I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man's shoulders. . If the state has a true and useful purpose, then why should it care if some do not participate? We should take a better stand on right and wrong than leaving it to chance! Cite This Source, bACK, nEXT, thoreau had some serious problems with the way the United States was run. Tagged with: Civil Disobedience, henry david thoreau, Thoreau Posted in staff news analysis, Uncategorized. I wont pretend Henry David Thoreaus writing thoroughly interests me, as much as I admire him. Here are the ten best"s from that essay, if you do not have the patience to read the entire 25 pages. Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen. Laws are only words written on paper, words that change on society's whim and are interpreted differently daily by politicians, lawyers, judges, and policemen. . Martin Luther King,., March 22, 1956 If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. .
It barrels on ahead towards destruction, while the men in the back keep shoveling coal into the furnace; because after all, they are just doing their job. I must get off him first, that he may pursue his own contemplations too.
Let us see who is the strongest. 2018 Shmoop University, Inc. Do you agree or disagree with Thoreaus main points? Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience Page Information: ml Last modified 2016 Jul 01 Fri 09:01 PDT. It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought. . I please myself with imagining a State at last that can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live. His ideas on government however, are quite interesting, especially coming from someone of his time period. But when you must take from others in order to save the world, you are failing to account for others wants and needs, which may not align with yours. What I have to do is see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.
There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. Although the essay was written 168 years ago, it can still spark a lively debate about contemporary tactics for resisting oppressive government.
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