posted on Aug, 5 2009 @ 10:38 PM
When I converse with the freest of my neighbors, I perceive that, whatever they may say about the magnitude and seriousness of the question, and their
regard for the public tranquillity, the long and the short of the matter is, that they cannot spare the protection of the existing government, and
they dread the consequences to their property and families of disobedience to it. They are not yet aware that it costs them less in every sense to
incur the penalty of disobedience to the State than it would to obey.
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.
As for adopting the ways which the State has provided for remedying the evil, I know not of such ways. They take too much time, and a man's life will
be gone. Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them.
I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could
get to be as free as I was. Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.
I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar. They had resolved to punish my body; just as boys, if
they cannot come at some person against whom they have a spite, will abuse his dog. I saw that the State was half-witted and that it did not know its
friends from its foes, and I lost all my remaining respect for it, and pitied it. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior
physical strength. I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest!
[edit on 5-8-2009 by METACOMET]