A activation email has been sent to you. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. This essay describes and critiques the phenomenon of enlightened inaction. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants.

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I chose Thoreaus essay Civil Disobedience as my Fourth of July read, figuring I could write something quick and easy, something about the Resistance, Generalissimo Trump, and the coming Blue Wave. Yada yada yada. Something inspiring and comforting. But it didnt work out that way. I found Thoreaus personality prickly, many of his pronouncements naive and uncongenial.

You should read it again for yourself, and rediscover how fine it is. But it is also thorny, and dense, and more than a little absurd. And yet. Francis of Assisi makes me feel like that too. Histrionic, ostentatiously guileless, he never realized that his moral theatrics were permitted—indeed, fostered—by friends and family, and by the compromised social institutions he held up to criticism.

Still, his witness challenges us all. Even his most extreme gestures—like the yoke the prophet Jeremiah placed upon his own neck—were part of his call, integral to his inspiration. And so it was with Thoreau.

At the age of 27, Thoreau committed his act of civil disobedience: a refusal to pay the poll tax as a protest against the land-grabbing Mexican War and the inherent evil of slavery. But he only spent one night in the Concord jail less time, and in a much nicer jail, than his disciples Gandhi and MLK Jr. That one night in jail was an epiphany for the young Henry David, for he saw the heart of his own little town differently than he had before, almost as it too were part of Nature: It was like travelling into a far country, such as I had never expected to behold, to lie there for one night.

It seemed to me that I never had heard the town clock strike before, nor the evening sounds of the village; for we slept with the windows open, which were inside the grating. It was to see my native village in the light of the Middle Ages, and our Concord was turned into a Rhine stream, and visions of knights and castles passed before me. They were the voices of old burghers that I heard in the streets. I was an involuntary spectator and auditor of whatever was done and said in the kitchen of the adjacent village inn- a wholly new and rare experience to me.

It was a closer view of my native town. I was fairly inside of it. I never had seen its institutions before. When I came out of prison- for some one interfered, and paid that tax- I did not perceive that great changes had taken place on the common. I saw yet more distinctly the State in which I lived.

I saw to what extent the people among whom I lived could be trusted as good neighbors and friends; that their friendship was for summer weather only; that they did not greatly propose to do right;. Do you think a prayer to St. Henry David would help? When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended shoe, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour- for the horse was soon tackled- was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.


Gandhi e la "Disobbedienza civile" di Thoreau

Ma come nacque questo saggio? Amava profondamente la natura e trascorreva intere giornate ad esplorare i boschi vicino a Concord e a raccogliere dettagliate informazioni sulle piante e sugli animali. Proprio per spiegare le ragioni del suo arresto e della sua condotta, Thoreau scrisse il breve saggio qui di seguito trascritto. In questo modo i governi mostrano come sia facile che gli uomini si lascino ingannare, persino che essi stessi si autoingannino, per proprio vantaggio.


Henry Thoreau, disobbedienza civile e vita nei boschi

Colui che fa un atto di disobbedienza civile viola la legge in modo diverso dal criminale, il quale commette un atto illegale per trarne un profitto cercando di farla franca. Alcuni filosofi hanno considerato paradossale la conclusione che la natura stessa della disobbedienza civile renda impossibile attribuirle una giustificazione legale. Solo il lancio di pietre, e non il sit in, potrebbe essere definito un atto di disobbedienza civile. Pertanto, il giudice deve attenersi alla legge pur condividendo pienamente le motivazioni che hanno determinato la disobbedienza. Sono queste, e non la struttura di governo nel suo insieme, a essere considerate cattive. Sulla base di tali considerazioni morali molti hanno equiparato la disobbedienza civile alla resistenza passiva predicata da Gandhi in India tra gli anni venti e trenta.


La disobbedienza civile



Disobbedienza civile (concetto)


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