Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sophia Rosenfeld takes a stab at understanding the lack of a Paine statue in Washington, DC

Sophia Rosenfeld takes a stab at understanding the lack of a statue for Thomas Paine in Washington, DC and while she makes some good points about the historic invocation of Paine's memory by the leaders of American democratic reform (sounds as though she may have read Harvey J. Kaye's fine work on Paine), she misses the central issue surrounding Paine's execration by the Federalists of the early 19th c.

Paine wouldn't WANT a statue in DC. In his strafing attack "Letter to George Washington" Paine said he had a right to call himself "the first federalist" because of his early proposal for a union of the colonies, but by the time he returned from France in 1802 he had become a staunch anti-federalist and a hero to those who opposed the Adams/Hamilton version of American greed-based government with private banking in the driver's seat. That's the underlying reason why there's no statue to Paine in Washington, DC. He wouldn't  bow to the "wise" financial geniuses of American government of the greedy, by the greedy and for the greedy.

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