Saturday, October 15, 2011 (10/15/2011) 5:40 P.M.
Henry David Thoreau in his writing titled Civil Disobedience, discusses a multitude of aspects regarding the role of government and that of the individual. In addition, he mentions that there is a lack of consciousness in the military, navy, air force, etc. In America, we have what is known as "the draft" or selective service agreement. One is to register to serve his country (this only applies to men) or otherwise be punished by law.
Thoreau states that "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." (Thoreau, pg. 669)
He continues to argue that "A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is, that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain...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?"
I wholeheartedly agree that there is no price worthy of a single man's life. The risk and burden is simply too much to bear. Life is fragile, precious, and brief. However, there are times, in the midst of conflict, that the time for words has long past and unfortunately, one must lay down his (or her) life to fight in order to bring about peace.
That is no reason to say that the militia is absent-minded or merciless as Thoreau claims them to be. In every man, there is a self-consciousness that although can become severely repressed to the point of being but a murmur in the minds of even the most noble of men, it will always remain present. We are all human beings with our own faults, sins and transgressions. Yet, we are all capable of great potential and of great empathy. I refuse to believe that atrocities such as the Nazi regime and concentration camps were implemented without some serious moral questioning from those in charge.
It is when more than one man, rallies together others of similar or corresponding interests, that person or leader becomes quite powerful. Large groups of people are capable of monumental change (for the better or worse). If for example, a person decides to take more territory, for whatever reason (to increase his or her own resources, to obtain more space, etc.), from his neighbor without negotiation, there will be a zero-sum game. Their neighbor may feel that his or her own land boundaries are being threatened and may at first simply request that the invaders leave. If this warning fails to be heeded, there is a right to defend the territory that has been bestowed upon them and rally others to support him or her on a belief (or perhaps even fear) that their land may be compromised as well. In retaliation from this new defense, the opposition may rally their own party and thus war breaks out. It is more effective when a group is unified and equal that it becomes the most effective. There is a natural instinct to protect one's resources. Unfortunately in this world, people are not inclined to share...
I believe that when one loses their purpose behind the confrontation in the first place, is when one loses his or her consciousness. It is only when all other methods of compromise and negotiation have been exhausted that one should even turn to war. Hate begets hate. In addition, it is when one feels superior to one another that problems arise. Conversely, a feeling of inferiority, may give cause to rises in power. If one feels as though they have more resources and influence compared to another individual, they are more inclined to use their abilities in abusive manners. We have governments to prevent these abuses on a grand scale. If the enforcing entity is unorganized and not unified, it becomes difficult to maintain order and peace.
- Earned Bachelor Degree from the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences (Class of 2013) Major: Political Science Minor: Sociology ------------------- I am your typical nerd/geek/otaku. I like to ride my bike, read, write, and surf the internet. Otaku(noun)(おたく/オタク)- is a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime, manga, and/or video games.