Thomas Paine: Jealous Prosperity

Posted by admin on Thursday, January 10, 2019

Thomas Paine Money Quote advocating in his pamphlet titled ‘Common Sense’ on January 10, 1776 that Britain should not rule the United States. Thomas Paine said:
Is the power who is jealous of our prosperity, a proper power to govern us? Quote

“Is the power who is jealous of our prosperity, a proper power to govern us?” — Thomas Paine


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In this quote, Thomas Paine seems to be questioning whether a governing power that views the prosperity of its citizens as a threat is truly legitimate or suitable to lead. Some key points:

  • Paine refers to a governing power or authority that feels “jealous” of the success and well-being (“prosperity”) achieved by those under its rule.
  • He implies that if a government resents or feels threatened by the thriving conditions of its people, rather than enabling and encouraging prosperity, its priorities are misaligned.
  • Paine rhetorically asks if a power with such an antagonistic attitude towards citizens’ welfare is truly “a proper power to govern” people in a just, representative manner.

Overall, the quote conveys Paine’s perspective that a legitimate government should want its citizens to flourish and should not begrudge their thriving, but rather a government made uneasy by the prosperity of its people calls into question whether it has the people’s best interests at heart and deserves to lead.

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