DOI link for Secondary Ideas
Secondary Ideas book
Key secondary themes in Thomas Paine's Rights of Man include: the aristocracy and hereditary succession, commerce and, social justice and peace. Paine portrays the aristocratic system as one based on corruption and unjust privilege that denied the majority of the population its natural rights. He also attacks the idea of hereditary succession based on whom a person was descended from, which he argued was deeply unjust. In Rights of Man, Paine develops important secondary ideas. First, he forcefully critiques the aristocracy and the idea of rule based on hereditary succession. Second, the taxation system exempts the aristocracy and overtaxes the poor. Political theory scholarship has overlooked at least two aspects of Paine's Rights of Man. The first is Paine's theory of representation. Representative democracy is often considered a necessary evil. The second neglected element of Rights of Man relates to Paine's understanding of cosmopolitanism.