Goffredo Fofi

A praise for civil disobedience

  • (Elogio della disobbedienza civile)
  • pages: 92 - 10.5x15
  • published: 10/04/2015


Since Thoreau refused to pay a tax imposed by the U.S. government to fund the war against Spain, and accepted the prison sentence resulting from his action, “civil disobedience” has become a system of protest. There had been many precedents, such as Antigone, but Thoreau was the one who clarified this approach in modern terms, as well as its relevance and necessity. His short essay was studied by Tolstoy and Gandhi, who put it into practice on a large scale to successfully fight British colonialism. With the failure of the revolutions that have focused on producing new violence and oppression, with the assertion – in the so-called democratic world - of a financial power that is now challenged by various forms of fundamentalism or Mafia, and with the new winds of war blowing on the planet, civil disobedience goes back to being the wisest and most radical answer to the direct and indirect violence of those who decide and control, who manipulate and
offend. Describing the forms of civil disobedience developed in the past by the labour and the nonviolent movements, the author insists on a fundamental concept: civil disobedience can do without nonviolence, but nonviolence can not exist without its fundamental political component: civil disobedience.


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