In 1849, 5 years before Henry David Thoreau published Walden
, he wrote what has come to be recognized as the philosophic textbook for nonviolent revolution. "I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward," Thoreau wrote. "It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right." Taking as his major premise the idea that "...government is best which governs least," Thoreau asserts that one's first loyalty is to one's own nature, and that only then, when one is true to oneself, can one be true to a government. This remarkable essay has inspired leaders from Gandhi to Martin Luther King, Jr.
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