Henry David ThoreauHenry David Thoreau, (1817-1862) American author, poet, philosopher, polymath, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and transcendentalist

Henry David Thoreau Quote

“I heartily accept the motto, that government is best which governs least ... Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, that government is best which governs not at all; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.”

Henry David ThoreauHenry David Thoreau
~ Henry David Thoreau

his book, On The Duty of Civil Disobedience, 1849

Ratings and Comments

KS, Somewhere,USA

Amen and a great book also.

Joe, Rochester, MI

Less government ... PLEASE!

Jonathan, tucson, AZ

Good idea, but the kicker is "when men are prepared." Since they never will be, government remains necessary

Felipe, São Paulo
  • Reply
Felipe, São Paulo Jonathan, tucson, AZ 3/10/19

Once we were, for well tested eons, so surely we can be again.

Allen Weingarten, Monroe Township, NJ

Self-government is an ideal, to be sought and improved upon, rather than finalized. It is akin to a navigator who aims at the North Star, to help a ship toward its destination, rather than to reach the star.

Mike, Norwalk

Natural law exists with or without man. It is the de jure premise of the originally accepted jurisprudence. In representing the individual sovereign's inalienable rights, corporeal man uses such tools as codes, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc. to define the law of nature and of nature's God for man's administrations - protecting rights. The term government does not fit such scenario but, no word in any language that I am aware of has developed to describe such representative body politic.

jim k, Austin

" Government, even in it's best state, is but a necessary evil, in it's worse state an intolerable one." Thomas Paine.

Warrdoc, Elk Grove,CA.

Its a dream but, I wouldn't call it a pipedream.

E Archer, NYC

An ideal worth aiming for.

Ronw13, OR
  • Reply
Ronw13, OR    3/6/19

A man is a "despotes to his slaves but a "kurios" to his wife and children. 

Felipe, São Paulo

Great quote, great author, great books!
Amem to that.


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