Resistance to Civil Government by Henry David Thoreau - Research Paper Example

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Name Professor Subject Date "Resistance to Civil Government" by Henry David Thoreau Government is the institution responsible for making, executing and implementing laws in a given jurisdiction. All people in a society should be treated equally by the government especially when addressing their issues…
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Resistance to Civil Government by Henry David Thoreau
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"Resistance to Civil Government by Henry David Thoreau"

Download file to see previous pages In this case, the society is responsible for choosing the leaders. The leaders have a responsibility to ensure the people are protected at all times. In this case, the government should only engage in activities that are to the interest of the people and not otherwise. In the case, the government is not doing what it ought to do, the society has the right to disobey the government and even oust that particular government and elect leaders they believe would look after their interests. Thoreau is one of the people who were not afraid to do civil disobedience. He refused to pay taxes to the government because it was involved in activities that do not support the principles of a good government. The American government-supported slavery and was also involved in war with Mexico because of Texas. In Thoreau’s view, the American government was on the wrong. He questioned whether governments really do what they ought to do with the taxes they raise. Do they finance the good or the bad? Supporting oppressing activities like slavery indicated to Thoreau that the American government was probably not doing the right thing and was not using the money well (Thoreau 25). According to him, taxes should not be paid to the national government if they have to be paid. Instead, they should be paid to the local community that would be responsible for the improvement of the infrastructure and amenities in the local region. Thoreau also states that the government should be keen to listen to the people it rules. In the case, issues are raised, the government should communicate back and address the issues raised. Thoreau claimed that there were many people against slavery and Mexican war yet the government did nothing. If the American government was really concerned about Americans and operated as per the philosophy, then it should have listened to the people and stopped slavery and the Mexican War (Thoreau 29). Thoreau was categorical that people should be very careful with their perspectives on the government. He argues that supporting government is a good thing but should only be supported if it democratic and just. On the other hand, supporting a government that is not just or good is in fact, committing a crime. According to Thoreau, unjust government is known to commit many criminals’ activities like slavery in the United States and Mexican war or oppressing the minorities. People supporting unjust government are also involved in criminal activities indirectly. This can make a person to have a heavy burden on the wrong doings and injustices the government does. Thoreau stated that he could not recognize his government which he termed as slave government as it perpetrated slavery. He is categorical that supporting a government does not necessary mean proclaiming allegiance to the government. Rather, it involves supporting the government through taxes. Thoreau questioned whether the government really uses the money for a good course using the Mexican war as an example. Money was spent in the war and it was from the taxes the good citizens of the country had paid. Not supporting the government would be to stop paying taxes, which would otherwise be used for the wrong reasons. Soldiers and other people, that are the machinery to execute the unjust activities, should refuse to work for the government (Thoreau 57). While this has not happened in many countries, some governments have worked to ensure that the interests of the people are addressed accordingly. On the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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