Thomas Paine: Teaspoons vs. Tea Partiers

Considering how much the Fox News/Koch Brothers Tea Partiers like to selectively proof-text the Founding Generation of the United States in order to prove that they were all totally Ayn Randian bootstraps! types, and definitely not dirty protesting hippies, I thought Shakers might get a kick out of these quotes:

Exhibit A: 18th century teaspoons:
"Where liberty is, there is my country," Franklin once said, to which Paine replied, "Wherever liberty is not, there is my country."
Exhibit B: On economics and criminal justice:
"When, in countries that are called civilized, we see age going to the work-house and youth to the gallows, something must be wrong in the system of government."
Both are quoted in Jill Lepore, "'A World of Paine" in Alfred Young, Gary Nash, and Ray Raphael, ed., Revolutionary Founders: Rebels, Radicals, and Reformers in the Making of the Nation (Alfred A. Knopf, 2011), a highly recommended collection of essays. For the record, I'm not a fan of proof-texting, but quotes like this are a good reminder that the elite white men usually dubbed the "Founders" were far from monolithic, let alone representative of all the American Revolution's participants.

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