Thoreau and liberty

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by e_to_the_x, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. For my social philosophy class we had to read Henry David Thoreaus works, and they've really got me thinking. Society is helpful, I realize this, but for the most part its really just a bunch of bullshit that dumbs down our liberty to pursue our interests and develop as people. So therefore to maximise our potential as individuals we must withdraw from society, and only be a part of it when it is convenient for us, as opposed to being a member of society 24/7.

    I realize it's impossible to completely withdraw from society, and I am not suggesting that. Rather I am saying communities infringe upon our liberties and we should minimize our involvement with the community to become freer and improve ourselves.
  2. "...corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience." Thoreau Civil Disobedience

    As Nietzsche said it, "convictions are prisons"

    however complete freedom is also a tragedy, as if we live with no convictions or responsibilities we can no longer survive.

    I like what Lao Tzu has to say

    "throw away holiness and wisdom,
    and people will be a hundred times happier.
    Throw away morality and justice,
    and people will do the right thing.
    Throw away industry and profit,
    and there won't be any thieves."
    -Thoughts from the Tao-te Ching
  3. True liberty and democracy can only be accomplished when the US moves along in small factions instead of trying to accumulate a large portion of people into towns and cities. The bigger the population of a given area, the less likely it is that all will be heard.

    I'm currently reading Walden. I'm not that far into it yet, but I think Thoreau really hits the nail on the head with his portrayal of common society's way of thinking toward a lot of things. The way that the populace gets caught up in classes, money and the media really doesn't leave any room for personal growth. When one is constantly dodging and advancing on the great battlefield that is the hectic life we so non-chalantly attempt to keep pace with our knowledgeable leisures are usually disregarded instead of taking a front seat role in our lives. People are so caught up with what they think they need, that they don't see that what they really need doesn't require nearly half the effort they're putting in to get it.
  4. Exactly man! Not just that but society as a whole rapes the individual of their freedoms and it is thse freedoms by which we can develop ourselves into better people.
  5. Lao Tzu is exactly right and thats a great Thoreau quote
  6. I decided I am going to write my THoreau paper about liberty and what liberty means to thoreau. Basically I think that Thoreau is a libertarian but he is a special kind of libertarian. He thinks as individuals society opresses us and we need to be free from it in order to become better people, but also that we must assure the freedom to develop ourselves as individuals and discover what our true Inner Spirit is. He also thinks we have a right to be entitled to the spoils of our toils.
  7. cool man good luck with the paper

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