Next up on my list of books I read earlier this year and never blogged about is Common Sense by/attributed to Thomas Paine.
This was a very interesting read for anyone who’s interested in American History or Political History. It wasn’t the best writing I’ve come across, but I doubt Paine was aiming to write the novel of the year. Written in pre-independence 1776, Common Sense targets the weaknesses of the English way of government and highlights the need for rebellion and independence from such a corrupt system.
I don’t remember much in detail, since I read this one about 6 months ago, but one problem with England I remember Paine mentioning was right in their Constitution. The English Constitution granted power to the king based solely on inheritance, which when you think about it, is no way to run a kingdom. The Constitution granted authority to the House of Commons to check the king in his power, and Paine asks, “Why does the King need to be checked in his power? Why can a group of people we elect have power to check the person who is supposed to be qualified to run the kingdom? If we elect the people who have power to check the king, then don’t we have the root power to check the king in his power? If we altogether are more wise than the king, then why is he ruling over us?”
And these are good questions.
Unfortunately, later Paine went crazy and fell off the deep end, but that doesn’t change the clarity of Common Sense.
4/5 Would recommend to anyone with interest in history, generally, or current politics.