Friday, August 31, 2012

Food for American Reflection from Henry David Thoreau

"A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned; they are all peaceably inclined.

Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power? The mass of men serve the State thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies.... In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well." - Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience


Noor said...

thank you Connie for this passage. You know, this point was also made by our writer, Naseem Hijazi. One of his protagonist says somewhat same thing when forced to join Army. Wow. Just wow!

robert said...


Thank you Connie for this post. Very good points.

All good wishes,


CN said...

Noor and Robert,
I do so appreciate you coming by with words of encouragement. Noor, thanx for letting me know about your writer,
Naseem Hijazi. Let me know if there's an english passage.