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The following is an excerpt from Henry David Thoreau's "On The Duty of Civil Disobedience." From reading this essay, I was prompted to change the course of my life. I recommend, no matter what your political persuasion, that you read the essay in it's entirety (try the link provided) and think about the ideas discussed by the author...
The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgement or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others--as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders--serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as the rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few--as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men--serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it. A wise man will only be useful as a man, and will not submit to be "clay," and "stop a hole to keep the wind away," but leave that office to his dust at least...
-------------------- To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.' Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence. Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains. Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.
Re: Serving the State [Re: Evolving] #1419743 - 03/31/03 01:39 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)
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