Tom Paine was a commie

Tom Paine was a commie

by digby

This long piece by Paul Rosenberg about Romney and his lies is worth reading, but I wanted to share this excerpt and say to the Tea Party, "I gotcher founders for ya, right heah":
Romney's support for Paul Ryan's budget would not only end Social Security and Medicare as we know them, it would shrink government as a whole back to the level of the 1920s, when the US was still a third-rate military power.

This is not only wildly unpopular as well as impractical. It is also profoundly un-American, in sharp contrast to Obama's professed commitment to a strong social foundation of shared prosperity, which is profoundly American.

We can see this in the words of Founding Father Tom Paine, who wrote - in his own version of "you didn't build that":
"Personal property is the effect of society; and it is as impossible for an individual to acquire personal property without the aid of society, as it is for him to make land originally.

"Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist, the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man's own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilisation, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came."
Other Founders echoed similar sentiments, but Paine was distinctive as both a visionary and a commoner - that was the power and genius of Common Sense, without which the American Revolution would have failed.

The passage above comes from Agrarian Justice, in which Paine argued for a social insurance system for young people and the aged, based on a national ten per cent tax on inherited property. Here he seemed much more the visionary, far ahead of his time, anticipating programmes that would not arise anywhere for almost a century.
Tom Paine had been dead for nine years when Karl Marx was born, but according to the right wing he must have literally been a visionary and saw the Marxism on the wall.

Rosenberg makes the point that this strain of thought is as American as apple pie, going all the way back to the beginning. When I was a kid it was the consensus view. Unfortunately, that's given way to another of the all-American obsessions: the cult of individualism.