Angelic Troublemakers: Religion and Anarchism in America by A. Terrance Wiley

By A. Terrance Wiley

Angelic Troublemakers is the 1st special account of what occurs whilst spiritual ethics, political philosophy, and the anarchist spirit intermingle. Wiley deftly captures the beliefs that encouraged 3 respected heroes of nonviolent disobedience―Henry Thoreau, Dorothy Day, and Bayard Rustin. Resistance to slavery, empire, and capital is a lifestyle, a transnational culture of notion and motion. This e-book is a needs to learn for a person drawn to faith, ethics, politics, or legislation.

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Extra info for Angelic Troublemakers: Religion and Anarchism in America (Contemporary Anarchist Studies)

Sample text

In particular, he again denies that it, in this case the state of Massachusetts, provides protection and asserts that it fails to effectuate just conditions, two goods THE CONSCIENCE ON FIRE: THOREAU’S ANARCHIST ETHIC 31 often attributed to state action and pointed to in order to argue for its necessity. Dressing trenchant criticism in his characteristic sarcasm, Thoreau doubts that he needs a governor: “I think that I could manage to get along without one. If he is not of the least use to prevent my being kidnapped, pray of what important use is he likely to be to me?

The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it even the well-disposed are daily made agents of injustice. A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is, that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, privates, powder-monkeys and all, marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, aye, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart.

56 Consistent with this view, in “Resistance to Civil Government,” Thoreau relates, It is for no particular item in the tax-bill that I refuse to pay [the poll tax]. I simply wish to refuse allegiance to the State, to withdraw and stand aloof from it effectually. I do not wish to trace the course of my dollar .  . but I am concerned to trace the effects of my allegiance. 57 The implications of Thoreau’s doctrine of noncomplicity and his descriptive account of the territorial state should be clear.

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