few years and completed his draft of "The Age of Reason" while also becoming a raging alcoholic. The book had many detractors, so Paine, ever the fickle one, returned once again to the United States and died there poor, outcast, broken, and drunk.
Quotes Attributed to Thomas Paine
It must be noted that Thomas Paine did most of his trolling behind seven proxies. In real life, he was on the move constantly trying to keep one step ahead of the British forces who wanted to rape him in the ass and then hang him from the nearest tree. His wit and commentary must be taken with a grain of salt.
|" Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man. " Paine was wishy-washy with his atheism.|
|" Character is much easier kept than recovered. " Thomas Paine, ever the funny guy|
|" Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. " Printed in secret in his secret lair.|
|" Human nature is not of itself vicious. " Thomas Paine smoked marijuana.|
|" If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately. " Paine ripping off Ben Franklin|
|" Lead, follow, or get out of the way. " Originally attributed to Gallagher.|