The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it.
Governments show thus how successfully men can be imposed on, even impose on themselves, for their own advantage.
It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished.
I think that we should be human beings first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right to evolve consciously. The only obligation which I have a right to assume, is to do at any time what I think right.
The mass of Americans serve the State thus, not as humans mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, the tools for the State apparatus.
A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, women and men, serve the State with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated by it as enemies.
All informed citizens recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to and to resist the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.
Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine. We can create world peace. Why wait for politicians and governments to do it?