Friday, September 30, 2011

Civil Disobedience - by Henry David Thoreau

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau (US Edition) (UK Edition)
"That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe—"That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient."
If you follow American politics, you might think that is from a recent speech.  Oh yes, it fits right in with politics in the States these days, but wait . . .here is a review from Amazon UK at the end of 2010: “With the current student protests and police using force to quell the situation, 'Civil disobedience' felt the perfect book to pick up and read once more, or in this case, read via kindle.”

This essay is from 1849.  Thoreau was writing at the time of the Mexican-American War and abolitionism.  He did not want his taxes to support what he disagreed with.  That is always a timely topic for discussion.

There are two free editions online.  One has a plain cover and the left justified paragraphing with no line breaks makes it difficult to read.  The other has a creepy drawing of Zombie Thoreau and that one has good formatting!   It breaks the essay up with photos, but it is all there.

Take up the book and the debate.

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1 comment:

  1. I was surprised to find that I had read many of the books on the banned list!

    Come to my blog if you get the chance. Here's my post:

    Have a great weekend!


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