Heute ein kurzes Gedicht für ein großes Jubiläum. Gestern vor 200 Jahren wurde Henry David Thoreau in Concord, Massachusetts, geboren. Berühmt und wirkmächtig wurde sein Pamphlet „Über zivilen Ungehorsam“ (darunter ein Auszug).
MY LIFE HAS BEEN THE POEM I would have writ,
But I could not both live and utter it.
Aus: „On Civil Disobedience“
All men 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. But almost all say that such is not the case now. But such was the case, they think, in the Revolution Of ’75. If one were to tell me that this was a bad government because it taxed certain foreign commodities brought to its ports, it is most probable that I should not make an ado about it, for I can do without them. All machines have their friction; and possibly this does enough good to counterbalance the evil. At any rate, it is a great evil to make a stir about it. But when the friction comes to have its machine, and oppression and robbery are organized, I say, let us not have such a machine any longer. In other words, when a sixth of the population of a nation which has undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves, and a whole country is unjustly overrun and conquered by a foreign army*, and subjected to military law, I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize. What makes this duty the more urgent is the fact that the country so overrun is not our own, but ours is the invading army.
*) Im Ergebnis des Mexikanisch-Amerikanischen Krieges (1846-48) verlor Mexiko etwa die Hälfte seines Territoriums an die Vereinigten Staaten.