Henry Davd Thoreau’s “civil Disobedience” and Edward Abbey’s “Theory of Anarchy” both point out problems in government. Both Thoreau and Abby believe that the solution to this problem is to take a stand against the governments institutions and speak out against the injustices of a corrupt government.
In “Civil Disobedience” Thoreau believes that the government is being unjust. He believes that the government is being used by a “few individuals using the standing government as their tool” (Thoreau, 940). If the government is “the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will” then the government shouldn’t carry out unjust policies such as the Mexican War and slavery despite the governments knowledge that there are those who opposes these polices. However these “thousands who are in opinon opposed to slavery and the war, who yet in affect do nothing to put an end to them.” (Thoreau, 943). Thoreau believes this is the underlying problem. The reason the government continues to act against the will and wishes of the people who put it in power is because they do not actively take a stand against yet. Thoreau’s solution to this is to actively take a stand against unjust government actions and fight for what one believes in, not accept and tolerate the actions of the government when they go against ones beliefs. This applies to transcendentalism’s idea of individualism. If an outside body like the government imposes on one’s own beliefs and ideals then as an individuals one should fight back for what one believes in. If one were to accept the actions of the government against one’s individuals beliefs and ideas then this would be conforming, conforming to an ideal that isn’t at all one’s own which is a great wrong to a transcendentalist such as Thoreau.
In “Theory of Anarchy” Abbey view the government today as being a “centralized state which promotes and protects the accumulation of private wealth on the part of a few.” (Abbey, 27) as Thoreau does. Abbey...
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