The essence of Henry Thoreau’s essay, Civil Disobedience, is that the USFG is an artificial institution that commits to an unprecedented

immorality shown through the poor treatment of Mexico, the action of slavery in the South, and the poor treatment of its citizens Smith 2011 (Nicole Smith is an author for Article Myriad. “Analysis and Summary of “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau”.
Date made December 11, 2011. Date retrieved October 19, 2012.

In his essay “Civil Disobedience,” Henry David Thoreau opens by saying, “I heartily accept the motto, ‘That government is best which governs least’” ( ), and then clarifies that his true belief is “‘That government is best which governs not at all’” ( ). In Civil Disobedience, Thoreau evaluates the federal government critically, contending that it is an artificial institution created by the powerful while acknowledging that it is believed to serve a purpose and is likely to remain a feature of American life. Given these circumstances, in his essay on civil disobedience Thoreau encourages, in one of the important quotes from “Civil Disobedience” by Thoreau that, “every man make known what kind of government would command his respect *as+ one step toward obtaining it” ( ). Civil disobedience is the strategy for articulating one’s beliefs. As this thesis statement for “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau suggests, the author defines the act of civil disobedience by explaining the thoughts and emotions that should guide it, and these include having a sense of rightness and moral conscience. A number of social as well as historical conditions provoked Thoreau’s thought and resulting essay on the subject of civil disobedience. One of the factors that influenced Thoreau to consider civil disobedience as a method of resistance was the poor treatment of Mexico by the United States. In ”Civil Disobedience” Thoreau is also disturbed by the way that the United States fails to take care of vulnerable people and why it embraces Christian ideals of sacrifice but “excommunicates Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce*s+ Washington and Franklin rebels” ( ). Still more alarming to Thoreau in “Civil Disobedience” Thoreau, however, was the institution of slavery in the South; Thoreau declared in one of the important quotes from “Civil Disobedience” “I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave’s government also” ( ). In fact, the practice of slavery in the United States is the single most hypocritical aspect of the government as far as Thoreau is concerned. He remarks in one of these particularly succinct quotes from “Civil Disobedience”: “*W+hen a sixth of the population…has undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves… I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize” ( ).

but each instant losing some of its integrity? It has not the vitality and force of a single living man. a majority are permitted. I ask for.(3) would never manage to bounce over the obstacles which legislators are continually putting in their way. Can there not be a government . but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. but most governments are usually. The people of the United States are a standing army. the people would not have consented to this measure. This American government—what is it but a tradition. Trade and commerce. not at once no government. 1849 I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto. It is a sort of wooden gun to the people themselves. is not because they are most likely to be in the right. and that will be one step toward obtaining it. and for a long period continue. Witness the present Mexican war. it finally amounts to this. the practical reason why. when it is most expedient. the standing army as a tool for its own use. for a single man can bend it to his will.—"That government is best which governs least". and. For government is an expedient by which men would fain succeed in letting one another alone. We are simply used by the government for whatever purposes like machines and we are stripped of our ability to make moral decisions. nor because this seems fairest to the minority. they would deserve to be classed and punished with those mischievous persons who put obstructions on the railroads. as has been said. when the power is once in the hands of the people.—"That government is best which governs not at all". to speak practically and as a citizen. is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity. that will be the kind of government which they will have. and it would have done somewhat more. which also I believe. The objections which have been brought against a standing army. Civil Disobedience. It is excellent. for their own advantage. and deserve to prevail. and not partly by their intentions.(1) and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. for the people must have some complicated machinery or other. if one were to judge these men wholly by the effects of their actions. and all governments are sometimes. to rule. The government itself. even as far as men understand it. But it is not the less necessary for this. allowing a government that is corrupt destroys those who are truly good and seek morality. Governments show thus how successfully men can be imposed on. for. if the government had not sometimes got in its way. which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will. After all. Henry David Thoreau. Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise. and when men are prepared for it. and hear its din. even impose on themselves. in the outset. Carried out. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished. we must all allow. unlike those who call themselves no-government men. Government is at best but an expedient. and. may also at last be brought against a standing government.(2) the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool. the governed are most let alone by it. but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect. But a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice. and by extension. if they were not made of India rubber. It does not settle the West. though a recent one. But. And. It does not keep the country free. inexpedient.In Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. to satisfy that idea of government which they have. and they are many and weighty. but because they are physically the strongest. he imparts on the reader the notion that the best government is that which governs least. He goes on to state that the government is corrupt before the people can use it to their benefit and that the concept of democracy is nullified because the government allows a small group of people using the standing government.

at the service of some unscrupulous man in power? Visit the Navy Yard.” Date made July 30. A wise man will only be useful as a man. but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience. constables.” Eight Yemeni civilians were killed as a result of U. he neglects to mention the only obvious moral choice: not using violence at all. not a funeral note. captain. and produces a palpitation of the heart. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law. patriots. reformers in the great sense. Shane writes. powder-monkeys. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned. is hampered by secrecy and wildly varying casualty reports.(5) etc. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. martyrs. against their wills. but conscience?—in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment. However.S. with their bodies. as they rarely make any moral distinctions. May 15. as one may say. 2012. corporal.S. they are as likely to serve the devil. and all.2882436#. and behold a marine. they are all peaceably inclined.” He questions the widely held assumption that since drones are a more precise. lawyers. as God. colonel. Al .S. Now. or such as it can make a man with its black arts—a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity.depauliaonline. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience. ay. and already. and. a man laid out alive and standing. and the militia. which has become the world’s unwilling test ground for the new weapon. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt."(6) but leave that office to his dust at least:— An example of modern immorality of the government comes from its drone attacks on the innocent people of Yemen Lydon 2012 (Timothy Lydon is an editor for The which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines. as heroes. politicians. resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience. Law never made men a whit more just. drone strikes. 2012. buried under arms with funeral accompaniments. “U. and office-holders. “Any analysis of actual results from the Central Intelligence Agency strikes in Pakistan. though it may be "Not a drum was heard. jailers. so much as for the right. privates. Others. efficient way to target terrorists they are morally superior to other forms of warfare that kill more civilians."(4) The mass of men serve the state thus. ministers. but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones. by means of their respect for then? I think that we should be men first. without intending it. serve the state chiefly with their heads. Foreign Policy is immoral. It is impossible to know how many civilians are routinely killed by drone attacks. A very few. A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is. which makes it very steep marching indeed." and "stop a hole to keep the wind away. national security reporter Scott Shane wrote an article titled “The Moral Case for Drones. that you may see a file of soldiers. and subjects afterward. and they are commonly treated as enemies by it. The murder of these civilians will be justified by the U. such a man as an American government can make. They are the standing army. or in the least degree. marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars. even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice. serve the state with their consciences also. and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. government like this: Al Qaeda is an enemy of the United States.UIIhVfVQjAG) In the July 15 edition of The New York Times. and so necessarily resist it for the most part. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. Date retrieved October 20. as most legislators. not as men mainly. http://www. but as machines. and. against their common sense and consciences. and men. As his corpse to the rampart we hurried. and will not submit to be "clay. Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot O'er the grave where our hero we buried. posse comitatus. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense.

A convicted criminal is issued a prison identification number. Dehumanization allows the public to override their natural aversions to conflict by perceiving their enemies as inhuman. Conversely. whatever they may be. In May 2007. Dehumanization often begins with the removal of personal identification. race. Using more clinical terms. Thus. Dehumanization tactics also tap into a person's innate prejudices. for example. We dehumanize those who we perceive to be different in an effort to justify our violence. One such method of public manipulation is called dehumanization. Pollick 2003 (Michael Pollick is a part time writer for WISEgeek.wisegeek. It is far easier to justify the annihilation of a caricature than an actual race or religion. the impact is twofold. Methuselah Foundation. The enemy forces are often described as extremists. Founded the Immorality Institute. However. Therefore Yemen (and anyone who lives in Yemen) is fair game. Convincing an average citizen to commit a violent act or to murder a fellow human being is extremely difficult. such as by creating the character of the "Muslim extremist" or the "Jewish threat". worked for the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence. As far as we know the only is plan is to bomb Al Qaeda from one country to the and is currently Fundraising Director for the Lifeboat Foundation. Another example of dehumanization in action occurs during media coverage of wars or conflicts. he owns the blog. details of the convicted prisoner's crime are often given more media attention than details of his or her personal life before the . conventional moral and ethical codes concerning the treatment of others are often challenged. Political leaders often seek out methods to override their citizens' objections in order to gain support for their cause. Our moral code tells us that such acts are immoral and indefensible. 2012. Viewing the enemy as a human being may compromise a soldier's ability to interrogate him or her later. rarely use the words baby or child in their literature. “What is Dehumanization?” Date made 2003. leaders throughout history have succeeded in doing just that. such as fetus. Accelerating Future. Dehumanization methods can also be seen in other controversial areas. could be seen as an effort to dehumanize an important element of the issue. Michael also serves as a director of the World Transhumanist Association. In the case of capital punishment. we dehumanize ourselves as part of an unidentifiable mass known as the standing army.Qaeda happens to be in Yemen. By supporting the Federal government in their actions. for example. through the skillful use of dehumanization. Dehumanization as a propaganda tool can work both ways. Once the enemy has been stripped of humanity and becomes an object worthy of punishment. Dehumanization is the deliberate removal of sympathetic human traits when referring to members of an opposing ideology.htm#) During times of conflict or war. This willfully immoral rationale does nothing to address the root causes of terrorism. Those who support the rights of women to seek abortions. and we dehumanize others through our actions in war. political party or other source of conflict. This form of dehumanization allows the guards and other authorities to maintain an impersonal relationship with inmates. http://www. Our ability to justify killing in other countries or in our own makes us into immoral monstrosities that continuously seek violence. while friendly forces are described as troops or freedom fighters. or attempt in any way to reach some sort of conflict resolution. Michael was profiled for Psychology Today magazine. Date retrieved October 20. pro-life supporters may use dehumanization methods to reduce the staff members of a health clinic to uncaring baby killers. This practice of dehumanization is also used by military prisons to maintain a feeling of superiority over captured enemy Adolf Hitler's references to Jews as 'vermin' or 'rats' is one example of dehumanization in action. the idea of mistreating or even destroying this threat becomes morally justifiable. for instance. Dehumanization is an effective propaganda tool when used skillfully. rebels or terrorists.

articlemyriad. Dehumanization succeeds when average people with average morals and ethical principles no longer see the person behind the label. that civil disobedience is.S. Thus. but to not abolish it entirely Smith 2011 (Nicole Smith is an author for Article Myriad.” saying they “undermine respect for the rule of law and international legal protections. estimated at just 2%. 1997 (Berube. this entire resultant worldview smacks of eugenics and Nazi racial science. we hope to change the government.” 1997.S. Desk from Illinois on Sunday. so Americans can see what the true reality of the policy is. drone strikes is extremely low.S. “US drone strike policy is immoral: Analysis. Current US policy in other countries has been increasingly immoral. The rest of casualties have been civilians or “low-level fighters” with no significance to the United States.S. Date made December 11. University of South Carolina. Date retrieved October 20.htm. It is important to point out. David. as its name suggests. foreign policy at Huffington Post. Naiman edits the Just Foreign Policy daily news summary and writes on U. Date retrieved October 19. He has masters degrees in economics and mathematics from the University of Illinois and has studied and worked in the Middle East. Naiman has worked as a policy analyst and researcher at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. officials have given a misleading impression that it’s all about hitting top level terrorist leaders. it is relatively easy to permit the execution to especially the drone strikes. and one he deems more important still.) Assuming we are able to predict who or what are optimized This is just another example of the government’s corruption and ability to dehumanize Naiman 2012 (Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy.html) An American foreign policy analyst has described U.S. Mr.” Date made October 1 2012. http://www. achieved by not obeying laws he considers to be hypocritical. Another act. though. Citing a recent study by the Stanford and New York University law schools. One act of civil disobedience may be not paying taxes. He defines civil disobedience as an act of willful resistance. “Analysis and Summary of “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau”.” saying that he is joining a delegation of activists who are travelling to Pakistan this week to reveal the true reality of the policy to Americans. 2012. any safer.” Naiman said.cas. http://www. our alternative is to commit to civil disobedience and disallow the federal government to gain more power by doing the plan. “Nanotechnological Prolongevity: The Down Thoreau considers civil disobedience a moral and social duty of American citizens. Moreover. there . As long as the public continues to view the Death Row inmate as an inhuman monster. This would involve valuing people as means. is to avoid colluding with the government by refusing to play an active role in it. Professor. The law schools’ study slammed the targeted killing practices as “counterproductive. he He is president of the board of Truthout.” Policy Director of Just Foreign Policy Robert Naiman told Press TV’s U. It does not involve taking up arms or using any other methods of violence to achieve its ends. “Drone strike policy is immoral. “This drone strike policy… for the majority of Americans is a black box and I want to help open the black box. Naiman said that the number of “high level” militants killed as a percentage of total casualties of U. 2011. By doing what is our duty as American citizens. peaceful. Most Americans don’t know what drone strike policy actually is because U. English.S. http://www. Dehumanization outweighs all other impacts Berube. 2012. assassination drone attacks in other countries as “immoral.” It also questioned whether the strikes have been effective in making the U.

they become dispensable. and international genocide.would always be a superhuman more super than the current ones. This means-ends dispute is at the core of Montagu and Matson's treatise on the dehumanization of humanity. 1983. .. When people are dispensable.. any and every atrocity can be justified. it is safe to conclude the foundations of humanness offer great opportunities which would be foregone. they seem to be inevitable for every epoch has evil and dehumanization is evil's most powerful weapon.. or natural calamity on record -.. (Montagu & Matson. For that reason this sickness of the soul might well be called the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse. When people become things. plague.and its potential danger to the quality of life and the fabric of civilized society is beyond calculation.. in the cuckoo's next of America. While it may never be possible to quantify the impact dehumanizing ethics may have had on humanity. They warn: "its destructive toll is already greater than that of any war. Dehumanization is nuclear war. Behind the genocide of the holocaust lay a dehumanized thought. p. xi-xii)... beneath the menticide of deviants and dissidents. environmental apocalypse. Once justified. we approach a nearly inestimable value greater than any tools which we can currently use to measure it. When we calculate the actual losses and the virtual benefits. lies a dehumanized image of man. famine. humans would never be able to escape their treatment as means to an always further and distant end.

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