Thomas Paine Common Sense Quotes

Thomas Paine Common Sense Quotes That Speak About Society

Common sense is quite uncommon these days, don’t you think? Society and common sense do not go hand-in-hand. Thomas Paine was an 18th-century political figure and philosopher who played a huge part in the American Independence movement. These Thomas Paine common sense quotes will give you deeper insight into the mind of this American born philosopher, political activist and revolutionary.

27 Thomas Paine Common Sense Quotes on Society and Government

Thomas Paine Common Sense Quotes on Society

#1. “Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#2. “It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies; yet our present numbers are sufficient to repel the force of all the world.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#3. “Suspicion is the companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Thomas Paine Common Sense Quotes on Wisdom

#4. “From the errors of other nations, let us learn wisdom.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#5. “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#6. “The more men have to lose, the less willing are they to venture.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#7. “The more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and the easier repaired when disordered.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#8. “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Witty Thomas Paine Common Sense Quotes

#9. “One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings is that nature disapproves of it, otherwise, she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ass for a lion.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#10. “Small islands, not capable of protecting themselves, are the proper objects for kingdoms to take under their care; but there is something absurd, in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#11. “Common sense will tell us, that the power which hath endeavored to subdue us, is of all others, the most improper to defend us.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#12. “But where, says some, is the King of America? I’ll tell you. Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Thomas Paine Common Sense Quotes on Government and Politics

#13. “Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#14. “Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#15. “In the early ages of the world, according to the scripture chronology, there were no kings; the consequence of which was there were no wars; it is the pride of kings which throws mankind into confusion.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#16. “Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#17. “And as a man, who is attached to a prostitute, is unfitted to choose or judge a wife, so any prepossession in favor of a rotten constitution of government will disable us from discerning a good one.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#18. “Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#19. “Could the straggling thoughts of individuals be collected, they would frequently form materials for wise and able men to improve into useful matter.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#20. “To bring the matter to one point, Is the power who is jealous of our prosperity, a proper power to govern us?” — Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#21. “To say, they will never attempt it again is idle and visionary, we thought so at the repeal of the stamp-act, yet a year or two undeceived us.” — Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#22. “Why is it that we hesitate? From Britain we can expect nothing but ruin. If she is admitted to the government of America again, this continent will not be worth living in.” — Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#23. “Until an independence is declared the continent will feel itself like a man who continues putting off some unpleasant business from day to day, yet knows it must be done, hates to set about it, wishes it over, and is continually haunted with the thoughts of its necessity.” — Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Thomas Paine Common Sense Quotes That Are Inspirational

#24. “When I was teaching children, I began every day writing this on the blackboard: ‘Do to others what you would like them to do to you’, telling them how much better the world would be if everybody lived by this rule.” — Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#25. “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

#26. “These are the times that try men’s souls.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Thomas Paine Common Sense Quotes on Oppression

#27. “Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which if continued would grow into oppressions. Expedience and right are different things.” ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense


Thomas Paine was a great thinker who did not hesitate to raise his voice or use the media as a weapon against the deeply entrenched political ideologies of the day. He contributed in good measure towards the cause of American independence and his works continue to be read and quoted in modern-day politics and society.

This list contains some of the many Thomas Paine common sense quotes. Read his book to understand his conception of society and government.

Image source: Thomas Paine photo from

Similar Posts