Tag Archives: Henry David Thoreau

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Henry David Thoreau – Civil Disobedience
Read by: Gordon Mackenzie

Everyone who cherishes freedom should listen or read this at least once in their life.

Part 1


part 2



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Open Source State

“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.”Henry David Thoreau “Civil Disobedience”


It’s time to create an Open Source State. bartopen

To do this you need a lot of people, educated people, to move into a state and filibusterer legislation.

What other untapped demographic in the U.S. could provide such a large number of creative and well educated people?

Those with outstanding student loans, of course.

What better resource full of diverse, talented and dedicated people are there in the U.S., but a whole lot of educated folks  in endless education debt.

All it takes is one state representative to write a bill that offers them sanctuary. If need be give them refugee status. Put it on the table, spread the word. A few grants later you’ll be using their talents to develop a more just and fair society. We have all the models, it’s only a matter of using these models for the benefit of people, rather than corporations.

“Don’t try to fix a broken system, create a new one to displace it.” – Buckminster Fuller

One Model: If you have a student loan all interest – usury – is forgive – people work off the principle by contributing towards a better society – if that means working towards free education for all citizens, so be it – and only a portion of the principle is deducted from your salary; all income based, with no employment discrimination based on educational debt.

That’s just one of the many ideas that can be incorporated.

Over the course of the next few weeks I will be working to develop more open state idea. Perhaps someone else has already started working in this direction, or you had the notion yourself, or maybe you think it’s just a good idea whose time has come? Please, use the comment box below to share your thoughts, links and ideas so that we can actively move towards solutions to the ills that we currently face in our society.

It’s Time.

Light this candle!

But, to speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it. – Henry David Thoreau


It’s Over – Eating Machine
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Money Out Pack
B Corporation
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Occupy Media
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The Financial Terrorists
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Suck it up
Utah legalizes gold, silver coins as currency
Prometheus Radio (LPFM) Project

…one will do what is right or best just as soon as one truly understands what is right or best” -Socrates

The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.” – Mark Twain

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” – Rabindranath Tagore

The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, and Trust


okay so you think it’s a lot of work

First of all we have to agree that anything worthwhile is a lot of work, but this can be joyous work, and who doesn’t enjoy joyous work especially, for all the right reasons?

…so let’s say a massive group of people moves into a city and we help each other out, we then take over the city government, legally, through elections and start changing the laws. Soon more like minds will be attracted to what’s happening and join us; remember one Koch Brother can’t replace 100 people at the voting booth. Not to mention more educated people vote, and people with student debt are a demographic that is  educated .

As those people move into the city they will also begin to move into state government, their ideas will spread to the locals and those people will become more politically active. As those numbers grow they will put massive pressure on the sitting state elected officials, even if they are funded by a Koch Brother; keep in mind those who would take Koch money will eventually find no reason to run.

Then, as proper legislation is passed we do what the lobbyists do, we learn from what Matt Taibbi wrote so clearly and eloquently here  SUE SUE SUE & IF YOU CAN’T WIN, STALL. We fight fire with fire, love fire and we work and hope that our fire shines brighter and truer than theirs, and that it catches on to inspires others across the country. It’s just a matter of going from 0 to 1,  you just have to start.

– that’s real grass roots.

If you want to read the whole Taibbi article again How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform

read the study
People Aren’t Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say


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simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!

But, to speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.

Henry David Thoreau: One of America’s Most Thoughtful Nonviolent Secessionists

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. – Henry David Thoreau “Civil Disobedience

Henry David Thoreau, the iconoclastic, nineteenth century New England writer, has long been associated with simple living, solitude, independent thinking, environmental integrity, civil disobedience, nonviolence, and passive resistance. But few seem to have noticed that he was also a card-carrying secessionist.

Best known for its influence on Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., the South African anti-apartheid movement, and the Eastern European anti-communist movement in the 80s, Thoreau’s famous 1849 essay “Civil Disobedience” reads like a secessionist’s manifesto.

His two-year stay at Walden Pond near Cambridge, Massachusetts between 1845 and 1847, on which his 1854 book Walden was based, was little short of a personal secession from his village, his state, and his country. About personal secession Thoreau once said, “Some are petitioning the State to dissolve the Union. Why do they not dissolve it themselves—the union between themselves and the State?”

In 1854, when the population of the United States was around 20 million, Thoreau thought the country was already too large. “The nation itself is an unwieldy and overgrown establishment, cluttered with furniture and tripped up by its own traps, ruined by luxury and heedless expense.” He called for a “rigid economy” and “Spartan simplicity of life.” “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!” he said.

Thoreau’s principal grievances with the federal government were over its de facto support of slavery and its participation in the Mexican-American War, both of which he considered to be immoral.

“When a sixth of the population of a nation which has undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves, and a whole country (Mexico) is unjustly overrun and conquered by a foreign army (the U.S. Army), and subjected to military law, I think it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize.”

During the first half of the nineteenth century before the Civil War, New England was a political hotbed for secessionists, most of whom were abolitionists. Massachusetts Senator Timothy Pickering, a former high-ranking general in the Revolutionary War, was one of the most important leaders of the New England secession movement.

New England Federalists, who believed that the policies of the Jefferson and Madison administrations were proportionately more harmful to New England than to other parts of the country, thrice led independence movements aimed respectively at the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, the national embargo of 1807, and the War of 1812. In 1814 New England secessionists expressed their opposition to the War of 1812 and the military draft of the Hartford Convention.

Thoreau, who was vehemently opposed to slavery, called for abolitionists to “effectively withdraw their support, both in person and property, from the government of Massachusetts.” He told them that, “if they had God on their side, even though they did not constitute a majority, that was enough.”

In response to the question, “How does it become a man to behave toward this American government today?” Thoreau presciently responded, “He cannot without disgrace be associated with it.” Clearly a man ahead of his time!

As for civil disobedience, of which secession is a special case, Thoreau said, “If an injustice requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the government machine.” Thoreau actually spent a night in jail for not paying his poll-tax.

No doubt many anarchists have taken note of the following two statements by Thoreau in “Civil Disobedience”. “That government is best which governs not at all,” and “I simply wish to refuse allegiance to the State, to withdraw and stand aloof from it effectually.”

If Thoreau were alive today, it seems unlikely that he would have an e-mail address. He was not convinced that we all had to be connected.

“We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas, but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate… We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic and bring the Old World some weeks nearer to the New, but perchance the first news that will leak through into the broad, flapping American ear will be that the Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough.”

Perhaps the reason given by Thoreau as to why he escaped to Walden Pond says it all:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

“I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life.”

Thoreau’s philosophy of secession was based on the premise that an individual’s moral principles have the first claim on his or her actions, and that any government which requires violation of these principles has no legitimate authority whatsoever.

One can only imagine what Thoreau would think of the United States today – a nation which has lost its moral authority and is unsustainable, ungovernable, and unfixable. What would he think of a government owned, operated, and controlled by corporate America and Wall Street? How would he feel about the illegal wars with Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya? What about our unconditional support for the bellicose state of Israel? Would he condone the torture of military combatant prisoners? And, alas, the war on terror?

Henry David Thoreau was arguably the most thoughtful, nonviolent secessionist of the nineteenth century. Unlike well known southern secessionists such as John C. Calhoun, Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee, Thoreau’s message was not tainted by the scourge of slavery.

Modern day New England liberals who summarily reject secession as a kind of racist conspiracy, should re-visit Thoreau. They just might be surprised at what they find.

Thomas H. Naylor

April 11, 2011 – Founder of the Second Vermont Republic and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University; co-author of Affluenza, Downsizing the USA, and The Search for Meaning. (Reprint with permission by the author)


let go of your shackles and open your imaginatio­n


Filed under books, education, great Ideas, justice, nature, secession, war


“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”R Buckminster Fuller

Secession – se·ces·sion; noun –
1. The ultimate congressional pink slip.
2. How to literally throw the bums out.
3. End to all Congressional pay raises and bank bailouts.
4. No more wars.
5. When a body of citizens awaken.
6. It’s not just for Texas anymore.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

–That …whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness…

The Declaration of Independence, In Congress, July 4, 1776 – The unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.

If any State in the Union will declare that it prefers separation with the first alternative, to a continuance in union without it, I have no hesitation in saying “let us separate.” –Thomas Jefferson

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Single Payer Heath Care Passes In Vermont

“The defining characteristic of the Second Vermont Republic is that there are two enemies, the United States government and corporate America” – Thomas Naylor

Vermont Secession Music

Second Vermont Republic
Middlebury Institute
for the study of separatism, secession, and self-determination
Dennis Steele for Governor
VT COMMON – why?
simplicity, simplicity, simplicity

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Rep. Ron Paul on Secession
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List of U.S. state partition proposals
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