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Analysis on Thoreau's Ideologies

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Analytical Essay By Garett Madu Henry David Thoreau was a man of individualism, and democracy, quoting in an essay entitled Civil Disobedience, "The government that governs best, governs least." The quote shares the idea that man is capable of self-government, and shuns the idea of any over imposing power that may decide what is best for the people, rather then relying on the people themselves to follow the laws laid out. Thoreau shows with the quote the deep belief he has that man is perfectly capable of doing the right thing for the greater good of the nation. Even still, he does not neglect that idea that a higher power is needed in order to keep balance and the people in line, during times of negligence and hardship. ...read more.


A curtain to shade the eyes of the public mass in order to have peace, as well as control. This point alone is the main contributor to the success of democracy, and the fall of communism, dictatorships, and other forms. The quote has us to believe that without too much interference, man woman and child are easily able to follow set lines and laws. Meanwhile, in the streets of today, we have rampant crime, prostitution, trickery, and an overall lack of respect and responsibility to government. The unwillingness to vote works directly against the "freedom" we have to govern, and as such, forces the hand of the government to do what it deems necessary. It's in the time of the Great Depression that one can best realize the flaws of democracy. ...read more.


So too did it fall, and democracy was left again to retain government. Rather then a collective people voting, governing themselves out of poverty, it was a single individual, among council, that brought the country into war, and out of poverty. This fact, opposed to Thoreau's idealism, is what brings doubt to the truthfulness of the quote. Thoreau believed in the idea that each man had the right to self government, and the will and pride to use this responsibility for the betterment of himself and his country. Unfortunately, in an imperfect world, these idealisms are no longer able to function properly, and as such a larger, more imposing power is required to maintain and keep order, while managing to keep the curtain that may be democracy over the eyes of the general public. ...read more.

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