Thomas Paine and the Rise of Socialism’s Ecumenical Irreligion

Edmund Burke Photograph #1

“The writers against religion, whilst they oppose every system, are wisely careful never to set up any of their own.” — Edmund Burke (1729-97), A Vindication of Natural Society: or, a View of the Miseries and Evils arising to Mankind from every Species of Artificial Society.

There is one fundamental truth uniting each left-wing faction: they intend to micromanage into the grave the lives of all people should one be so lucky to survive his gestation period. If life is not a natural right, why must all Americans be forced to fund anyone choosing not to contribute to the same cauldron of confiscated wealth as their slaves and they, as if some divine magistrates? Beggars can never be choosers in a just society. Should this ever be finalized to our detriment, the society ruled by shiftless leeches will inevitably run dry of its blood supply, at which point desperation breeding discontent will lead to an unholy purge, its casualties too numerous to apply individual faces. It can then no longer be categorized a mere tragedy. By 2017, more Americans will be out of the job market than there will be taxpayers paying for their welfare. A dollar no longer buys what it did ten years ago due to monetizing a baseless currency into inevitable hyperinflation and massive debt. In two years, the taxes we are charged at increased rates will not purchase what they do today. National debt rises through fluctuating interest rates. A dollar in 2013 was worth five cents its 1913 value.

Value and Supply of the US Dollar Federal Reserve Note

Value and Supply of the US Dollar Federal Reserve Note

Wealth redistribution masquerades as compassion in societies cherishing ostensible benevolence as the spirit behind their laws. But why if all benefit as much off their neighbors’ sweat as their own should we have reason to advance in life, to be competitive, to innovate? Who would care to prosper when all seemingly are rich by decree of a third party redistributing the people’s confiscated wages? Remember well when Congress decides to raise taxes while granting itself raises alongside corporate welfare for the rich, their true employers. Without federalization, the vassal oligarchy becomes wealthier, more powerful and concentrated in relationship to its serfs. This suppresses the right of individuals to survive as one must under natural law. Money has never grown on trees, nor will wealth ever be spontaneously-manifested. Human nature cannot be altered by man. To the state, all are equal once buried six feet beneath where their inevitable cohabitants toil, their shoes pounding the hardened soil one step closer to death, unaware if it is to be their last. 

Socialism portends totalitarianism, the state killing individual creativity. It demands undivided reverence as the light and night of each sunrise and sunset alongside the opacity in between. It drives the media to disengage free thought, the cult of collectivization united, serving the Master. The more the Master consolidates his power, the will of the plebiscite dies a little more until it no longer can. Once all free will is gone, the capacity to innovate, to enhance the quality of life, is totally impotent. Those who once thought they were free will find they are the most hopelessly enslaved. 

Birth rates are declining as life expectancy soars. Health care is a universal right even as the right to live is rejected. People too weak to contribute to the central authority must die or be segregated. As the population of labor naturally declines, the costs for commodities and production increase. Under socialism, this is the catalyst for population control through mandatory abortions, sterilizations and euthanasia. It invokes the Malthusian principle that inspired John Galton to pioneer the field of eugenics in applying social Darwinism into bioethical polity. Socialism then feeds off the bigotry it diffuses to peddle the eradication of entire races as part of class warfare. Their unique individualism exploited those seen as “unfit”, defining individuals as a collection of “cookie cutters”. When societies merge the self-sufficient asynchronously with dependents, targeting the weakest links for extermination is vastly mitigated. 

If socialism is to thrive, nothing else must be permitted to compete. God must be destroyed from all idyllic constructs, replaced by an enigmatic personality who is charismatic even to the preclusion of measurable substance, a moral compass for individualized compassion and most certainly transparency. This figure will in fact be the master of his universe — a microcosm of unspeakable horrors, its turbulence the result of narcissistic perfectionism. Perfection at its height is euphoric until predestined failures are exposed, crumbling its foundation, begetting to millions many winters of discontent. 

It is no accident history’s most catastrophic famines and genocides were sanctioned by socialist regimes. Cambodian communist dictator Pol Pot declared peasants flushed from Phnom Penh into “the killing fields” were expendable in achieving his utopia through social — or better put, racial — purification. The ruling Khmer Rouge epitomized all the dogmatic principles of the amorality of communist ideology, a point whereby atheism leads to a new, very deadly form of irreligiosity — a religion not of any divine dogma, but that of the fallibility of man. Its absolutism portends an ever shifting foundation based on the psychological metastasis from a man ideologically eclectic and well-intended to the corrupt philosophical dictator. When such a cult of personality diffuses this unnatural charm upon ignorant masses following great crises, he may do as he pleases, and he does — to the point where the morbidly impoverished value the amoral doctrine that to die by the sanctions of such a figure is not merely compassionate, but an escape into a void bereft of purpose and ethical principle. Life seems an exercise in the absurd; the tyrant wielding his compassionate swift sword of death, his truth marching on.

Socialism since the 1960’s is the most vocal of all in the West since the toppling of the Bastille in Paris July 14, 1789. The three word mantra by French partisans is frequently echoed as it was 226 years ago — “liberte, fraternite, egalite” — except now it is regurgitated due to statist indoctrination contrary to equal protections under the law. Hundreds of millions over the past century died to create this paradise their masters promised only to learn at their appointed executions liberty is arbitrary to the pivot of the Master’s civilization.

Pol Pot #1

“No gain in keeping, no loss in weeding out.” — Pol Pot’s Little Red Book: The Sayings of Angkar by Henri Locard. Silkworm Books, Chiang Mai, 2004. 210.

Such are the same three principles an American Founding Father in British ex-patriot Thomas Paine reflected as he radicalized with the rebellion to topple the ancien regime in his pamphlet The Rights of Man (1790) with the following statements: 

Thomas Paine (1737-1808), British political philosopher during the Age of Enlightenment, author of Common Sense and The American Crisis (1776); Age of Reason (1790).

Thomas Paine (1737-1808), British political philosopher during the Age of Enlightenment, author of Common Sense and The American Crisis (1776); Age of Reason (1790).

There never did, there never will, and there never can, exist a Parliament, or any description of men, or any generation of men, in any country, possessed of the right or the power of binding and controlling posterity to the “end of time,” or of commanding for ever how the world shall be governed, or who shall govern it; and therefore all such clauses, acts or declarations by which the makers of them attempt to do what they have neither the right nor the power to do, nor the power to execute, are in themselves null and void.
Part 1.3 Rights of Man

The circumstances of the world are continually changing, and the opinions of man change also; and as government is for the living, and not for the dead, it is the living only that has any right in it.
— Part 1.3 Rights of Man

It is from a strange mixture of tyranny and cowardice that exclusions have been set up and continued. The boldness to do wrong at first, changes afterwards into cowardly craft, and at last into fear. The Representatives in England appear now to act as if they were afraid to do right, even in part, lest it should awaken the nation to a sense of all the wrongs it has endured. This case serves to shew that the same conduct that best constitutes the safety of an individual, namely, a strict adherence to principle, constitutes also the safety of a Government, and that without it safety is but an empty name. When the rich plunder the poor of his rights, it becomes an example of the poor to plunder the rich of his property, for the rights of the one are as much property to him as wealth is property to the other and the little all is as dear as the much. It is only by setting out on just principles that men are trained to be just to each other; and it will always be found, that when the rich protect the rights of the poor, the poor will protect the property of the rich. But the guarantee, to be effectual, must be parliamentarily reciprocal.
— Letter to the Addressers (1792)

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.
— The Age of Reason, Part I (1793)

At Paine’s most radical, however, is his own innate narcissism, his unabashed self-aggrandizement, an Anglophonic reflection of the Jacobin Club’s leader Maximilien de Robespierre, and why he was a dangerous man. Should history be taught appropriately, his ideas would reflect better the French revolutionary abomination as organized by such wealthy men born of primogeniture and entail who adhered to the Cult of the Supreme Being manipulated the masses into worshipping the vile vanities of a neurotic man:

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
— The Age of Reason, Part I (1793)

The age of ignorance commenced with the Christian system.
— The Age of Reason, Part I (1793)

The lack of principle, that being Paine’s comfort in his logic that through knowledge may one find the capacity to reason, is at best, illogical.

Where knowledge is a duty, ignorance is a crime.
— “Public Good” (December 1780).

It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man.
— “A Letter: Being an Answer to a Friend, on the publication of The Age of Reason” (12 May 1797), published in an 1852 edition of  The Age of Reason, p. 205.

As Paine was a giant among the Enlightenment’s philosophers, his idol Socrates would be sorely disappointed he disavowed the rare absolutism of the doctrine of the tabula rasa (“blank slate”) is to be consumed by the osmosis of experience preclusive of an a priori fallacy. 

I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.
— Socrates, as quoted in Diogenes Laertius, II.32

There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.
— Socrates, as quoted in Diogenes Laertius 

If reason begets the acquisition of esoteric existential knowledge, my faith reassures me I will never be so arrogant to dare explain the most fundamental minutiae of materials which were the origins of the earth. Ignorance by proxy is the delusion pure knowledge proclaims one both God and Master over one’s personal independence by subjecting it to a tyrant’s whims. As Paine proclaimed his own deism of the temporal dominion, so too did Pol Pot. 

I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
— Thomas Paine

Everything I did, I did for my country… I came to join the revolution, not to kill the Cambodian people. Look at me now. Am I a violent person? No. So, as far as my conscience and my mission were concerned, there was no problem… Whoever wishes to blame or attack me is entitled to do so. I regret I didn’t have enough experience to totally control the movement. On the other hand, with our constant struggle, this had to be done together with others in the communist world to stop Kampuchea becoming Vietnamese. There’s what we did wrong and what we did right. The mistake is that we did some things against the people…  but the other side, as I told you, is that without our struggle there would be no Cambodia right now.
— Pol Pot, in an interview “Day of Reckoning” by Nate Thayer, in Far Eastern Economic Review (October 1997)

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