as you may be aware, i view the left/right spectrum as the most useless contraption ever patented. so here's the problem with tracing it to burke and paine. read 'common sense'. now consider it in the light of the politics of the contemporary left. oops no it's far right: pure classical liberal individualism. it's literally a tea party document, and is certainly much closer the ideology of the pauls than, say, the clintons. indeed, if you had to say, you'd say that burke is closer to obama than is paine. there just was nothing like the left/right spectrum in american politics or political thought until the late 19th century. the left originates if anywhere before marx in rousseau, with his intensely uneasy, or just fully incoherent combination of classical liberal conceptions of individual rights with 'general will' or collective consciousness.