Abmist the years late 1820 Transcendentalism began to spring up and spread like a raging wildfire, sweeping up the world during a time of a heavy emphasis on intellectualism and spirituality; as people were often too comfortable and debatably complacent as innovations and commodities became more commonplace. To be brief the philosophy of transcendentalism was a collection of philosophical ideas borrowed and honed by dozens -if not more- of people who dabbled in “English and German Romanticism” such as Johann Gottfried or David Hume. Yet, we only really hear about the works from transient lists like Henry David Thoreau or Ralph Waldo Emerson. Like all transient list these renowned writers all had similar ideas as to what it means to be a transcendentalist: to emphasize the power of an individual, and emphasis on personal freedom, yet they express an interest in science at the most or at least not oppose the need for sciences, like Henry David Thoreau Who believed most innovations were not exactly necessary for the commoner matter of factly he believed they had no place in “honest men's” lives; more than likely doing nothing more than complicating things.
All of this said my writings will primarily be focused on my all-time favorite work by my favorite transcendentalist, Henry David Thoreau, and his work, “Civil Disobedience”, and the waves it made in civil rights movements and the women's fight for the right to vote.1846 was a year of many, many years of great unrest throughout the United States; with arguments of slavery being the most controversial of topics, or the Mexican-American war -a war that many believed uncle Sam had no place in. And many people including Thoreau himself believed not only were the government's actions unjust but that Americans or more specifically people of all walks of life should be able to stand up to a large institution only to make a change simply. Henry David Thoreau wrote “Civil Disobedience” to argue that citizens must disobey laws that are morally wrong as he believed man’s laws were simply ineffective at making a positive change in society; matter a factly he is often quoted: “That government is best which governs least”.
And I can't help but agree with Thoreau simply because of how often governments around the world simply can not ever come up with any plan of action that will evolve into a positive outcome within a reasonable yet ‘snappy’ amount of time. While many are not in the position to criticize a superpower Thoreau also has been quoted: “Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience?” -as in why does it seem the common sense of decision making always seem to be robbed within these huge parliamentary floors of congress, a very interesting inquire to pose that may say much more about mankind than meets the eye.
Anyhow all of this talk of incompetence boils down to one final quote: “Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.” -This quote is a perfect summation of how he feels about life, government, and personhood, as in only eleven words he is criticizing the institutions we all live under; comparing them to a lifeless automaton, while also saying that we as living people should not fall in a lifeless trap and simply do what pleases you.
A very powerful message to say the least…
Civil disobedience simultaneously criticizes the reader, the system he distastes so strongly, and manages to criticize life itself. In only a short while did this work get the following it deserved -the communist manifesto of conscious minds if you will, and without question did this piece blow me out of the water; as every other sentence I read seemed as if a whimsical old man was teaching me a life lesson of sorts -or in other words David Thoreau wrote in epigram, a pithy saying or remark expressing an idea cleverly and amusingly…
Now cutting back on the dramatics I would highly recommend “Civil Disobedience” to any person who likes to self-reflect or reflect on society itself; wrapping things up “Civil Disobedience” is one of the many famous works that reflected how transcendentalists thought about the world around them, with many people coming to terms with the idea that people live a life of unnecessary complexity. “Simplicity. Simplicity. Simplicity” as David is often quoted to say; if people keep things simple -kept to themselves if you will things would be much more pleasant and could even make a mockery of an ineffective government. That is why I agree with the author so often have complicated things in my life that if I were to have read “Civil Disobedience” maybe I would have made different choices; as I have been living blindly or by rough trial and error. So hopefully anyone who reads this work and the many other works by other trandentlist could expand their horizons and escape the confusion of the world we live in through others' experiences.
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