sexta-feira, 10 de dezembro de 2010

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«Reason and Ignorance, the opposites of each others, influence the great bulk of mankind. If either of those can be rendered sufficiently extensive in a country, the machinery of Government goes easily on. Reason obeys itself; and Ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.

The modes of Government which prevail in the world, are, first, Government by election and representation; secondly, Government by hereditary succession. The former is generally known by the name of republic; the latter by that of monarchy and aristocracy.

Those two distinct and opposite forms, erects themselves on the two distinct and opposite bases of Reason and Ignorance. – As the exercise of Government requires talents and abilities, and as talents and abilities cannot have hereditary descent, it is evident that hereditary succession requires a belief from man, to wich his reason cannot subscribe, and wich can only be established upon his ignorance; and the more ignorant any country is, te better it is fitted for this species of Government.

On the contrary, Government in a well-constituted republic, requires no belief from man beyond what his reason can give. He sees the rationale of the whole system, its origin and its operation; and as it is best supported when best understood, the human faculties act with boldness, and acquire, under this form of Government, a gigantic manliness.»

Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man (New York: Dover Publ., 1999) 89.

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