Thoreau essay civil disobedience

Doing the just thing. Thoreau, Henry D.

civil disobedience excerpt pdf

I will breathe after my own fashion. I should feel as if I were worth less in that case. It costs me less in every sense to incur the penalty of disobedience to the State than it would to obey. We are accustomed to say, that the mass of men are unprepared; but improvement is slow, because the few are not materially wiser or better than the many.

I simply wish to refuse allegiance to the State, to withdraw and stand aloof from it effectually. Witness the present Mexican war, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool; for, in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure.

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 But the rich man- not to make any invidious comparison- is always sold to the institution which makes him rich.

civil disobedience thoreau quotes
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Civil Disobedience Essay