Henry David Thoreau, one of the sanest motherfuckers who ever lived:
“Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.… where the State places those who are not with her, but against her, — the only house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor.… Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight. If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose. If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.”
and probably more germane to the situation at hand:
Government is a man-made disaster, not a natural one, and so I like to think that its makers can be reasoned with. As governments go, ours, with all its faults, is not the worst and even has some admirable qualities. But we can and should insist on better. “The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual.… 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? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.”
if you can spare the time to read this essay/booklet(free and online), do so.
Walden is equally inspiring (although quite different).
I’m thankful he didn’t publish this under it’s original title, “War, What Is It Good For?”
It is funny (not in the ha ha sense), but you can see so much of the nineteenth century in today’s political landscape.