Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The American Revolution

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I am becoming persuaded that Thomas Paine was a propagandist imported from England to put the gloss of Liberty on the American Revolution. That would have been necessary to give the yeomen the idea that they would benefit so they would support the revolution. Only about a third did, apparently, and a third supported Great Britain, and a third were indifferent. Thomas Paine is considered to be one of the founders. But he did not sign the Declaration of Independence because he was not a member of the Continental Congress. (The official story is that Paine was a Deist while the founders were staunch Christians.) Paine only arrived in America in 1774. He was not part of the club. He did not profit. He shared the fate of Dan'l Boone and the other yeomen Americans. George Washington and the gang went on to make stupendous profits. George, himself, led his army to put down in the Whiskey Rebellion the yeomen who objected to being robbed. They had gotten the idea that they were free. They weren't. The divide between the élite and everyone else persists to this day. For 232 years most people have believed the myth that Thomas Paine created for them. It is a noble myth that America should aspire to realizing.

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