On the Duty of Civil Disobedience: Quote List

The following is a list of quotes I found worth keeping, sharing, processing, writing about, or in general just enjoy. As is typical, I will attempt to write about these quotes. Either how they personally effected me, or just a couple interesting observations on it.

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

– Highlight Loc. 28-30
The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience.

– Highlight Loc. 30-31
Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents on injustice.

– Highlight Loc. 42-44
Others–as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders–serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God.

– Highlight Loc. 44-47
A very few–as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men–serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it. A wise man will only be useful as a man, and will not submit to be “clay,” and “stop a hole to keep the wind away,” but leave that office to his dust at least:

– Highlight Loc. 84-85
Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail.

– Highlight Loc. 85-86
A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority.

– Highlight Loc. 187-89
“Render therefore to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to God those things which are God’s”–leaving them no wiser than before as to which was which; for they did not wish to know.

– Highlight Loc. 185-89
Christ answered the Herodians according to their condition. “Show me the tribute-money,” said he–and one took a penny out of his pocket–if you use money which has the image of Caesar on it, and which he has made current and valuable, that is, if you are men of the State, and gladly enjoy the advantages of Caesar’s government, then pay him back some of his own when he demands it. “Render therefore to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to God those things which are God’s”–leaving them no wiser than before as to which was which; for they did not wish to know.

– Highlight Loc. 338-40
Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man?

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