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On “Civil Disobedience” and commonality between Mohatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

July 9th, 2010 8 comments

Henry David Thoreau's Cabin Site next to Walden Pond

What’s common between Mohatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr? Henry David Thoreau. That’s because Gandhi’s successful non-violent struggle for Indian independence from the British and King’s successful non-violent civil rights struggle to free African Americans were deeply influenced by Thoreau, especially his essay, “Civil Disobedience.”

(How does this relate to China? Don’t worry. I’ll get to it soon enough.)

“Civil Disobedience,” published in 1849, “argues that people should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that people have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican-American War.” (Wikipedia.org)
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