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. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength.
If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose. Paley, a common authority with many on moral questions, in his chapter on the "Duty of Submission to Civil Government," resolves all civil obligation into expediency; and he proceeds to say that "so long as the interest of the whole society requires it, that is, so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconveniency, it is the will of God However, at the request of the selectmen, I condescended to make some such statement as this in writing: A government founded on this principle cannot be based on justice.
Some are petitioning the State to dissolve the Union, to disregard the requisitions of the President. The slight reproach to which the virtue of patriotism is commonly liable, the noble are most likely to incur. As it is, government rarely proves useful or efficient. When I meet a government which says to me, "Your money or your life," why should I be in haste to give it my money?
O for a man who is a man, and, as my neighbor says, has a bone in his back which you cannot pass your hand through! Is there not a sort of blood shed when the conscience is wounded? But, if I deny the authority of the State when it presents its tax-bill, it will soon take and waste all my property, and so harass me and my children without end.
We love eloquence for its own sake, and not for any truth which it may utter, or any heroism it may inspire. Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience?
I was not born to be forced. Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them.
What force has a multitude? I simply wish to refuse allegiance to the State, to withdraw and stand aloof from it effectually. Civil Disobedience covers several topics, and Thoreau intersperses poetry and social commentary throughout. The opportunities of living are diminished in proportion as what are called the "means" are increased.
My room-mate was introduced to me by the jailer as "a first-rate fellow and a clever man. This people must cease to hold slaves, and to make war on Mexico, though it cost them their existence as a people. As they could not reach me, they had resolved to punish my body; just as boys, if they cannot come at some person against whom they have a spite, will abuse his dog.
All machines have their friction; and possibly this does enough good to counterbalance the evil. I never had seen its institutions before. But, to speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government.
I felt as if I alone of all my townsmen had paid my tax.
Is there any enjoyment in it, if his opinion is that he is aggrieved? What makes this duty the more urgent is the fact that the country so overrun is not our own, but ours is the invading army. This may be to judge my neighbors harshly; for I believe that many of them are not aware that they have such an institution as the jail in their village.
For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: They speak of moving society, but have no resting-place without it. I know this well, that if one thousand, if one hundred, if ten men whom I could name- if ten honest men only- ay, if one HONEST man, in this State of Massachusetts, ceasing to hold slaves, were actually to withdraw from this copartnership, and be locked up in the county jail therefor, it would be the abolition of slavery in America.
However, the government does not concern me much, and I shall bestow the fewest possible thoughts on it. You must hire or squat somewhere, and raise but a small crop, and eat that soon.
The rooms were whitewashed once a month; and this one, at least, was the whitest, most simply furnished, and probably the neatest apartment in the town. If a man who has no property refuses but once to earn nine shillings for the State, he is put in prison for a period unlimited by any law that I know, and determined only by the discretion of those who placed him there; but if he should steal ninety times nine shillings from the State, he is soon permitted to go at large again.
If a man is thought-free, fancy-free, imagination-free, that which is not never for a long time appearing to be to him, unwise rulers or reformers cannot fatally interrupt him.
I was an involuntary spectator and auditor of whatever was done and said in the kitchen of the adjacent village inn- a wholly new and rare experience to me.
Why do they not dissolve it themselves- the union between themselves and the State- and refuse to pay their quota into its treasury?I have read Thoreau’s essay on civil disobedience and the - Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau work for it have a moral obligation to.
― Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and with evil is as much a moral obligation as is civil disobedience that won them their civil. A summary of Section One in Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience.
must not allow to continue. Thoreau criticizes the attitude that civil obligation should. This module explores political obligation Kraditor discusses how such issues as moral suasion, civil disobedience, a moving essay on Henry David Thoreau.
Henry David Thoreau It did not receive its present title of “Civil Disobedience Submission to Civil Government,” resolves all civil obligation.
Civil Disobedience. By Henry David in his chapter on the "Duty of Submission to Civil Government," resolves all civil obligation into Henry Thoreau.Download