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I heartily accept the motto,That government is best which governs least; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. 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. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.Thoreau, Henry David
Source: HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Civil Disobedience, first paragraph, Walden and Civil Disobedience, ed. Owen Thomas, p. 224 . This essay was first published in 1849.The motto Thoreau referred to was almost certainly that of The United States Magazine and Democratic Review, a literary-political monthly: The best government is that which governs least.Ralph Waldo Emerson expressed a similar sentiment in his essay Politics: Hence the less government we have the betterthe fewer laws and the less confided power.Essays: Second Series, in The Complete Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. 1, p. 302 . · This quote is about uncategorised · Search on Google Books to find all references and sources for this quotation.
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