Civil Disobedience Questions and Answers
by Henry David Thoreau

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According to Thoreau in "Civil Disobedience," what does government actually do to society?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Thoreau's evaluation of government is wholly negative. From a moral standpoint he sees it as a corrupting force. Governments often act in ways that Thoreau considers immoral, such as when they go to war. This is because, in a system of representative democracy such as America's, it's only the will of the majority that matters.

Among other things, this means that the individual is effectively silenced, as his or her opinions can be safely ignored by the powers that be. Individuality is snuffed out in such a system, resulting in a political society where mindless conformity...

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