Happy Birthday, Thoreau

  1. Thoreau was born this day in in 1817
    Oof that neckbeard though.
  2. I'd be very surprised if you haven't heard of him, but just in case you haven't: he was an influential transcendentalist author, philosopher, abolitionist, and naturalist.
  3. Walden is his best known work, reflecting on the two years, two months, and two days he spent living in a cabin he constructed himself at Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts.
    A recreation, not the original. The site of the original is now represented by a pile of stones.
  4. His essay Civil Disobedience asserts that government is inherently corrupt and lacks humanity, more interested in commerce than well being, and that paying taxes which support injustices makes one guilty of collaboration with injustice.
  5. During his time, the war with Mexico and slavery were the two greatest injustices he saw and he believed funding a government that supported these contradicted one's belief in ending them.
  6. He was basically an anarchist that lived in the woods, but slightly less crazy than the Unabomber.
    Not a modern-day Thoreau, just a guy afraid of technology and brainwashed by the CIA.
  7. "That government is best which governs not at all; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. "
    He's slightly radical.
  8. That being said, he encouraged abolitionists to not pay taxes, and for others to live simply to minimize what the state could take from them as payment.
  9. It's an interesting juxtaposition to people who don't like paying taxes today, simply because they disagree with welfare dollars or other public programs.
  10. There's plenty of things out there to read on him, so I'll let you find more on your own, but I do strongly encourage you to go to Walden if you find yourself in the area.