Henry David Thoreau: Libertarian, Individualist, Ecophile, Rebel

Born today : Henry David Thoreau

Who once into the woods did go

And lived there Spring, Fall, Winter, Summer.

And  simply marched to his own drummer.*

* Some of his beats of wisdom:

1. "Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves."

2."The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."

3. "Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify."

4. "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

5. "Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its finishing hand."

6. "A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone."

7. "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

8. "I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion."

9."The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation."

10. "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I come to die, discover that I had not lived."


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  • I've always been on the fence with Thoreau, excellent prose obviously, but it's always easier to walk a tightrope above a net than a chasm.

    I would think progressives would have a cautious eye towards HDT, as his essay's on civil disobedience would be a 'doubled edged sword'. Thoreau's treatise worked well for men like MLK and Ghandi, but If one were use the same reasoning towards the current administration's control, they would be considered a heritic or a 'right-wing-nut-job'.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    One thing for sure, Thoreau would be totally against fracking and the use of drones and big government eavesdropping on phone calls and e-mails.

    As for your analogy, I've never been a fan of the Wallendas.

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