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Friday, January 11, 2013

Essay on Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience

Essay on Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience

For Thoreau, a good leader is somebody is somebody who will not be corrupted even if he is part of the government. Thoreau expressed his disappointment and lack of trust in the government because it does not really address the needs of the people. He thought that the government was useless and the people holding positions on it were simply agents of corruption (Bingham 28). Thus, he wanted the government to be abolished because it gives people false hopes that their needs can be met and their lives can improve for as long as they trust it. The government simply breaks the hearts and hopes of the people.

A good leader for Thoreau is somebody who can resist the temptation of being corrupt. Thoreau already presumed that government leaders are all unethical because the very institution where they are working is corrupt already. However, if government leaders can hold on to their moral standards and ethical beliefs, they can avoid being corrupted. They will be able to do their important roles and responsibilities to the people and make them satisfied by fulfilling their needs. A good leader for Thoreau is somebody who knows what is right and wrong, somebody who will always do what is right regardless of the consequences or difficulties that could be encountered (Turner 61). A good leader is the epitome of how a public servant must be. This person must be emulated because even if there is massive corruption in the surroundings, the good leader does not get fazed and continues to pursue the right path. The good leader is willing to make important sacrifices so that the needs of the people can be met. Because of the massive corruption in the government, the good leader will surely stand out from the rest because he is not doing the illegal activities that most people in the government are doing.

When power is in the hands of the people, the injustices in society will finally end. This is because the government does not exist anymore which is very corrupt and self-serving. In a government setup, the people elect those who will represent for their needs and aspirations. However, because of corruption and lack of moral standards, they usually fail to deliver on the promises that they gave to the people who elected them. They only make themselves richer and more powerful while in government service, while the people in society struggle to make ends meet.

However, if the situation is reversed and the people are given the power to rule, they will experience freedom and satisfaction as they already have the power to act on their problems and improve their lives. They do not have to wait anymore for the people in the government to address their needs and concerns (Thoreau 39). The people themselves will find ways to resolve their problems and blame themselves if they are not able to get the job done. In this situation, the pressure is now on the people to help themselves as there is no government that they can rely on for support. The people will be prepared to work hard and achieve their goals so that their lives can be better in the long run. They will not experience disappointments anymore over failed hopes and expectations that the people whom they voted were not able to deliver on their promises. The only thing that can stop the people is themselves and their fears, so this is the best position or situation that a society can ever achieve. However, because people also have different wants and needs, Thoreau believes that there is also a possibility of chaos and disorderliness to happen as people become greedier and resource become scarce.
Bingham, Shawn. 2008. Thoreau and the Sociological Imagination. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield
Thoreau, Henry. 2012. Civil Disobedience. Raleigh, NC: Hayes Barton Press
Turner, Jack. 2010. A Political Companion to Henry David Thoreau. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky

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