Originally published in 1849 as "Resistance to Civil Government," Thoreau's classic essay on resistance to the laws and acts of government that he considered unjust was largely ignored until the Twentieth Century when Mohanda Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and anti-Vietnam War activists... read more
““If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go; perchance it will wear smooth—certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine. What I have to is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn” (20-1).”
““Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue; for money comes between a man and his objects, and obtains them for him; and it was certainly no great virtue to obtain it… The best thing a man can do for his culture when he is rich is to endeavor to carry out those schemes which he entertained when he was poor” (26-7).”
““There will never be a really free and enlightened State, until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at last which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would think it inconsistent with its own repose, if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellowmen. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined but not yet anywhere seen” (48).”
For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever.Highlighted by 5 Kindle customers
All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.Highlighted by 4 Kindle customers
Confucius said: If a state is governed by the principles of reason, poverty and misery are subjects of shame; if a state is not governed by the principles of reason, riches and honors are subjects of shame.Highlighted by 4 Kindle customers
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