On Wealth and Poverty

“Wealth is no proof of moral character; nor poverty of the want of it — On the contrary, wealth is often the presumptive evidence of dishonesty; and poverty the negative evidence of innocence.”
-Thomas Paine, Principles of Government

The accumulation of wealth often carries with it a moral burden; one most easily avoided by the simple innocence of it.

 

 

On the Morality of Consequence

“There are many things which in themselves are neither morally good nor bad, but they are productive of consequences, which are strongly marked with one or other of these characters.”
-Thomas Paine

“Who would know?”, “What’s the harm?”, “Nobody gets hurt…”

But what if you’re wrong?

On Regret

“A life chequered with uncommon varieties is seldom a long one. Action and care will in time wear down the strongest frame, but guilt and melancholy are poisons of quick despatch.”
-Thomas Paine

Guilt and remorse are a diseases that afflict the human spirit. A life lived at odds with our fundamental nature is seldom long or happy. 

On the Blogoshere, Grassroots Media, and the Citizen Journalist

“When the tongue or the pen is let loose in a frenzy of passion, it is the man and not the subject that becomes exhausted”
-Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

In many cases one thing the blogosphere lacks, other than not always having its facts straight, is civility.

The only thing new is the method of delivery.

American journalism went through its birth pangs along with the nation. We take for granted today the idea of “party politics” in our democracy, even as we either engage in or decry acrimony of the other party.

If Thomas Paine was the first American Blogger, then those that followed with their own sheets, newspapers, and pamphlets became, in the early years of American Democracy, the first blogoshere.

And it is still revolutionary.   

On Saving Your Breath

“It is folly to argue against determined hardness; eloquence may strike the ear, and the language of sorrow draw forth the tear of compassion, but nothing can reach the heart that is steeled with prejudice.”

A mind stuck in fear, prejudice, and hatred can only become unstuck of it’s own will. It is impenetrable.

It is better to look elsewhere to exchange ideas and find human compassion.