Henry David Thoreau : Civil Disobedience

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“That government is best which governs least,” this is a quote from Henry David Thoreau from his well-known book called Civil Disobedience (Baym, Levine ,2012). His famous book was written after he was jailed for a night for refusing to pay a tax. However, the following day his relatives paid the tax without his knowledge and this inspired his book Civil Disobedience. Though Henry David Thoreau is also known for being a poet, practical philosopher and his two-year project at Walden pond near Concord, Massachusetts (“Henry David Thoreau,” 2014). His project consisted of him leaving behind the influence of society and living a minimalist lifestyle for two years. In his book, Walden, or Life in the Woods, in the economy portion he illustrates the benefits of living a simplified lifestyle. Thoreau also describes his project as an act of self-reliance and practicing his faith as a Transcendentalist. As well as, Thoreau believes in minimizing one’s needs to four necessities which is food, shelter, clothing and fuel, all four of these are readily found in nature. Furthermore, Thoreau argues his view on the benefits of a simplified lifestyle, self-reliance, and his necessities can be found in nature. Additionally, Thoreau asserts that excess possessions oppresses people spiritually with worry and requires excess labor to purchase a consumer good. As the society continues to indulge in buying consumer goods people feel as though they need to own things, this need forces them to
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