Civil disobedience is defined as refusal to live according to governmental commands or demands and nonresistance to resultant punishment and arrest. This is usually aimed at influencing government polity or legislation by use of nonviolent methods such as picketing, boycotting, and nonpayment of taxes. According to Thoreau, a civil and justifiable government is that government which allows the citizens to do what is right and not restrict them to follow the law. As the citizens tend to follow the law, they become agents of injustice and the government becomes unjust when it governs by law. The government is therefore an agent of injustice and corruption. People should violate an existing law when the government is unjust. According to Thoreau, the United States is unjust because it supports slavery and its application in aggressive war.
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In the mid 1850s, Thoreau refused to pay his poll tax as a technique of protesting against slavery. Ideologically, he discontinues his association with the government altogether and refused to play any role in the governmental institutions. According to Thoreau, the protest was a way to push for reform from the government. His dissociation from the government was significant because an individual cannot identify the problems of the government while operating within it. Therefore, according to my point of view, Thoreau’s reasons for protest are justified. I can commit civil disobedience against situations like ageism in which citizens are given priority to lead others because they are older irrespective of their leading skills. Susan B. Anthony protesting against female disenfranchisement in 1872 as she illegally voted in the elections of the United States House of Representatives. This is a good example of civil disobedience in the United States.
According to Thoreau, the best form of government is that government which governs least. This form of government can possible happen in my estimation if every individual will be doing what is right and violate the laws for an unjust government so that to push for reform from the government, regarding the issues of injustices. Thoreau considers the government least governance to be the best form of government because it can no longer be perverted and abused so that it fails to represent the will of its people. According to Thoreau, it is due to the character of the American people to settle the West, educate, or to enhance a free country. These achievements would be more successful when the government is less involved.
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