In the spirit of wasting bandwidth... I thought I'd upload some quotes from Thomas Paine's "Rights of Man"
(referring to Mr. Burke's idea that the consent of the former populace is superceding to the consent of the currently governed)
"They serve to demonstrate how necessary it is at all times to watch against the attempted encroachment of power, and to prevent its running to excess."
"It requires but a very small glance of thought to perceive, that although laws made in one generation often continue in force through succeeding generations, yet that they continue to derive their force from the consent of the living. A law not repealed continues in force, not because it cannot be repealed, but because it is not repealed; and the nonrepealing passes for consent." Good God, how correct Mr. Paine was and is.
"The circumstances of the world are continually changing, and the opinion of the men 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. That which may be thought right and found convenient in one age, may be thought wrong and found inconvenient in another. In such cases, who is to decide? The living or the dead?" This is a dangerous quotation and can be twisted against the idea of natural and self-evident rights. However, I believe Mr. Paine was specifically talking about laws continued from one generation to another.
(referring that the French revolution was carried out against despotism and not against a benevolent, yet despotic ruler, Louis XVI)
"The Monarch and the Monarchy were distinct and seperate things; and it was against the established despotism of the latter, and not against the person or principles of the former, that the revolt commenced, and the revolution had been carried." Just because oppression assumes an oblique form doesn't change the fact that it is oppression.
"A casual discontinuance of the practice of despotism is not a discontinuance of its principles; the former depends on the virtue of the individual who is in immediate possession of the power; the latter, on the virtue and fortitude of the nation."
(referring to the many forms that oppression can take and how it is executed)
"But Mr. Burke, by considering the King as the only possible object of a revolt, speaks as if France was a village, in which every thing that passed must be known to its commanding officer, and no oppression could be acted but what he could immediately control."
(Comparing the despotism of Louis XIV and Louis XVI)
"The despotic principles of the government were the same in both reigns, though the dispositions of the men were as remote as tyranny and benevolence."
"What Mr. Burke considers as reproach to the French Revolution (that of bringing it forward under a reign more mild than the preceding ones; Louis XVI instead of Louis XIV), is one of its highest honors. The revolutions that have taken place in other European countries, have been excited by personal hatred. The rage was against the man, and he became the victim. But, in the instance of France, we see a revolution generated in the rational contemplation of the rights of man, and distinguishing from the beginning between persons and principles."
"It is power, and not principles, that Mr. Burke venerates; and under this abominable depravity, he is disqualified to judge between them." ('them' being various revolutions in European countries compared to France's)
"His hero or his heroine must be a tragedy-victim expiring in show, and not the real prisoner of misery, sliding into death in the silence of a dungeon." FAR too often do we assume that the government only punishes the "BAD" people and never those unpopular few fighting for their rights against an overzealous government.
- Kool-Aid (LCA ts1337)