Tom Paines Two Radicalisms by Myron Magnet, City Journal Autumn 2013

“Time is needful to bring forward Slaves to the Enjoyment of Liberty,” Morris wrote of the French masses. And not just time but also education. “But what is Education? It is not Learning. It is more the Effect of Society on the Habits and Principles of each Individual, forming him at an early Period of Life to act afterwards the part of a good citizen.” Liberty requires, in other words, a culture of liberty, which an oppressed people doesn’t instantly acquire by nature, in the way that a geranium naturally grows up straight when you take a saucer off its pot. “Progress toward Freedom must be slow,” Morris noted, “and can only be completed in the Course of several Generations.” The French, he wrote, “want an American Constitution . . . without reflecting that they have not American citizens to support that Constitution.” Can democracy last in France? he wondered rhetorically. “I am sure not, unless the whole people are changed.”

via Tom Paines Two Radicalisms by Myron Magnet, City Journal Autumn 2013.

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