I was not designed to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.
― Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

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Weekly Thought Snack: Henry David Thoreau and Civil Disobedience


Image: Henry David Thoreau, Creative Commons

Weekly Thought Snack: In the wake of several acts of civil disobedience taking place in the world today (Hong Kong, Missouri, Colorado), let’s consider the words of Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), who was an advocate for acts of civil disobedience. His seminal essay on the subject, popularly known as “Civil Disobedience,” was originally published as “Resistance to Civil Government” in Aesthetic Papers (1849). Thoreau exhibited a thoughtful view of issues such as taxation. For example, he held no objection to government taxes for education and transportation, which he stated made “good neighbors.” However, government, he says, is often based on public convenience rather than justice. He was arrested in Concord for one night in 1846 for not paying his poll tax. His act of defiance was a protest against slavery and the Mexican War, since he and other abolitionists believed the tax served as a means to expand the slave territory.

Thoreau asserted, “Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward.” He further declared that if a law “is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another…then, I say, break the law.” His essay affirms that civil disobedience is a moral principle. 

Thoughts snacks for the month of October focus on building awareness about the purpose of civil disobedience.

Celebrate freedom of speech and creative expression!

- Caroline (Carrie) Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.

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Civil Disobedience Internet Meme, Original Source Unknown

Civil Disobedience Internet Meme, Original Source Unknown

Write as the wind blows and command all words like an army!
Hilaire Belloc (via maxkirin)

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Powerful photos capture the student protests in Mexico barely anyone is talking about 

While the world has focused its attention on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, there’s another student movement gaining steam on the other side of the world.

The unfolding protests gripping Mexico began in the small town of Iguala, in the southwest region of Guerrero state, where the disappearance of 43 student teachers on the night of Sept. 26 has sparked outrage amid allegations of collaboration between local police and organized crime.

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He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. -Friedrich Nietzsche

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Weekly Thought Snack: Civil Disobedience is a Moral Responsibility


On Meet the Press, Martin Luther King explains civil disobedience and just versus unjust laws. Using the eloquent rhetoric for which he was known, he teaches all of us about our moral responsibility to pursue justice through nonviolent means.

The posts for the month of October are dedicated to drawing awareness to civil disobedience…what it is and why it is important. Celebrate freedom of speech and creative expression! - Caroline (Carrie) Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful, than a life spent doing nothing.

- George Bernard Shaw