Friday, May 21, 2010

Essay on Civil Disobedience... Part 3....

Here is a third excerpt from Thoreau's Essay on Civil
Disobedience:

"Action from principle, - the perception and performance of
right, - changes things and relations; it is essentially
revolutionary, and does not consist wholly with any thing
that was. It not only divides states and churches, it divides
families, aye, it divides the individual, separating the diabolical
in him from the divine.

Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall
we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have
succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men
generally, under such government as this, think that they
ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter
them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be
worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself
that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why
is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why
does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist
before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be
on the alert to point out its faults, and do better that it would
have them? Why does it always crucify Christ, and ex-
communicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce
Washington and Franklin rebels?

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