Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

By Henry David Thoreau

Themes

Themes: Government

Quotes from On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

“A government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice... Can there not be a government in which majorities to not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience?”

Chapters:

Themes: Democracy

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“All men recognize the right of revolution; the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable. But almost all say that such is not the case now.”

Chapters:

Themes: Revolution

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“For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever.”

Chapters:

Themes: Less is More

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“Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.”

Chapters: 30. No War

Themes: Government

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“I do not see why the schoolmaster should be taxed to support the priest, and not the priest the schoolmaster.”

Chapters:

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“It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.”

Chapters:

Themes: Law and Order

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“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 of injustice.”

Chapters:

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“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.”

Chapters: 75. Greed

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“That government is best which governs not at all.”

Chapters: 17. True Leaders

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“The American has dwindled into an Odd Fellow—one who may be known by the development of his organ of gregariousness, and a manifest lack of intellect and cheerful self-reliance.”

Chapters:

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“The rich man is always sold to the institution which makes him rich. Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue”

Chapters:

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“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.”

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

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“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.”

Chapters:

Themes: Punishment Crime

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“we are in danger of forgetting the language which all things and events speak without metaphor… No method nor discipline can supersede the necessity of being forever on the alert.”

Chapters: 70. Inscrutable

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“most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders… rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God ”

Chapters: 18. The Sick Society

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