Thoreau Essay On Civil Disobedience

Thoreau Essay On Civil Disobedience-70
“To speak practically and as a citizen,” he wrote, “unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government.” He does not go to great lengths, as classical philosophers were wont, to define the ideal government. But as to what constitutes injustice, Thoreau is clear: When the friction comes to have its machine, and oppression and robbery are organized, I say, let us not have such a machine any longer.In other words, when a sixth of the population of a nation which has undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves, and a whole country is unjustly overrun and conquered by a foreign army, and subjected to military law, I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize. Du Bois showed in one of his revolutionary 1900 sociological visualizations, during the time of Thoreau’s essay, one-sixth of the country’s population was indeed comprised of people of African descent, most of them enslaved.In July 1846, he walked into Concord, Massachusetts to get his shoes repaired and was arrested and thrown into the town’s jail.

“To speak practically and as a citizen,” he wrote, “unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government.” He does not go to great lengths, as classical philosophers were wont, to define the ideal government. But as to what constitutes injustice, Thoreau is clear: When the friction comes to have its machine, and oppression and robbery are organized, I say, let us not have such a machine any longer.In other words, when a sixth of the population of a nation which has undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves, and a whole country is unjustly overrun and conquered by a foreign army, and subjected to military law, I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize. Du Bois showed in one of his revolutionary 1900 sociological visualizations, during the time of Thoreau’s essay, one-sixth of the country’s population was indeed comprised of people of African descent, most of them enslaved.In July 1846, he walked into Concord, Massachusetts to get his shoes repaired and was arrested and thrown into the town’s jail.

And he recognized the limitations of elections to resolve them: “All voting is a sort of gaming...

with a slight moral tinge to it,” he wrote, then observed with devastating irony, given total disenfranchisement of people who were property, that “Only his vote can hasten the abolition of slavery who asserts his own freedom by his vote.” “Unjust laws exist,” writes Thoreau, “I say, break the law.

They were those who followed their own consciences and in particular, the principles of reason.

Thoreau wished to redistribute prestige away from blinkered obedience towards independent thought.

Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine.

What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.” Thoreau had put his dicta into practice already many years before.An election settles who the president might be, it doesn’t determine that everything that president does is right or that one should simply do nothing until the next election.History is rife with examples of oppressive governments. But I see no moral reason to condemn people for fighting injustice, provided their cause itself is just.This is an essay we have become all-too familiar with by reputation rather than by reading.Thoreau’s political philosophy is not passive, as in the phrase “passive resistance.” It is not middle-of-the-road centrism disguised as radicalism.Thoreau is now a canonical American literary figure, studied in every high school for his lyrical masterpiece, Thoreau quickly realised he was opposed to everything Polk stood for: he hated what became the Mexican-American war, instinctively siding with the losing Mexican side, was wary of Polk’s squabbles with Britain and was appalled by the administration’s policy of hunting down and returning runaway slaves to their masters in the South..At the heart of the essay is the question of what an honest citizen should do about a president he or she wholeheartedly opposes.The prevailing view was that because Polk had won a majority, those who were against him should now fall silent.It should – it was often said – be the duty of a good citizen to fold away their objections and respect the will of the majority.Polk was a popular president, admired by many for his gung-ho manner, but a sizeable minority of the citizenry disliked him intensely.One especially committed opponent was a writer from Massachusetts called Henry David Thoreau.

SHOW COMMENTS

Comments Thoreau Essay On Civil Disobedience

The Latest from helpina-vgp.ru ©