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On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience Henry David Thoreau

On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience

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On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience
On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience

“I heartily accept the motto,—“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. The objec­and objec­tions which have been brought against a standing army, and tions they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The stan­at stan­ding army is only an arm of the standing government. The go­ding go­vernment itself, which is only the mode which the people have vernment chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war, the work of comparatively a few indivi­present indivi­duals using the standing government as their tool; for, in the duals outset, the people would not have consented to this measure.”