Civil Disobedience

Topics: Henry David Thoreau, Civil disobedience, Anarcho-primitivism Pages: 4 (1181 words) Published: July 16, 2014
Civil Disobedience

Based on the writings of Henry David Thoreau it is very relevant that he is very opposed to government involvement of any kind. He doesn’t believe that the government should be involved in everyday life. Thoreau doesn’t understand the point of having a government system that will be useful to everyone and not just a select few. Thoreau proceeds to explain his many reasons as to why the “government is best [when it] governs [the] least.” He thought people should stand up to the very ones that made society so corrupt and weak. Thoreau believes the government puts personal selfish interests on a pedestal. 

Thoreau’s opening statement set the tone for his entire essay. He begins his essay by saying that the government, so far, has rarely proven to be useful. He believes that the power the government has derived from the majority rather than the few. This is mainly because the majority is the strongest group not because their viewpoint is right but because they have many in numbers. He then continues to express the fact that many people do what they believe is right and not to just follow the law created by the majority. He insists that people should do away with the law all together when the legal system becomes unjust. Thoreau then states that the United States is a perfect example of an unjust government. He believes that is because of the fact that they have shown support of slavery and they have participated in the practice of aggressive war. In regards to a man following his first obligation, Thoreau believes that a man isn’t obligated to get rid of the evils of the world, but he is obligated not to take part in these evils. This means that no man should feel the need to participate in an unruly government if he does not choose to do so. Thoreau asks, “Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think we should be men first, and subjects...
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