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Civil Disobedience / Where will you draw your line?

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posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 08:42 AM
Recently I finished reading a book by one Henry David Thoreau titled "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" (Original title: Resistance to Civil Government) and this essay will draw from, and hopefully expound upon this work. Throughout this work I will attempt to make analogies to our present day government, but bare in mind this book was written in 1849.

It seems many Americans and others around the world (though mostly us Americans) have lost their sense of power over their government. No longer do we feel we have any control whatsoever. No longer do we feel we have government "by the people, for the people".

"Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient."

Our system of government was never intended to harass it's people, and yet here we are.

"The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it." "Witness the present Mexican war, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool; for in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure."

Now remove "Mexican war" and insert "Patriot act", "Iraq/Afghan conflict", "Too big to fail and bailouts at the taxpayers expense", "Warmongering against Iran", "health insurance at the point of a gun" and any number of other treasonous acts our "elected" officials carry out on a daily basis.

Then what is the answer? Do we do away with government entirely and move to anarchy? Certainly in an age where men are not self governed by a system of honor, an elected government is preferable, right?

"But to speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government." "Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it."

This is not intended to allude to party affiliation, but quite literally what system of government.
You see, this is the biggest lie to be propagated to the people: That the people need governing.

"Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator?" "Why has every man a conscience then?" "I think we should be men first, and citizens afterward." "It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as a respect for the right." "The only obligation which I have a right to assume, is to do at any time what I think right."
"Law never made men a whit more just; and by means of their respect for it, even the well disposed are daily made the agents of injustice."

Has our opinion of our own worth been so degraded, so utterly destroyed, that you truly think you have no power over your own destiny? Even though anyone who takes the time to consider it sees the wrong, even still they are not willing to do anything about it. Here's an excerpt that really struck me:

"...when a whole country is unjustly overrun and conquered by a foreign army, and subjected to military law, I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize."
"What makes this duty the more urgent is the fact that the country so overrun is not our own, rather ours is the invading army."

"There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to the war, who yet in effect do nothing to put an end to it; who esteeming themselves children of Washington and Franklin sit down with their hands in their pockets, and say they know not what to do, and so do nothing." [Who] "quietly read the prices-current and the latests advice from Mexico, after dinner it may be, and fall asleep over them both."

But "what is the price-current of an honest man and patriot, today?" Here in these united States, we are a mere four months from our next elections.

~To be cont.~

[edit on 12-7-2010 by blood0fheroes]

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 08:48 AM
Part Two: Voting and You.

Due to the nature of the text, and for the simple minded I make this clarification: When the "right" is spoken of, it is not referring to right vs. left; but right vs. wrong.
As stated above, we are a mere four months from our next big election. How many of you can honestly say to yourself that the people who currently hold office by way of a majority vote, truly have your best interest at heart. Not just your own personal interests, but those of all people in the country, equally. How many do you think are in it for you, and how many are in it for themselves and to further their own personal agendas?

"Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it." "It is only expressing to men feebly you desire that it should prevail." "A wise man will not leave right to the mercy of chance, nor even wish it to prevail through the power of the majority." "There is but little virtue in the actions of masses of men."

So what more can be done past simple voting? That question each of us must answer for ourselves..

"I hear of a convention to be held...for the selection of a candidate for presidency, made up chiefly of editors and men who are politicians by profession; but I think: What is it to any independent, intelligent, and respectable man what decision they may come to?" "Are there not many individuals in the country who do not attend conventions?"

"But no, I find the respectable man has immediately drifted from his position and despairs of his country, when his country has more reason to despair of him." " He forthwith adopts one of the candidates thus selected as the only available one, thus proving he himself is available for any purpose of the demagogue."

Now, it is practically impossible to even get into the debates,or on the ballot, unless you have a "D" or an "R" after your name, because we have the exact situation as in 1849, with the exception that now, our "choices" are always mandated to us!

Insanity it is said, is repeating the same action over and over and expecting a different result. Albert Einstein put it another way: "You cannot solve a problem with the thinking that created the problem. For at least the last hundred years, professional politicians have systematically been screwing us over; "but the next batch will make it all better, they told us so..."

There are a few options in the face of unsuitable candidates then, for any election. You can either not vote, and hold the moral high ground by not "voting for evil"; or you can get up off your keister and run for the same office! Theres an old saying that "those who refuse to participate in politics, are destined to be ruled by their inferiors".

Lets use the latest presidential election for example. President Obama won approximately 65% of the popular vote. Not too shabby, right? Total votes counted were about 131 million. However, there are approximately 229 million adult citizens of an age to vote.
Meaning only 57% of the voting population actually voted. Meaning the president really only received 30% of the popular vote. Wow. How's that for disgusting?

In our last election just about 43% of the voting population for whatever reason made no choice. I know many now, who regret that decision. If we do not care for the choices presented to us, at the very least we owe it to ourselves to do everything in our power, each of us, to ensure that what we see as a suitable candidate is allowed a "fair shake".
If this means writing to or calling people already elected, Do It. If it means gathering an absurd amount of names on a petition (for independents), Do It.
If all other measures fail us, and we still cannot put into an office men and women who will truly have the best interest of all people at heart, we are left with but one more option. The only question is: Where do YOU draw the line, and say enough is enough?

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 01:39 PM
For the record, this is in no way attempting to draw what could be construed as "self incriminating evidence".
Rather, the question posed is intended to provoke thought in the reader, and hopefully action on some level.

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 01:46 PM
So many excellent points in this article. That thing about having a D or an R behind the names...ludicrous and insanity, I agree.

A nation as diverse as America, for example, should have 5-7 parties representing it, not the one we literally have today. Another alternative is no parties. Judge candidates based on their platforms of individual thought, not a party line conceived by people with the need to flock and follow. The fallacy, "a vote for a third or independent party is a wasted vote" has really damaged us here.

I wonder what would happen if nobody voted at all. Meh...we'd probably just be stuck with the same crooked, corrupt, paralyzed Congress for a few more years.

Why people aren't taking steps to REALLY take the country back is beyond me. We are never going to do that if we depend on refreshing the government during "normal election cycles."

Also, if you have any ideas brainstorming types of ideas related to civil disobedience please go post them in my thread, You say you want a revolution (2010)?

[edit on 7/12/2010 by ~Lucidity]

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 01:57 PM
reply to post by ~Lucidity

Why people aren't taking steps to REALLY take the country back is beyond me.

Personally, I feel it has much to do with the average age of voters being between 36 and 50 ish. The reason I say this is because about 40 years ago, an entire generation of young, idealistic people had their dream of a free society squashed by their media, government, and elders. These same people then raised a generation (my generation) of young people who were taught not to dream, and that we were capable of doing anything we had a pre-existing ability for.

By and large, my generation is raising the next with no answers for their questions; aspirationally and inspirationally neutral....and boy do these young folks dream big! (Thank goodness). If we can make it another ten years or so, i think the impact will be a dramatic one.

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 07:45 AM
reply to post by blood0fheroes

Henry David Thoreau, another jack in your box.
Look, he's just popped out again.
Truth is timeless.
Light is eternal.

Everything, is a work in 'progress'.
It is time to progress.
You know what to do.
Just speak the truth.

There has never been a reason to fear what is.
If the above sounds like preaching, it could just be a weak signal.
Folks are slowly awakening to themselves.
The reality thrust 'upon' them.

Oh, I usually don't talk this way in public.
They'd probably think I was strange.
Society itself is 'strange', or rather a freak of nature, units of the whole are estranged from their own nature. More like and unstable compound.
It's like watching a flower wilt before it could receive the light.

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 06:32 PM
reply to post by blood0fheroes

Lets use the latest presidential election for example. President Obama won approximately 65% of the popular vote. Not too shabby, right? Total votes counted were about 131 million. However, there are approximately 229 million adult citizens of an age to vote. Meaning only 57% of the voting population actually voted. Meaning the president really only received 30% of the popular vote. Wow. How's that for disgusting?

I am not sure which part of your statement you are describing as disgusting but you have already pretty much stated that voting is not a solution to our problem so even if 100% of the adult population had voted we would still be in the same situation.

We are never given any real choice at the big elections; the candidates have already been chosen and prepped for deceit. Voting is a choice of illusion.

Unfortunately everybody can’t run for office and even if they would normally remain honest and loyal to their voters any new kids on the Hill will quickly be eaten alive by the old guard.

It is like sending a young, attractive, kid with a minor offense to prison. They will either have to play the game, become someone’s catamite, or they could just meet with an unfortunate accident.

The slate has to be wiped clean.

Unless those on the Hill that are so entrenched in their positions that they have come to feel entitled and semi-royalty are removed from office we are urinating in the ocean.

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 08:34 PM
reply to post by NightSkyeB4Dawn

I am not sure which part of your statement you are describing as disgusting but you have already pretty much stated that voting is not a solution to our problem so even if 100% of the adult population had voted we would still be in the same situation.

The part I found disgusting, is that barely half the population even tried to do anything for their future, and, while I do agree that the outcome (regardless of who won the election) would have most likely been the same; until at least a sizable majority of people have made their voice heard through conventional means, what place do we have to even attempt to affect change through....unconventional means?

The slate has to be wiped clean.

Before this, though, we must exhaust ever possible option for redress.

[edit on 13-7-2010 by blood0fheroes]

posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 03:17 AM
reply to post by blood0fheroes

I like your view of politics. But I see politics and voting as pacification. I spent many a year and put in many hours fighting the man both professionally and as a hobby. Politically, all I found were dead ends.

I realized that to be uber-political and fight the good fight meant that other people were against me, automatically. To take sides is to immediately polarize against the other side. Besides what is the end result of all this fighting? To pass a law which means that the other side now has to fight YOU to get the change? Politics is like endlessly trading the advantage in tennis. The two sides are busy trying but no one ever wins. The point of politics is pacification of our anger at society. They accomplish this through the "teaming up" of Democrat vs Republican.

We see politics, not as a way to debate and further humanity, but as a way to get our team to win. Politics is not a game, it is a gift. Your fore-fathers handed you all the power in the world. Voting for the same super rich candidates, who are often millionaires living hundreds of miles away in Washington DC, does nothing to benefit you or I or anyone.

If we really cared about politics we would find out how much each candidate is worth monetarily. Obviously these people are a whole lot richer than the rest of us. How can we take their promises seriously? Everyone in the world knows that politics is run by money and greed so why do we perpetuate a system we all know to be corrupt? Answer: no better choices.

Take religion for example, society's previous version of us vs them. We've become better educated and the world's religious texts are available to nearly everyone in the Western, modern countries. Because of the democratization of information and tolerance, we are free to choose a spirituality that fits our own personal needs. Right now religion is in the transition phase from collective obligation to individual participation.

We take more pride in our views and personalize them, in religion and politics especially. So why choose to box yourself into a Democrat or Republican title when candidates from both parties are way richer than us, live hundreds of miles away and who we've never even spoken to personally? Politics needs to become personal and truly a choice the way religion has become a personal choice.

Politics makes no sense right now. We need a guillotine to make politics right again. We need our leaders to fear us. Our obedience is underrated. Its expected. To vote is to throw yourself to the hungry dogs of politics. If politics could really change things it would be illegal just like burning the flag is illegal, just like marching up to the White House is illegal, just like talking about violent revolution is illegal. Politics, free from money and its demands, is a gift. The way we run politics now is a shame and a prison

Politics is an acceptable outlet because it has no real power. Write your Congressman? Are you kidding me? Politics polarizes us creating an us vs them situation. We become divided thus easier to conquer. Religion, nationality, gender and race are the defeated divisions that our leaders used against us. We rose above those divisions. To rise above the political divisions we must realize how politics functions for our hidden cabal of economic shepherds.

[edit on 14-7-2010 by doctornamtab]

posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 08:00 AM
reply to post by doctornamtab

I agree. I do not think that this simple effort would fix our current situation. I think it would be a definitive milestone. Some people are not, and never will be, ready to leave their cave. Others need only be shown the fire....

However, my own personal morality dictates that all peaceable options must be exhausted before anything else can take place. While we exhaust these options, more and more people can become aware of the true slavery we have, and just what are the chains that bind us.

If I fight a war of words and change one heart or mind to my cause - even if injustice prevails - then I say the fight is mine.

In closing I look to Mr. Orwell: "If there is any hope, it lies in the proles."

[edit on 14-7-2010 by blood0fheroes]

[edit on 14-7-2010 by blood0fheroes]

posted on Aug, 6 2015 @ 08:48 PM
So..five years later, here we are. The first republican debates are on tv live right now. Good god how did we reach this point?
As a nation we are a mere hairs breadth from totalitarianism, yet I am bewildered that most people that I have talked to seem to believe that these facetious arguments (by either party) have any merit whatsoever..
Every single candidate is completely repugnant, utterly despicable, morally corrupt, and completely obvious of these traits....Maybe it is the rum talking, perhaps it is that I am now retired from the army and find my voice unfettered for the first time in a very, very long time...
But isn't it about time for some civil disobedience?!?!?

posted on Aug, 6 2015 @ 09:26 PM
LOL, write your congressman. Why don't I just punch this for awhile, for all the good that would do me:

Not voting IS an act of protest. Short of armed revolt, its about all we got right now.

I am a fan of Thoreau, and have quoted that essay hundreds of times on ATS.

posted on Aug, 7 2015 @ 08:35 AM
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

Indeed good sir. Now that it's morning again, and I am once again sober; I find myself thinking of Brewsters Millions, and the "none of the above" campaign...pretty sure thats what my rum-befuddled mind had in mind last night.

I believe that not voting as a protest could be just as effective as voting, if done in large enough numbers.

Funny thing is now that I no longer need be covert in political activism, it seems more and more that we as a country have almost reached the apex, and are fast approaching the downhill ride from which we must begin again..the more I notice the boulder teetering at the edge the more I wish nothing more than to stay on my little east Texas farm and let it all roll on past...local governments may stay intact, perhaps even at the state level.

Failing some false flag to expedite the process I don't see our collection of States lasting more than another 10 years.

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