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Thoreau - Essay Example

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Democracy is thought to be the best method of choosing legitimate form of government; and political representation is cherished to be one of its key features. However, according to Thoreau, governments are obviously more harmful than helpful to people as it remains the agent of…
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Download file to see previous pages... Thoreau questions the power of majority stating that the decision of majority does not necessarily ensure superior wit or justice. In the same way, it will be a fallacy if any one thinks that individual choices are inferior to the decision of majority. Regardless of the utmost virtue, governmental decisions are often subjected to the interest of majority groups. Thoreau was influenced by the social conditions in which slavery had been the major characteristic. Yet his convictions are of great relevance today as the modern democracies like the United States, UK, and India have been testing this ‘game of right and wrong’ (voting) for decades. The political settlements in these multicultural nations have become a sort of ‘betting’ as Thoreau envisaged because representation is the inevitable, perhaps the sole strategy for minority groups to negotiate their privileges with majority. It is believed that democratic representation will help control the majority by promoting a win-win atmosphere. Moreover, important decisions could only be taken after detailed discussion and debate. Minority groups are given chances to achieve their goals and to limit the interests of other groups as well.
In contrast, though minority groups and other weaker sections are given constitutional backup for proportional representation in legislation, justice has always been left to the choice of majority. Thoreau suggests that people should not allow government to weaken their conscience. He also states that if any one hold back one’s conscience in favor of law, the person is badly serving the state. Moreover, the power of majority might curtail the freedom and rights of other communities. Therefore, he believes that a wise man can not leave the right to the mercy of chances. Leaving the justice to the choice of majority is highly irresponsible act that can bring ultimate ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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