Henry David Thoreau goes to incredible lengths to describe what he feels about all governments in general. Thoreau said, “The government is best which governs least,” Thoreau believed that a country could work best if the government did not interfere. He also thought that government in its own right does more harm than good for the people it is supposed to help. Thoreau goes on to describe the way government uses the law to promote the wrong ideals. Government would rather make legal robots than promote morality in its people. Thoreau then goes into the issue of slavery and how a government promoted such evil. In this instance the government brings out the worst in its people for enforcing such an injustice as well as the apathetic industrialist in the north who benefits from slavery and does nothing about its immorality. Thoreau then discusses a theory that I believe to be brilliant.
Thoreau eventually refuses to pay taxes because he does not want his money spent on keeping slavery running. This at first seemed silly to me because nobody can decide what their tax money is spent on. But I do believe that it is fair of Thoreau to not pay for something he opposes. I would not want my hard earned money going to a cause that was against my morality. Thoreau’s writing went on to influence such influential figures as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Martin Buber.
I agree with many of Thoreau’s points in this reading including his opinion on how to fix certain problems in our country. Thoreau says, “Voting for justice is as ineffective as wishing for justice.” As long as men are in control there will always be room for corruption and injustice. In order to make any true progress toward a better country, “we need to be the change we want to see in the world,” as Gandhi would say. Our government can make as many laws as we allow but until we as the people star living moral lives our country will never reach its full... [continues]
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