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Thread: Thomas Paine

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    DEE2220 is offline Newbie
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    Smile Thomas Paine

    In Common Sense by Thomas Paine ,What does this phrase mean " Government, even in it's best state, is but a necessary evil in it's worst state an intolerable one".

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    pyoung is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Thomas Paine

    Quote Originally Posted by DEE2220 View Post
    In Common Sense by Thomas Paine ,What does this phrase mean " Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil, in its worst state an intolerable one".
    A 'necessary evil' is something that, although we do not like it, we need.
    Paine is saying that people need some form of government, but that government is inherently intrusive, that there is always a danger of a government disregarding the best interests of the people.
    He says that in its best form government will cause some annoyance or injustice, but as a necessary evil it must be tolerated. Finally, he says that 'in its worst form', government so far oversteps its rightful place in people's lives that it becomes intolerable (and must be changed).

    I hope this is helpful,

    Petra

    PS: 'its' takes an apostrophe ONLY when it is a contraction of 'it is', not in the possessive form.

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