Tom Paine’s Two Radicalisms by Myron Magnet, City Journal Autumn 2013

Lest the rich balk at such an idea, they should remember that, increasingly, “wealth and splendour excite emotions of disgust” and that “instead of drawing forth admiration, it is beheld as an insult upon wretchedness.” In this age of revolutions, therefore, “it is only on a system of justice that the possessor can contemplate security,” Paine contended, completing an argument that long after his death transformed Western societies, creating—as he had never envisioned—governments not of a few judges and unpaid magistrates but rather of countless bureaucrats as costly and, in some ways, as freedom-crushing as any royal court.

via Tom Paine’s Two Radicalisms by Myron Magnet, City Journal Autumn 2013.

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