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1 Does Henry Thoreau want a revolution Would his new government based on his ideas set forth in Civil Disobedience be compatible with democracy In Civil Disobedience and Other Essays Thoreau declared that the American government is a sort of wooden gun to the people themselves and if ever they should use it in earnest as a real one against each other it will surely split 1 causing him to conclude that the best government is the government that governs the least because government rarely proves useful or expedient While Thoreau realized that the American government is necessary the only time in which it has been useful is when the government has stood aside knowing that the government is often abused so that it no longer represents the will of the people In addition the decision-making process incensed Thoreau He saw that there was a majority rule system in place and that when a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice 2 Thoreau avowed every mans right of revolution and refusal of allegiance to the government He exercised this right when the State commanded him to pay a duty for the clergyman When Thoreau refused he was incarcerated Later in a poem he wrote Thoreau said that if thousands of people were to stop paying their taxes they would bring about a revolution Thoreau feels that by paying taxes he is giving the government an affectation that he pledges his allegiance to them However In Civil Disobedience Thoreau discerned that some friction an unjust law is necessary for the machine the government to function properly and that people must allow some unjust laws Nevertheless once the unjust law proliferates to the size that slavery was at it was time to jettison the machine This form of government seems at odds with democracy Thoreau is avidly against democracy a system predicated on the philosophy of majority rule He believes
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