Tag Archives: Democracy

The 11/21/13 Joy Jar

22 Nov

We live in a very fractured world where politics just seems to be failing. It is helpful to step back and read the words of Thomas Paine. American History Central provides some facts:

Quick Facts About Thomas Paine
Born January 29, 1737, Thetford, Norfolk, England
Wrote, Case of the Officers of Excise, his earliest known prose composition and first important pamphlet, in 1772
Moved to Philadelphia in 1774
Became editor Pennsylvania Magazine in 1775
Wrote anti-slavery essay African Slavery in America in 1775
Published the pamphlet Common Sense in 1776
Enlisted in Continental Army in 1776
Published American Crisis I, the first of 16 American Crisis papers, in 1776. This work contains the famous line, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
Congress appointed Paine its Secretary to Committee on Foreign Affairs in 1777
Resigned as Foreign Affairs Secretary in 1779, as result of Silas Deane affair
Returned to Europe in 1787, dividing his time between England and France
Published part one of the Rights of Man, his reply to Edmund Burke’s denunciation of the French Revolution, in 1791
Published part two of the Rights of Man in 1792
Condemned for his radical views, Paine was declared an outlaw and forced to leave England in 1792
Became a French citizen and was elected as a member of the National Assembly in France, in 1792
Helped write the Constitution of the Republic of France in 1792
Published part one of The Age of Reason in 1793
Imprisoned by Jacobins in 1793, during the Reign of Terror, for his moderate views regarding the treatment of Louis XVI
Released from eleven-month imprisonment in 1793, with the help of James Monroe, the U.S. Ambassador to France
Published part two of The Age of Reason in 1795…

If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
Thomas Paine

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
Thomas Paine

Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property… Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
Thomas Paine

I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
Thomas Paine

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
Thomas Paine

The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
Thomas Paine

The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.
Thomas Paine

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
Thomas Paine

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
Thomas Paine

Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
Thomas Paine

I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.
Thomas Paine

Character is much easier kept than recovered.
Thomas Paine

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
Thomas Paine

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.
Thomas Paine

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

We have it in our power to begin the world over again.
Thomas Paine

Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.
Thomas Paine

Those who want to reap the benefits of this great nation must bear the fatigue of supporting it.
Thomas Paine

Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best stage, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.
Thomas Paine

A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.
Thomas Paine

Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
Thomas Paine

An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.
Thomas Paine

When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.
Thomas Paine

These are the times that try men’s souls.
Thomas Paine

The 07/02/13 Joy Jar

3 Jul


The Fourth of July which celebrates America and the aspirational goal of what America means. There is a constant fight to preserve the traditions of democracy which so many take for granted or don’t even have a clue that thwy have. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the idea of democracy.

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.
Abraham Lincoln

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
Winston Churchill

The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.
John F. Kennedy

Democracy… while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
John Adams

Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.
George Bernard Shaw