Henry David Thoreau's basis for objecting to the government was very well thought-out, as he details three main tenets in opposing an unjust government. He starts out by stating the individual duties each person has as a mere citizen, as a good neighbor. Things such as maintaining your humanity and conscience are key, he says. Then, he outlines what people should do in response to government injustices, mainly in the form of civil disobedience and not partaking in unjust government practices. Finally, Thoreau speaks about his own experiences with civil disobedience and what he has seen of it.
Speaking about his time in jail, he talks about how he has tried to follow his own moral code instead. Overall, he stresses much importance on the individual and individual action, and the effect of immediate action from the minority. Therefore, Thoreau's main point in Civil Disobedience is for the individual to immediately do what he thinks is right in a moral sense, even if it involves opposing the government. Thefirst part of his essay details what duties people have as good neighbors, not just as mere objects of the government.
People should not resign their consciences over to the government he says, as others cannot be trusted with one's conscience. The majority conscience should not always be followed either, as it only expresses the desires of the strongest group, not the most virtuous or morally correct. And since that is what the government does, Thoreau is opposed to it. However, instead of demanding no government whatsoever, he wants a better one immediately. One that "governs least", and is not constantly pestering its citizens and changing their mindsets.
Instead of following only the law and nothing else, which is what the government makes some people do, it robs people of their humanity and turns them into mere machines. One example of this type of person is the soldier, who uses no moral influence in…