Quotation by Henry David Thoreau

There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at last which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few went to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (1849).

closing lines. The passage relates to Thoreau's refusal to pay a poll tax, for which he went to jail for one night in July 1846. This essay was often quoted by Gandhi in his campaign of passive resistance. Later, Thoreau wrote, "I was never molested by any person but those who represented the State" (Walden "The Village" 1854). See Thoreau on PROTEST.
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