Read Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau Online

Title : Civil Disobedience
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ISBN : 22047795
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 43 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Civil Disobedience Reviews

  • James
    2019-04-05 06:23

    Book Review I read this nearly twenty years ago in a college course. I recently found my notes and listed a few below, so this isn’t a typical review you’ve seen from me. My reaction to this work is pretty complicated. It had some thought-invoking ideas, but it was boring from a readability perspective. I am not one to be political or make statements without having all the facts. Everything contained in this work was important and definitely had meaning, but it seemed so “already known.” Known in that time has changed so much but at the same time, so much is still the same. Better in some places but worse in others. The concepts are the same, but the actual tangible or non tangible items referenced run the range from exactly the same to things not even considered a possibility back then. I suppose that’s because, again, I am interpreting the piece with 21st century experience, whereas it was written with a 19th century mind way ahead of its time. It probably made sense back then and had a more powerful statement; that said, I do agree much of it stands today. Equality and freedoms are still nowhere where they need to be, especially with some changes this year, but I hope more people are open minded now. I've always believed people can do/say whatever they want as long as they aren't hurting someone else. But that can be subjective because people interpret actions, there are short and long term effects and misunderstandings happen. Way too complicated for a book review! My favorite part of the whole piece was when Thoreau described his night in prison. It was interesting to see even the most minute details of his experience. It would be fascinating to know who paid his taxes for him, so that he could get out of jail! This whole portion was quite an enjoyable read though. I wish all of his essays were written like this one. The larger chunk of Resistance to Civil Government, however, read partially like a manual for some complicated piece of machinery. It’s like Emerson’s Self-Reliance all over again. There were good ideas and I followed it pretty well. It’s just that it was a overly complex and could have been said in less words. Some would say the same about me!!!About MeFor those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  • peiman-mir5 rezakhani
    2019-04-19 02:33

    دوستانِ گرانقدر، در زمینۀ «نافرمانی مدنی» این کتابِ 55 صفحه ای را انتخاب نمودم، تا شما بزرگواران را با مفهوم آن آشنا سازمتعبيرِ «نافرمانی مدنی» برایِ اولين بار در قرنِ نوزدهم، در آمریکا، از سویِ همین نویسنده «هنری ديويد ثرو» ابداع و بکار برده شدعزیزانم، «نافرمانی مدنی» مفهومی پيچيده و چند سويه در فرهنگ سياسی غرب میباشد... اقدامی با انگيزۀ سياسی و اخلاقی، علنی و مسالمت آميز برایِ اعتراض نسبت به رفتارِ قوایِ دولتی، كه حداقل از منظرِ چگونگی امر، نقض قانون مشخصی را به همراه داردنویسنده بارها و بارها اعتراضاتِ درست و خردمندانه ای نسبت به حقوق بشر و نوعِ ادارۀ حکومتِ آمریکایی و قوانینِ حاکم در آمریکا، داشته که در این کتاب آمده استدر زیر به انتخاب، به برخی از جملاتِ جالبِ توجه و خردمندانه، در این کتاب اشاره میکنم--------------------------------------------------حكومتی حداقلی ، كه ميتواند نسبت به همۀ انسانها منصف باشد، و با فرد، همچون یک همسايه، محترمانه رفتار كند،... حكومتی كه اگر عدهٔ انگشت شماری بی توجه به او زندگی كنند، نهراسد از اين كه امنيت و آرامش اش دچار آسيب ميشود.... حكومتی كه در كارِ اين جماعت، دخالتِ بيجا نكند و از سویِ آنهایی كه تمامیِ وظايفِ همسايگی و همنوعی و هم چراغی را نسبت به ديگران بجا آورده اند احساس جاتنگی و محدوديت نكند... اين است آن رويایی كه هميشه به آندلخوش ام... حكومتی كه اين چنين ميوه ای ميدهد و تا وقتی كه ميوه بعمل آيد، بارش را تحمل ميكند تا هر چه سريعتر آن را به زمين تحويل دهد و راه را برایِ حكومتی بازهم كامل تر و سرافرازتر هموار ميسازد،.. حكومتی كه من نيز در خيال، آن را تجسم كرده ام، اما هنوز در جایی نديده امهيچ فردی در آمريكا ديده نشده كه نبوغ خاصی در قانونگزاری داشته باشد،... نوابغ در تاريخ جهان نادرند و خطيبان، سياستمداران وفصحاء هزاران هزار،... امّا رئیسِ مجلس كه بايد سخنگويِ منتخبِ درد هایِ مردم در مقابل حكومت باشد، تاكنون دهانش را باز نكرده است تا سخنی از او بشنويم، اویی كه قادر به حل و فصل بغرنج ترين مسائل روز استما فصاحت را بخاطرِ فصاحت دوست داريم و نه بخاطرِ آن حقیقتی كه بيان ميكند يا آن شجاعتی كه گوينده ميتواند با گفتنِ حقيقت، به ديگران الهام بخشدامیدوارم این توضیحات مفید بوده باشه<پیروز باشید و ایرانی>

  • Chris_P
    2019-04-10 00:47

    Or how to not let yourself be manipulated by any kind of authority.An essay that states some of the basic ideas of being a human being, the way I see it. It should be taught in schools.The progress from a total to a restricted monarchy, and from a restricted monarchy to democracy, is a progress toward real respect for the individual. However, is democracy, as we know it, the last possible improvement of governing?I wonder what he'd say if he saw what we define as democracy today...

  • Dany Burns
    2019-04-12 04:27

    This is a very interesting read. Though the language can seem a bit old and hard to get through and understand the message is important and rings out loud and clear. Many people are content to sit around and wait for the right thing to happen but in order for the right the to happen there must be action. If laws are unjust it is your duty to break those laws. So many people forget the actions of the founders of the US were treasonous. Sometime the only way to stand up for what is right is to work outside the law. It can be hard but it is always important to fight for what you think is right.

  • Rachel
    2019-04-22 05:30

    Well, I'm still pondering what I think about this essay, so I'm not quite sure what I'd like to say about it yet. It is different than what I expected. I always thought of Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" as the work that inspired non-violent protests like 1960s sit-ins and Ghandi's hunger strikes--and it IS an inspiration, but it is not about those types of actions, as far as I can tell. Thoreau, rather, suggests that people should just withdraw from an unjust government (and this, to Thoreau includes his early/mid 1800's U.S. government), and have nothing to do with it. He recognizes the fact that a person can't concern himself with making the world better all the time or with solving every problem. But a man should be sure not to make it worse or to support in any way (via taxes, for example) a government which supports and promotes injustice. Even voting, he argues, is basically worthless. Essentially, he is saying that you can't reform the system by working within the system.This, as I mentioned, surprised me. It is supremely individualistic, and I can't get the image out of my mind of a hermit-like Thoreau living apart from society. And I guess that is what bothers me about this essay. On the basis of a single individual, I suppose Thoreau's way of life could work...maybe...for him. How does he invision his system working on the broader scale? Maybe I'm unimaginative and stunted, but I can't imagine this working on a large scale. People necessarily must, or at least naturally DO, work together and form societies. Laws and rules of how to live within the group naturally evolve. As a very basic example, how does a society choose to deal with criminals? Individuals taking things into their own hands seems, at the very least, inconsistent and provides no sense of security. Thus, any rules a society makes about how to react to criminals necessarily grow into "laws." Doesn't this lead, implicitly, to a government? In other words, how is a society to live without even a most basic government? It seems that government by the people naturally and necessarily will arise on its own. As time goes on and societies get bigger and must interact with other societies, rules naturally form relating to how to interact with one another in a consistent and predictable manner, to promote, at the very least, the safety and well-being of its citizens.I guess this is a long way of getting to my point that I don't know how it would be realistically possible for each individual to simply live according to his own moral compass, respecting the rules he wishes to respect and ignoring the others. If everyone were to actually follow this model, I do not see how chaos would not result.To conclude, I think in more simple and limited sense, I agree with Thoreau on the benefits of "civil disobedience" as a means of promoting social change and as a form of protest. But I'm not sure I'm sold on this individualistic, I'll-do-as-I-want mentality as an ultimate way of life.

  • Luís C.
    2019-04-02 04:46

    Civil DesobedienceHenry David Thoreau wrote the essay Civil Disobedience to show his opposition to slavery and American imperialism. His essay has influenced many prominent civil rights activists, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Thoreau's essay Civil Disobedience or Resistance to Civil Government, published in 1849, is a call to arms similar to the stances that people like Parks and King would later take. Thoreau argued that people owed it to themselves and their fellow man not to blindly follow their government if they believe their rules and laws are unjust. This was partly motivated by Thoreau's dislike of slavery and the American government's support of it.Thoreau's Defense of John BrownIn John Brown, Thoreau was pleased to find an avid practitioner of civil -- if not outwardly violent -- disobedience. He had been introduced to Brown through his friend, Franklin Sanborn, who was attempting to drum up support for Brown's continued antislavery campaign in Kansas.Brown was full of exciting stories of his Kansas battles. (He omitted any mention of his involvement in the Pottawatomie massacre.) Brown said that he too hated violence, but accepted it as God's will.Thoreau was impressed by Brown's determination and the strength of his convictions. Thoreau would write; "I do not wish to kill or be killed, but I can foresee circumstances in which both of these things would be unavoidable." Perhaps the time had come for violent resistance.On October 19, 1859, Thoreau heard the news of John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry. While most in the North were quick to condemn Brown, Thoreau spoke in his defense. On October 30, he presented his essay, "A Plea for Captain John Brown," to the town of Concord.Thoreau took the high ground. He did not defend Brown's actions or his character, but the principle under which he acted. He called John Brown a "transcendentalist above all, a man of ideas and principles," who dared to risk his life for the liberation of slaves.While Thoreau's defense was being circulated in the press, John Brown was addressing the court at his trial in Virginia. His memorable words would further humanize and ennoble his actions. By the time Brown was hanged, he was well on his way to becoming a martyr.Thoreau would write of his death: "Some 1800 years ago, Christ was crucified. This morning, Captain Brown was hung. He is not Old Brown any longer; he is an angel of light."Thoreau would only live a few years longer himself. While studying trees one day, he caught a cold that quickly deepened into bronchitis. In 1862 he died from tuberculosis. He was 44 years old.Sources:Book 1 - 2 -

  • Paula W
    2019-04-01 06:23

    I'm not really sure how to review this. Something to come tomorrow maybe after I think about it for a bit.

  • Riku Sayuj
    2019-04-01 06:27

    Was a wonderful experience to read it in parallel with The Prince.

  • James
    2019-03-29 03:43

    I would love to have met this man in person. What a brilliant wit and iron nerve to say what he did, when he did, and how he did, to whom he did. For the contemporary patriot who doesn't quite know where he stands, this work will test his devotion, and force an analysis of his political thinking.

  • Belhor
    2019-04-21 05:34

    I might have liked this book ten years ago. Now it's just too basic. The ideas represented here seem so obvious, if of course, you believe what Thoreau says is the right way to do things. I don't believe his theory of individual civil disobedience would actually work in today's world. What is more is that the book is written in such a dry manner that it almost takes all the joy out of reading it. I'll never understand how this book got so many 5 star reviews.

  • David Sarkies
    2019-04-19 00:46

    War and Taxes9 November 2017 It has taken me a few days to actually get around to writing a review on this treatise, not because I haven't wanted to but rather because life has somehow managed to get in the way, and also because I have been more interested in doing my calculus and basic computer programming (if one can consider HTML and CSS to be programming, not that I'm all that good with CSS, but it's good to know). Anyway, while I technically should be in bed now I think I'll just write this review and basically get it over and done with. Thoreau was an American activist during the Mexican American War, and this piece (and his other works) shows that this is one of his major griefs with the conduct of the government. In a way what he is arguing is that he wants a government that provides peace and security and not one that wages wars of imperialism. Actually, come to think of it, he basically wants a government that doesn't interfere with his freedom, and he refuses to support any other form of government. If those of us reading it from the 21st Century are looking for somebody who supports a Sander's Social Democracy then unfortunately we are going to be sorely disappointed. Thoreau basically supports a small government, and the smaller the government the better. While he doesn't necessarily oppose paying taxes, he just doesn't want to pay taxes where the money is going to support something that he disagrees with, and is willing to go to gaol for such beliefs. Thoreau is all about individualism, and this is something that is at odds with the imperialist government that he is fighting against. As such he would probably have been a harsh critic of both Bush and Obama (though he probably would have had the same opinion of the Trumpet that a lot of us also have). This more has to do with the large standing army and their wars against Iraq and Libya as well as the rhetoric against Russia. Mind you, the world in which we live is vastly different from Thoreau's world. For instance back then America was more isolationist, preferring to stick to the Western Hemisphere, though this changed dramatically during World War II. In a way the United States has been seen as the reluctant superpower. The problem that we face, and that we faced back in the post war era, is that we had a choice to acting as a bulwark against aggression, or doing nothing and running the risk of tyranny overwhelming Europe, both with the Nazis and with the Stalinists. The Iraq War was clearly an imperialist war, but Libya was supporting an uprising against a tyrant. Yet, the problem was that Gadaffi's removal left a power vacuum, as has the war against Basheer in Syria. Anyway war is a very messy business – it always has been and always will be, and there isn't really any hard or fast answer. As for this text, it is interesting reading through Thoreou's thoughts, but we do need to have an understanding where he is coming from. Firstly there is no more poll tax, and many of us have little to no choice when it comes to paying taxes – it is either taken directly from our pay, or it is collected at the point of sale. Okay, we can always use off shore tax havens, or complicated trusts, but many of us on wages don't have that ability. It was an interesting text though, however these days civil disobedience takes different forms. Which raises the question of how should we approach civil disobedience, and where does it end and basically vandalism begin. I guess it comes down to the question of what we do. I have heard of unions bullying small businesses, which doesn't actually help the situation of staff being underpaid and overworked. I'm actually a supporter of unions as employees do need a bulwark against the power that an employer has, but then there is a point where that bulwark goes too far. The other thing is that there is always a question of opinion. The whole idea of NIMBYism goes with that, particularly when it comes to public works. A skyrail may be useful but you can be assured that people that live near it aren't going to be all that happy. If worse comes to worse though, you could always do what this guy did:

  • Beatrice Santos
    2019-04-12 00:44

    A Desobediência Civil é um manifesto semi-anárquico de alguém que há muito perdeu a fé e a consideração que tinha pelo Estado e o Governo. A aversão é tanta que Thoreau diz que devemos todos combatê-lo numa forma activa, deixando de pagar impostos, mesmo que isso signifique a cadeia, e condena aqueles que, com preocupações como família e estabilidade, se deixam ir numa letargia em relação à justiça.O autor defende ainda que se for preciso, devemos tomar uma atitude eremita. "Temos de viver sozinhos, só connosco, dependermos apenas de nós, estarmos sempre prontos para começar de novo, não termos muito do nosso." Ora, alguém que já tenha lido/visto Into the Wild, sabe que isso não funciona lá muito bem e qualquer um que tenha tido Filosofia sabe que uma das necessidades básicas do Homem é a interacção com os outros.A ideia individualista extrema de Thoreau resultaria numa anarquia caótica onde todos se seguiriam pela sua própria ideia do que é moralmente aceitável e certo, uma vez que condena qualquer tipo de governo e por isso, regras: "O melhor governo é o que não governa." o que, segundo se sabe, também não dá lá muito bom resultado. Não vou negar que esta é uma opinião bastante pessoal (não são todas?), pois gosto de regras e de sistemas e de viver sabendo que se todos as cumprissem e o respeito fosse mútuo e geral, viveríamos numa utopia. No entanto, tenho noção que o governo em que nos baseamos como sociedade está longe de ser o mais justo ou o mais certo e a Constituição há muito que precisava de uns acrescentos, basta olhar para as notícias no jornal ou ligar a televisão no canal de notícias. É aí que entra um dos argumentos de Thoreau no qual subscrevo e sublinho, que é a luta contra a injustiça e a revolta/protesto quando algo não vai de acordo com o justo. Falo da injustiça contra as minorias e da escravatura, como poderia falar de tantos outros assuntos."Um homem sábio não pode deixar a justiça à mercê da sorte nem desejar que ela se imponha através do poder da maioria..."Em suma, e para finalizar, este é livro pequeno e interessante de analisar e explorar, mas que falha na sua ideologia por algumas décadas, uma vez que a mensagem aqui transmitida é impraticável em pleno século XXI, mesmo que fosse algo a considerar na altura em que foi escrito.

  • Jerry Jose
    2019-04-13 00:30

    "Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience?" Even at the known risk of getting branded as a boring old uncle, I must admit into finding Thoreau's venerated essay fascinatingly metal. I was introduced into this venerated magnum opus by Mahatma Gandhi ,who during his non-violence movement, has undoubtedly elevated the duty of Civil Disobedience from individual consciousness to the ethics of a collective. (also freely available on internet). In this essay, Thoreau severely criticizes political passivism, and those who escape under the argument of not knowing what to do. Then followed portions I wasn’t able to completely comprehend except for the seemingly subtle yet lurid difference between what is right by law and what is just. Though the most obvious and convenient illustration to understand Civil Disobedient argument would be the recent Trump government, I urge readers to hyphenate the philosophy with one’s personal, more accessible demurs.A weak historic background might look something like this- Then president of United States was a demogauge(not demogorgon), and Thoreau belonged to the meager minority, who were morally troubled by the Government policies on slavery and Mexican war. So when asked, fractiously he refuses to pay State tax, as, according to him, giving allegiance to an invading war waging State is against his consciousness. Anyway, Tax was as certain as death even then, as it is now, and Thoreau was put behind bars for withholding the same. Well, he continued being metal by welcoming the jail - ‘Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison’, and writing a whole essay in that direction. Thoreau was really thorough with his ideas, pun well intended.I am heavily under resourced to review this, but what amuses me is the relevance of this essay today as well as the course of history it has been preserved along. It is highly difficult to register your opinion these days without being branded into the prejudiced categories everyone seems so eager to fit in.

  • Martha Sweeney
    2019-04-06 00:49

    Needed a break from editing and read Civil Disobedience for the first time. Loved it. It's a key piece of literature that I think everyone should read, not just in America, but all over the world concerning everything that is occurring in governments all across the world.Peace - Love - Prosperity - Happiness to You and Everyone

  • Alberto
    2019-04-09 23:48

    Five stars for the importance of the topic Thoreau discusses; one star because his answer is absurdly wrong (and simplistic).I know that this is supposed to be a classic, and even Gandhi cited it as inspiration.  My opinion is, unfortunately, quite different.  Civil Disobedience amounts to a tract in favor of anarchism.  Some choice quotes...That government is best which governs not at all.[The state's] very Constitution is the evil.Beyond the high-flying rhetoric, let's look at his more reasoned argument.If [an act of government] is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.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.Who decides what is just?  Each man for himself?  Actually he answered this question directly shortly after it occurred to me (I will give him kudos for clarity of presentation).[A]ny man more right than his neighbors, constitutes a majority of one already.I have yet to meet the first man who did NOT think he was more right than his neighbors, so this is a prescription for all-out anarchy.  Every act of the republic is subject to veto by every single citizen.  Thoreau thought war and slavery were both unjust.  OK, so what about the Civil War then?And then of course the most absurd claim of all.I should not like to think that I ever rely on the protection of the State.Well, you should not like it, but it's true nonetheless. It's all well and good to live in the woods with nobody about to bother you, but what about your less wealthy neighbors who live in a city and need the police?  And talk about a free-rider entitlement mentality.  What about the army and navy that protect your right to voice your ridiculous opinion?  Use any public roads to visit your friends in Boston?  Mail a letter?  Etc etc etc.Must be nice to be a trust fund baby, and not work unless you want to, and even when you are working it's because your buddy Emerson (who was not an anarchist and actually held a real job) was able to throw some work in your direction as an act of charity.

  • Ichigotta
    2019-04-20 00:49

    Emprisonné pour cause de non paiement de taxes, le philosophe Thoreau Henry David étaye dans ce petit essaie les causes qui l'y ont en poussé. On saura donc que c'est pour ne pas être complice des actes esclavagistes et belliqueux de son pays que celui-ci a pris parti de la désobéissance civile qui n'est autre qu'une forme de résistance.Suivant la même lignée que Discours de la servitude volontaire: Contr'un de Étienne de La Boétie, cet essaie remet en cause le pouvoir qu'ont les gouvernements sur les peuples et en contre parti la passivité de ceux-ci vis-à-vis d'une quelconque forme d'autorité. C'est d'ailleurs très clairement que l'auteur exprime son point de vu :« Par le présent acte, je, soussigné Henry Thoreau, déclare ne pas vouloir être tenu membre d'une société constituée à laquelle je n'ai pas adhéré. »Bien que le thème de l’esclavagisme puisse être quelque peu dépassé, la question de la remise en question des pouvoirs qu'on octroie à nos gouvernement reste d'actualité, c'est dans ce contexte que Thoreau dit : S'ils paient l’impôt par suite d'un intérêt mal compris pour le contribuable, pour sauvegarder ses bien ou lui éviter la prison, c'est qu'ils n'ont pas eu la sagesse d'envisager le tort considérable que leurs sentiments personnels causent au bien public.Ayant inspirés de grandes figures pacifistes et engagées du 20ème siècle tel que Gandhi et Luther King, Thoreau s'inscrit comme l'un des plus grand penseurs de son ère.

  • Paras2
    2019-04-06 02:25

    well this was basically a guide on how to stand up for what you believe even if that means going to jail for it. tho it was a practical side of Emerson's ideas, I preferred Emerson. his language was more pleasant.

  • Elif
    2019-04-23 02:37

  • A.D. Crystal
    2019-03-28 04:33

    YES. WORTH READING!Well, one may agree or disagree with Thoreau's views on the State and the government role in society.One cannot, though, not pay tribute to his extraordinarily sharpened awareness of the call for submission the institutions of the State and the government exercise to the citizens of a country.I do not know of many a wo/men who make such conscientious efforts of getting to the marrow of one of the most essential relationships holding modern human beings together and most definitely defining them.Obedience to the State and the government goes totally unnoticed, and Thoreau is one of very few wo/men who questioned it and dared to take it under investigation and experiment with disobedience.

  • Kathleen
    2019-04-15 00:45

    “What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.”This seemed an appropriate time to read this daring essay about Thoreau’s disagreement with the actions of the government, and his belief that the majority is not always right. I understand why this inspired Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. It sets out a simple, straight-forward argument for not going along with your government when it acts egregiously.“Action from principle, the perception and the performance of right, changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary, and does not consist wholly with anything which was. It not only divides states and churches, it divides families; ay, it divides the individual, separating the diabolical in him from the divine.”He does take an extreme stance, but it is hard to ignore the truth in it. I looked into the counter arguments, which involve respect for law and order and fear of anarchy. They also contain truth, but I think there is a reason Gandhi and King, who so many people consider heroes, sided with Thoreau.

  • Vale
    2019-04-11 00:30

    Sono nato troppo in alto per essere posseduto,per essere il secondo, al controllo,o l'utile servo e strumentodi qualsiasi stato sovrano del mondo.L'idea del potere reale di un Governo è la più grande fandonia messa in atto dall'umanità. Purtroppo Thoreau è un genio ed è quindi destinato ad una visione del mondo troppo complicata per i suoi contemporanei e troppo moderna per la nostra contemporaneità. Se quest'anno un migliaio di persone non pagassero le tasse non si tratterebbe di un'azione violenta o sanguinosa come sarebbe invece pagarle.E cosa dire all'esattore allibito che è solo un ingranaggio del sistema Stato?Dà le dimissioni dall'incarico. Basta che il cittadino rifiuti ogni alleanza allo Stato, e che l'esattore rinunci al suo incarico, perché si realizzi la rivoluzione.Perché, dice Thoreau, il solo obbligo che ciascuno di noi ha è il DIRITTO di fare sempre ciò che riteniamo GIUSTO.

  • Mohammad Ali
    2019-04-14 01:37

    متن خود نافرمانی مدنی و همچنین افزوده های این جزوه ی الکترونیکی بسیار جالب و جذاب بودند. البته برای من بیشتر از نفس این اثر و رویکردهاش، زندگی شخص ثورو و عملکردهاش جالب و گیرا بودند. باید اذعان کرد که افزوده ها واقعا بجا و مناسبند.در مورد ترجمه باید متاسفانه اذعان کرد که ترجمه ی اصل مقاله ی نافرمانی مدنی متوسط و گاهی زیر متوسط است - البته اصل مقاله هم ابهاماتی دارد و من چند جایی که به آن مراجعه کردم مشکلی برایم حل نشد و جملات گرچه به نحو لغوی فهم می شدند اما منظور نویسنده گنگ باقی می ماند. در مورد افزوده ها ترجمه بهتر است. اما در کل این مجموعه نوشتار برای من کاملا قابل استفاده بود و بهره ی فراوانی هم ازش بردم.از این جزوه من دو نسخه دیدم که یکی به گمانم 106 صفحه و دیگری کمی بیش از 50 صفحه است. نسخه ی دوم همان نسخه ی اول است با تبدیل پینوشت با پانویس و کوچکتر کردن فونت. افزون بر این نسخه ی دوم پی دی اف محافظت شده است و از همین رو امکان هایلایت یا کپی و غیره نداره. اما من نسخه ی اول رو خوندم و خوشبختانه اون قابلیت هایلایت و ... داشت.

  • Jacq Jardin
    2019-04-23 23:50

    I didn't think I would enjoy reading this. I did, though, and I'm sure glad I picked it up. Written in a very articulate manner, the paper is enjoyable, convincing, inspiring and stimulating all at once. Thoreau's strong moral convictions and high respect for the individual are evident in each line. Some of my favorites are:"Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.""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. Even the Chinese philosopher was wise enough to regard the individual as the basis of the empire. 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?"

  • Sheila
    2019-04-13 06:48

    Interesting, but it didn't engross me in the way I hoped it would. The only passage I highlighted was "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. I please myself with imagining a State at last which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor, which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow men."All these years later, we still are not there.

  • Denise
    2019-04-01 04:50

    Nothing new under the sun. As good a read when first published as today.Not saying Mr. Thoreau has all the answers or even the best kind of answers. In today's political climate, it is important to stretch back to those who "been there, done that." Thoreau influenced many greats such as Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Phillip
    2019-04-25 07:39

    This is good to read during a divisive election year.

  • Chris
    2019-04-09 07:40

    (This is a long post which can also be found here: had meant to read up on Thoreau for quite some time now, and took the opportunity yesterday to read the Project Gutenberg text of Civil Disobedience on my Kindle. I found the essay well-conceived, enjoyable, and dripping with an arrogance that only comes with a supreme confidence in one’s intellect, moral standing, and social status. That said, while I was impressed by Thoreau’s well-articulated respect for the individual, his moral outrage at the crimes of slavery and the Mexican War, and his criticism of those who recognized the injustice and paid but lip service, I found his Rousseau-like worldview naive and his writing self-indulgent. Below I have written up some of my initial thoughts; they should not be read as conclusive opinions, but hopefully will spark some discussion.Thoreau begins with the question at hand: “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 a 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.”As the author later lets on, he deigns it morally wise to transgress them at once: “If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth–certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.”The machine is an excellent metaphor, and it is difficult to argue with Thoreau here. I’ll also note that he believes breaking the law is best because he sees no way to remedy the evil through the state.Brief tangent: Thoreau’s thinking is remarkably self-obsessed. This essay is not principally concerned with remedying a moral crime, but in how best a man can be a good man in the face of such outrage. He acknowledges that there are legal means to rectifying evils, but in his quoted rebuttal below, note that he does not reject them because they will take too long and allow for the moral atrocity continue, but that they will take too long relative to the interests of one Henry David Thoreau! They take too much time, and a man’s life will be gone. I have other affairs to attend to. I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad. A man has not everything to do, but something; and because he cannot do everything, it is not necessary that he should be petitioning the Governor or the Legislature any more than it is theirs to petition me; and if they should not hear my petition, what should I do then? But in this case the State has provided no way: its very Constitution is the evil.Thoreau’s argument for civil disobedience is incomplete, however, until he articulates his view of relationship between man and the state: Confucius said: “If a state is governed by the principles of reason, poverty and misery are subjects of shame; if a state is not governed by the principles of reason, riches and honors are subjects of shame.” No: until I want the protection of Massachusetts to be extended to me in some distant Southern port, where my liberty is endangered, or until I am bent solely on building up an estate at home by peaceful enterprise, I can afford to refuse allegiance to Massachusetts, and her right to my property and life. … I perceive that, when an acorn and a chestnut fall side by side, the one does not remain inert to make way for the other, but both obey their own laws, and spring and grow and flourish as best they can, till one, perchance, overshadows and destroys the other. If a plant cannot live according to nature, it dies; and so a man. … For my own part, I should not like to think that I ever rely on the protection of the State. But, if I deny the authority of the State when it presents its tax bill, it will soon take and waste all my property, and so harass me and my children without end. This is hard. This makes it impossible for a man to live honestly, and at the same time comfortably, in outward respects. It will not be worth the while to accumulate property; that would be sure to go again. You must hire or squat somewhere, and raise but a small crop, and eat that soon. You must live within yourself, and depend upon yourself always tucked up and ready for a start, and not have many affairs.Thoreau’s state is an exogenous consortium that man has no moral imperative to support. He prefers the state of nature, where the acorn and chestnut play by their own rules, making no allowances for the other, with the strongest surviving for another day. There’s a lot of Rousseau here; a romanticism for the natural world without the constraints of the state. Much like my criticism of Rousseau, I think Thoreau is operating with a very distorted sense of life in nature — one that can only come from spending a great deal more time in Cambridge than in the wilderness (his time spent in the “nature” just outside his neighborhood, notwithstanding.)Thoreau fails to address the immense benefits that he derives from the state; from the quotes above, it appears he doesn’t believe he derives any benefit from the state, as he has not had the occasion to require its protection in the most literal sense. This failure doesn’t necessarily destroy Thoreau’s argument vis-a-vis civil disobedience, but it does call into question his worldview, more generally.Thoreau’s rejection of the state grows more muddled and inconsistent throughout the essay. At first, he stands sternly against taxation in support of an unjust government, to the point of going to jail (which, once again, allows him to wax philosophic on a night in the slammer the way only a high-minded Harvard man can), but ends stressing that his rejection is less about literal support of the government but more a symbolic rejection of allegiance to the state: I have never declined paying the highway tax, because I am as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject; and as for supporting schools, I am doing my part to educate my fellow countrymen now. It is for no particular item in the tax bill that I refuse to pay it. I simply wish to refuse allegiance to the State, to withdraw and stand aloof from it effectually. I do not care to trace the course of my dollar, if I could, till it buys a man a musket to shoot one with–the dollar is innocent–but I am concerned to trace the effects of my allegiance. In fact, I quietly declare war with the State, after my fashion, though I will still make use and get what advantages of her I can, as is usual in such cases.He then admits: “Seen from a lower point of view, the Constitution, with all its faults, is very good; the law and the courts are very respectable; even this State and this American government are, in many respects, very admirable, and rare things, to be thankful for, such as a great many have described them; seen from a higher still, and the highest, who shall say what they are, or that they are worth looking at or thinking of at all?”Puzzling; as I finished the essay, I increasingly felt that Thoreau was giving me the round-about the entire time, and that he was less concerned with speaking of things as they were then telling of his personal moral journey.Up until now, I have been fairly critical of the airs and intellectual indulgences that I perceive in Thoreau’s thinking: this essay is the product of academia, for both better and for worse. That said, I found the concluding paragraph of Civil Disobedience so strikingly beautiful I will let it conclude this post: The authority of government, even such as I am willing to submit to–for I will cheerfully obey those who know and can do better than I, and in many things even those who neither know nor can do so well–is still an impure one: to be strictly just, it must have the sanction and consent of the governed. It can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it. 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. Even the Chinese philosopher was wise enough to regard the individual as the basis of the empire. 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. I please myself with imagining a State at last which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which I have also imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.

  • Lydia
    2019-04-12 03:25

    “There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to slavery and to the war, who yet in effect do nothing to put an end to them; who, esteeming themselves children of Washington and Franklin, sit down with their hands in their pockets, and say that they know not what to do, and do nothing.”Reading this is worth it, purely for some of the quotations alone. Startlingly relevant and a call to arms, Thoreau asks us to question what is legal (or written as law) vs. what is right, and if they are the same. If they're not, what can we do to change the legislation so that we are can align the law, and the government with our consciences. Of course, Thoreau was privileged, and his position, power and education allow him to ponder these issues -- in some cases, they are not his lived experience. And yet it was refreshing to see someone in this time and context protest war and protest slavery. "They were a product of their time" is an excuse I hear a lot, and it's a tired one. I found this really easy to read and while I didn't understand a lot of the finer points (this would be interesting to discuss in a classroom setting) I enjoyed it nonetheless.

  • Jeske
    2019-04-19 06:47

    Very powerful essay that has influenced people like MLK jr and Gandhi. Still very relevant today..

  • Ex Libris
    2019-04-19 03:43

    A thought provoking book that invokes the paradox of American political history and it's long preoccupation with the triad of freedom/slavery/taxation and an interesting read in the time of the Tea Party.On the one hand, Thoreau has clearly identified two of the great evils of American political history, slavery and, here in the guise of the Mexican American War, expansionist warfare. His desire to sever himself from any complicity in these wrongs is laudable, as is his willingness to seek out deep complicities instead of focusing on low hanging fruit. His stubborn, anarchistic, Bartelby the Scrivener type refusal is easy to appreciate. But his dismissal of the power of the vote and his impatience with politics strikes me as naive, as does his willingness to embrace revolution and his very simple ideas of what possibilities that may unleash. It strikes me as pretty clear that revolutions are uncertain and that a great many (from the French and Russian to the Iranian) modern revolutions end up with governments at least as tyrannical as those they sought to replace. I suppose I'm inclined to work towards reforming the devil you do know rather than putting much hope in the chaotic forces of revolution.He is also quick to erase the manifold ways in which the government he rails against enables his nonconformity. That was true of Concord then and is even more so now as the state provides more and more of the background conditions of life.I also question his vision of freedom, defined here primarily as a negative freedom from taxation. This is the great American version of freedom -- don't take my money. God knows my taxes pay for things I hate, but taxation also provides the basis for many kinds of positive freedoms opened by access to health care, social security, abundant wild places, clean water and air, education, and a vibrant economical and cultural life. These are real freedoms, real opportunities that taxation enables and which a Thoreaun perspective must ignore.By asserting an individual right to pick and choose his willingness to contribute to the socius, Thoreau could easily be adopted by the Tea Party. Their reasons for protest are of course much less noble and more confused then Thoreau's, but the principle of refusal is not so far from a kind of Ayn Rand individualism, except that Rand at least acknowledges what Thoreau misses, which is that in the American political tradition, the greatest beneficiary of doctrines of individual rights is the corporation, not the individual.I empathize with Thoreau, root for him as I read, and feel the tug of his courageous and uncompromising stance. He wisely notes the distinction between prudence and wisdom, but I wonder if he misses the distinction between wisdom and guilt