There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men. When the Declaration of Independence was drafted, our forefathers were defying the laws of Britain. Associations formed elsewhere, springing from a feeling of humanity, or any other cause, have nothing whatever to do with it. Most of the great social changes that have come about over the 200+ years of our existence had its roots in the embracing of breaking a law of the land dutifully enacted by a legislative body. Yet, compared with the cheap professions of most reformers, and the still cheaper wisdom and eloquence of politicians in general, his are almost the only sensible and valuable words, and we thank Heaven for him.
Why not just try to be more human rather than brutes? A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It may be in a great strait, and not know what to do: I cannot help that. Those who, while they disapprove of the character and measures of a government, yield to it their allegiance and support are undoubtedly its most conscientious supporters, and so frequently the most serious obstacles to reform. No man with a genius for legislation has appeared in America. Webster never goes behind government, and so cannot speak with authority about it. For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever.
King's Letter from Birmingham Jail 1963 , while containing no direct reference to it, clearly mimics the format of Thoreau's own letter from jail, and relies on the essay's endorsement of civil disobedience as a legitimate response to oppressive government policies. And to some extent I do agree because in the past people have broken unjust laws and have created change. He defines civil disobedience as an act of willful resistance, achieved by not obeying laws he considers to be hypocritical. Moreover, any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already. It was a closer view of my native town.
Another act, and one he deems more important still, is to avoid colluding with the government by refusing to play an active role in it. Why has every man a conscience, then? Why do they not dissolve it themselves- the union between themselves and the State- and refuse to pay their quota into its treasury? What distinction does Thoreau make between the ways in which men serve the state?. Through the use of his civil disobedience, the minority can be heard and not let the majority be able to tell society what is considered right and wrong. The strong are the ones who do not give into demands placed upon them if they do not agree; those who refuse to conform to society; those who stick to their beliefs, no matter the cost. It exists to ensure an individual's freedom. Polk — a forceful, aggressive political outsider intent on strengthening his country and asserting its pre-eminence in front of other world powers, especially Mexico and Great Britain.
I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through before they could get to be as free as I was. The man who was considered the leader of this movement, Dr. I became convinced that noncooperation with is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. With his own example, he establishes that non-payment of taxes is a means to withdraw support from the government. Civil Disobedience covers several topics, and Thoreau intersperses poetry and social commentary throughout.
He recalls the time when he was imprisoned for non-payment of taxes on his part. But Paley appears never to have contemplated those cases to which the rule of expediency does not apply, in which a people, as well as an individual, must do justice, cost what it may. In fact, the practice of slavery in the United States is the single most hypocritical aspect of the government as far as Thoreau is concerned. In their practice, nations agree with Paley; but does any one think that Massachusetts does exactly what is right at the present crisis? These lectures formed the base of his 1849 published essay Resistance to Civil Government. Paragraph 17 First, he makes the idea of the government deceiving the people personal to the reader by comparing it to their neighbor cheating them. They protested because they the extraction of tar sand oil and moving it from Canada to Texas will pollute the groundwater in the surface Hammel. I see this blood flowing now.
What does Thoreau mean when he says that those who serve the state with their consciences resist it? When a man is oppressed, his natural recours is rebellion. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. Our legislators have not yet learned the comparative value of free trade and of freedom, of union, and of rectitude, to a nation. It is really a question of the absolutely concrete demonstration of the point at which this struggle at any moment becomes man's duty as man. As we've covered in other videos, transcendentalists believe in freeing one's self from the material world and focusing on self-reliance, and that people could become more imprisoned by a desire for material wealth than by the bars of a physical jail. This people must cease to hold slaves, and to make war on Mexico, though it cost them their existence as a people.
They have no genius or talent for comparatively humble questions of taxation and finance, commerce and manufactures and agriculture. Three major firm believers and activists in civil disobedience were Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King Jr. He was outspoken against slavery and American imperialism. If others pay the tax which is demanded of me, from a sympathy with the State, they do but what they have already done in their own case, or rather they abet injustice to a greater extent than the State requires. His vote is of no more worth than that of any unprincipled foreigner or hireling native, who may have been bought. Antigone, the main character of Antigone, protects her dead brother's honor as she disobeys the laws of King Creon. He considered it an interesting experience and came out of it with a new perspective on his relationship to the government and its citizens.