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To succeed in thinking of a body of men who are bound together by ties of kinship, culture, commerce and government as "unconnected individuals" is a considerable achievement. And Paine goes on to draw the logical conclusion that there is no such thing as a common good distinct from the good of individuals: Public good is not a term opposed to the good of individuals; on the contrary, it is the good of every individual collected ... for as the public body is every individual collected, so the public good is the collected good of those individuals.
He uses it, in fact, with various shades of meaning. " In this "natural" condition, man is considered to be a solitary individual, unconnected with other men, and endowed with reason and with rights. Hence, whatever is in accordance with reason is also in accordance with nature, and individual rights are natural rights. 5 Common Sense, The Writings, I, 84. Crisis I, The Writings, I, 178. a Common Sense, The Writings, I, 74. 4 Letter to Abbe Raynal, The Writings, II, 104. 5 Common Sense, The Writings, I, 70, 76, 79.
4 Paine had taught the Americans to understand these principles of universal reformation, and thereby had contributed as much to the revolution by his pen as Washington had by his sword. II. PAINE'S POLITICAL IDEAS What exactly were these principles in which Paine believed so passionately? , II3. Lite, 25; SCHOULER, Americans of I776, 59. This title covers seventeen papers published by Paine in the Pennsylvania Journal between 1776 and 1784. The Writings, I, 168-380. ), 151-152; The Writings, II, 401-402.