This essay by Thoreau first published in 1849, argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule their consciences. It goes on to say that individuals have a duty to avoid allowing the government to make them the agents of injustice. The quote: "That government is best which governs least," sometimes attributed to Thomas Jefferson or Thomas Paine, actually was first found in this essay. Thoreaus' thoughts were motivated by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican-American War but they are still relevant and resonate today.
"Can the thoughts of 1849 be applied in the 21st-century?"
In 1845 Henry David Thoreau, one of the principal New England Transcendentalists, left the small town of Concord for the country. Beside the lake of Walden he built himself a log cabin and returned to nature, to observe and reflect – while surviving on eight dollars a year. From this experience emerged Walden, one of the great classics of American literature.
Under the title "Civil Disobedience", American author Henry David Thoreau's essay was originally published in 1866, four years after his death in 1862. It is based on a lecture, "Resistance to Civil Government", that Thoreau gave many years earlier, in 1848. "Civil Disobedience" asked when an individual should actively oppose a government and its justice system. Thoreau's answer was that opposition was legitimate whenever government actions or institutions were unacceptable to an individual's conscience.
Torture in Abu Ghraib prison. Corporate fraud. Falsified records at Veterans Administration hospitals. Teachers pressured to feed test answers to students. These scandals could have been prevented if, early on, people had said no to their higher-ups. In this timely new book, Ira Chaleff goes deeply into when and how to disobey inappropriate orders, reduce unacceptable risk, and find better ways to achieve legitimate goals.The inspiration for the book and its title came from a concept used in guide-dog training.
"good primer for parents"
Henry David Thoreau's classic essay inspired Martin Luther King, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, and many other activists.
"Navel gazing we all need in this political times"
In 1849, 5 years before Henry David Thoreau published Walden, he wrote what has come to be recognized as the philosophic textbook for nonviolent revolution. "I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward," Thoreau wrote. "It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right." Taking as his major premise the idea that "...government is best which governs least," Thoreau asserts that one's first loyalty is to one's own nature.
"What we have forgotten!"
I heartily accept the motto,"That government is best which governs least", and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe,"That government is best which governs not at all", and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.
In 1849, Henry David Thoreau argued in his essay “Civil Disobedience” that people should not allow governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that people have the right to avoid such submission to permit the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was partly motivated by his abhorrence with slavery and the Mexican-American War. His work has inspired great leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Martin Buber.
In the early spring of 1845, Henry David Thoreau built and lived in a cabin near the shore of Walden Pond in rural Massachusetts. For the next two years, he enacted his own Transcendentalist experiment, living a simple life based on self-reliance, individualism, and harmony with nature. The journal he kept at that time evolved into his masterwork, Walden, an eloquent expression of a uniquely American philosophy.
A work by the great Henry David Thoreau, originally published in 1849 as "Resistance to Civil Government". It is an essay in which Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican-American War (1846-1848).
What would the Framers of the Constitution make of multinational corporations? Nuclear weapons? Gay marriage? They led a preindustrial country, much of it dependent on slave labor, huddled on the Atlantic seaboard. The Founders saw society as essentially hierarchical, led naturally by landed gentry like themselves. Yet we still obey their commands, two centuries and one civil war later. According to Louis Michael Seidman, it's time to stop.
An experiment. A declaration. A spiritual awakening. Noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau spent two years, two months, and two days chronicling his near-isolation in a small cabin he built in the woods near Walden Pond, on land owned by his mentor and the father of Transcendentalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Immersing himself in nature and solitude, Thoreau sought to develop a greater understanding of society amidst a life of self-reliance and simplicity. Originally published in 1854, Walden remains one of the most celebrated works in American literature.
Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, is a personal narrative about Thoreau's solitary living experience near Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Starting with the building of his cabin by the pond in 1845, Thoreau recounts his experience away from society and city life. Thoreau spends his time growing beans for money while appreciating the beautiful wilderness around him. Although he lives a solitary life for nearly two years, Thoreau explains that he does not feel as isolated as one might think.
"A Wonderful Classic!"
Civil Disobedience is Henry David Thoreau's argument for the deliberate violation of laws for reasons of conscience. Thoreau's concept is based on the belief that no law should command blind obedience, and that non-cooperation with unjust laws is both morally correct and socially beneficial.
As a young girl, Maggie Rowe took the idea of salvation very seriously. Growing up in a moderately religious household, her fear of eternal damnation turned into a childhood terror that drove her to become an outrageously dedicated born-again Christian - regularly slinging Bible verses in cutthroat scripture memorization competitions and assaulting strangers at shopping malls with the "good news" that they were going to hell.
How shall we live? The answer to this question examines our culture's attitudes toward free time, home and food. Are corporate profits really the measure of success? Are increasingly long work hours productive of happiness and satisfaction? Can we lead lives devoid of spirituality?
In a cramped synagogue in north-west London, the eminent elderly rabbi passes away. On the other side of the Atlantic, his estranged daughter, Ronit, hears of her father's death and returns to London for the funeral. She has not returned home in 15 years. Ronit looks forward to a week or two of revisiting old friends, perhaps settling old scores. But she finds the community she grew up in a more confusing place than she'd anticipated.
"Overall it was ok, I guess... Not really."
Henry Shaw, a high school senior, is about as comfortable with his family as any 17-year-old can be. His father, Kevin, teaches history with a decidedly socialist tinge at the Chicago school Henry and his sister attend. His mother, Beth, who plays the piano in a group specializing in antique music, is a loving, attentive wife and parent. Henry even accepts the offbeat behavior of his 13-year-old sister, Elvira, who is obsessed with Civil War reenactments and insists on dressing in handmade Union uniforms at inopportune times. When he stumbles on his mother's email account, however, Henry realizes that all is not as it seems....
"Thanks, Robert Sean Leonard!"
"Democrats' Sit-In Is a Justified Act of Civil Disobedience" is from the June 23, 2016 Opinion section of The Washington Post. It was written by Thomas E. Mann and narrated by Jenny Hoops.
Narrated by award winning narrator Mike Vendetti, Henry David argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican-American War.