Thoreau'S Essay On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience.

few individuals.” And yet---despite these radical positions---Thoreau has been enshrined in the history of political thought both for his radical tactics and his defense of preserving government, for the present.“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.

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On the Duty of Civil Disobedience In a concise essay, Thoreau proffers a challenge to all men, "not to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right." Over and over, almost redundantly, Thoreau stresses simplicity and individualism, as most transcendentalists (the new philosophical and literary movement of Thoreau's time) did.

Thoreau clearly states, in his On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, that the government is unjust and doesn't represent the will of the people, that one man can't change the government, and that people succumb unconsciously to the will of the government.

Thoreau’s political philosophy is not passive, as in the phrase “passive resistance.” It is not middle-of-the-road centrism disguised as radicalism.

It lies instead at the watering hole where right libertarianism and left anarchism meet to have a drink.A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind.There is no play in them, for this comes after work. The likelihood of success in such cases---depending on the belligerence of the opposition and the capabilities of the government---varies widely.This is an essay we have become all-too familiar with by reputation rather than by reading.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.Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine.“I heartily accept the motto, ‘That government is best which governs least,’” wrote Thoreau, and ultimately “’That government is best which governs not at all.’” Like many utopian theorists of the 19th century, Thoreau saw this as the inevitable future: “when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government they will have.” Thoreau laments all restrictions on trade and regulations on commerce.He also denounces the use of a standing army by “a comparatively...The first of these is a ridiculous notion; the second contradicted and supported alternately throughout the essay so that one cannot be sure of what Although it may be true that the government exists only to sustain the military and our country's major industry, without them, this fine country would be in economical and physical ruins.He doesn't like our government, but his ideas for it, if carried out, would create chaos and anarchy.


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