Essay Of Civil Disobedience
Here in Massachusetts, there are merchants and farmers who go along with government policy because they are more interested in making money than in doing justice to fellow human beings. Too many of them sit back and allow others to carry out this task for them.By failing to act to initiate reform I believe that those who support abolition of slavery should immediately withdraw their support of the Massachusetts government rather than wait and go through channels.If they have God on their side, they have reason enough to act at once without official approval.If even only one honest man would stand on principle and be willing to go to jail for his action, we could abolish slavery in America.This campaign earned him the title of Father of India" and a lasting place in history as one of the 20th Centurys greatest leaders. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his successful nonviolent campaign in the 1960's to achieve civil rights for black Americans.In his autobiography, King wrote, No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea [passive resistance to injustice] across than Henry David Thoreau.Unfortunately, factions of powerful self-interest groups sometimes manipulate the government into carrying out actions that offend the conscience of upright citizens. It is an unjust war that seeks to annex Mexican land and then establish slavery on it.
One may liken this inborn knowledge to conscience or intuition.As a result of his writings and personal witness, we are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest."Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Mass., on July 12, 1817.After graduating from Harvard University in 1837, he taught school but quit after a few weeks, then worked for a short while for his father, a pencil-maker.In May 1849, it was published under the title "Resistance to Civil Government" in Aesthetic Papers, a short-lived journal of transcendentalist Elizabeth Peabody (1804-1894).In 1866, four years after Thoreau's death, the essay was published under its permanent title, "Civil Disobedience," in a Thoreau collection entitled A Yankee in Canada, with Anti-Slavery and Reform Papers.They should even be willing to go to jail rather than yield to immoral or unethical government laws and activities.Thoreau believed every human being has inborn knowledge that enables him to recognize and understand moral truth without benefit of knowledge obtained through the physical senses.Using ideas promoted in Hindu and Christian philosophy, as well as tactics espoused by Thoreau and Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, Gandhi led a successful campaign of passive resistance in South Africa between 18 to obtain civil rights for immigrants from India.But rather than terming his philosophy of peaceful agitation either civil disobedience or passive resistance, he called it satyagraha (pronounced SAHT ya GRUH ha), a Hindi (Indo-Aryan language) word via sanskrit (old Indo-European language).This word means grasping for truth" or attachment to truth." In effect, this philosophy asked its followers to endure suffering, instead of causing it, to achieve its aims.After World War I, Gandhi returned to his native India to lead a movement against British rule of that country, enlisting millions of supporters in a nonviolent movement that resulted in Indian independence.