Thoreau’s “On Civil Disobedience” has inspired many great rebels in history, most notably Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. This work offers some wise words regarding the duty of a citizen in the face of an unjust government.
Conrad is sometimes hailed as one of the greatest writers in the English language, and he definitely lives up to that title in this work.
“Politics and the English Language” is an excellent essay outlining how the English language is used today, along with being a guide to improving your own writing. While some of Orwell’s points are controversial, it’s important to think about them, evaluating where he may be right and formulating your own rebuttals.
Regardless, this essay is still relevant today (I would say especially relevant), and I encourage you to read it with a fine comb (though Orwell probably would have disagreed with my use of that idiom).
Originally given as a lecture, Sartre’s “Existentialism is a Humanism” is a great introduction to the existentialist philosophy.
Here’s Immanuel Kant’s brief exposition on the nature of the Enlightenment, an 18th century philosophical and intellectual movement that persists to influence the world today. After reading this, you might even say that the project of the Enlightenment has yet to end.
Most works on political economy are written by political scientists, philosophers and economists. “Why Socialism?” is one of the few that was written by a thinker that didn’t fall into any of those categories. Rather, it was written by the world-renown physicist Albert Einstein. To that regard, I think this is an interesting piece with an interesting perspective.