Common Sense 2021
Here's our take on what Common Sense looks like in the 21st Century. When Thomas Paine wrote the original Common Sense pamphlet as our War for Independence began, there was lots of confusion about whether the colonies should break away from the British Empire. Now, we are asking some of the same questions about whether our democratic norms of independence will survive our slide into an oligarchy governed by the rich and powerful.
Common Sense was a 47-page pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–1776 advocating independence from Great Britain for the people in the thirteen colonies. Writing in clear and persuasive prose, Paine marshaled moral and political arguments to encourage common people in the colonies to fight for egalitarian government. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, At the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation.
It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history. As of 2006, it remains the all-time best-selling American title and is still in print today.
Common Sense made public a persuasive and impassioned case for independence, which had not yet been given serious intellectual consideration. Paine connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity and structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon. Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as "the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era."
Currently, those of us at DemoKrazy find our American culture equally confused about what it wants to become next. The political debate between the Trumplikins and the Democrats is increasingly polarized. This results in cultural paralysis and a seeming decent into an oligarchic state of governance as the default.
Much in the way Thomas Pain cut through the uncertainty most Americans felt about leaving the British empire, we hope our 21st Century version of Common Sense cuts through the current polarized noise to help you sort out what Democratic norms are under attack and what we need to do about it.
Bleeding red, white and blue....
Chapter 6 - On the need to prosecute those that would THREATEN our democratic norms.- Download (Save)