In the concluding chapter of Walden, Henry David Thoreau
"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it
is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the
music which he hears, however measured or far away."
Soon after spending a night in the Concord jail for his refusal
to pay the poll tax, Thoreau wrote On the Duty of Civil
Disobedience. He refused to pay the tax because of his
opposition to both the "Mexican war" and to slavery. He
was released from the jail after one night because "for
someone interfered and paid that tax."
Here is the first excerpt from the essay:
"Government is at best but an expedient; but most
governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes,
inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against
a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve
to prevail, may also be brought against a standing government.
The standing army is only an arm of the standing government.
The government itself, which is only the mode which the
people have 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 individuals using the standing government as their tool;
for, in the outset, the people would not have consented to this