Seeing the Round Corners

HEADS UP, the new day for Seeing the Round Corners “GOING LIVE” is Tuesday each week.

July 21, 2020

Today’s news does not happen without coverage of demonstrations all across the country. The media has brought the civil rights movement into the 21st Century, but the younger generation seems to believe that violence such as destruction of property owned by hardworking individuals will bring about change.

When individuals have worked their entire lives to build a business, only to have it destroyed by demonstrators, how can they have any compassion? Dr. Martin Luther King did not believe in nor did he advocate violence. Destroying one’s livelihood is not the way to solve the problems that still exist here in the 21sr Century. 

Former President Barack Obama did not measure up to many African-Americas as the “first black President of the United States.” Most would only have been happy had he been more openly biased.

With all the demonstrations throughout the country, a column from this writer’s archives on Civil Disobedience (July 26, 2010) seems appropriate.


Civil Disobedience . . .           July 26, 2010 

Henry D. Thoreau will most likely forever be known for the term “civil disobedience.”                               Most great writings or memorable ones are written or triggered as a result of events, but with the passage of time, that momentum falls by the wayside.

Often ignored by history is that Thoreau was writing his well-known lecture after refusal to pay taxes for a period of time beginning in 1842 which resulted in a one-night stay in jail in 1846. Which tax? The poll or head tax placed on the people by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts! This country’s war with Mexico was also mentioned often by Thoreau.  

What is known today simply as Civil Disobedience was originally titled “On the Relation of the Individual to the State,” given as a lecture in 1848. Historians also found it referenced in Thoreau’s correspondence as “The Rights and Duties of the Individual in Relation to Government,” according to Walter Harding, an author who also wrote on the subject. For seemingly unexplained reasons, the lecture came to be referred to in writings by various authors with a title each chose to place on it.  

Civil disobedience is a curious term, one bandied about by many who have no real idea of what an oxymoron the term is. The meek among the population may say you can civilly disobey the law.  In this writers opinion, those who resort to such tactics can offer no solution to what they perceive as wrong with government.  

Modern day protestors use the term as a rally crying, a mantra to end all mantras, but few recognize the contradiction in reality to their purported goal.  

The demonstrations of the civil rights movement are probably the beginning of the use of civil disobedience, at least on a broad scale. Anti-war protestors then adopted the term.  

How does oxymoron apply?  Using the term lawful murder while perhaps an extreme example, gives a clue. If the reader just experienced an epiphany, there just may be hope.

Ever think about the real meaning of the term the majority rules? Take heart, it does not mean what is so traditionally accepted, except when politicians offer it as a lame excuse for justifying their self-serving actions.  

Thoreau wrote about the majority saying, it is not because they are most likely to be right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically strongest.  
Thoreau went on to point out that such a method of governing leaves out conscience and sacrifices conscience to the legislator.  

Later in the lecture, Thoreau expressed his strong disdain for legislators with this terse statement: If it were left solely to the wordy wit of legislators in Congress for our guidance, uncorrected by the seasonable experience and the effectual complaints of the people, America would not long retain her rank among the nations.  

Following that terse statement, Thoreau made this thought-provoking reference to the New Testament, . . . where is the legislator who has wisdom and practical talent enough to avail himself of the light which it [the New Testament] sheds on the science of legislation.  

Unfortunately, in today’s world, the majority becomes the majority far too often by those who fail to become informed about the issues and what results from the radical solutions offered by the far right.  

History seems to take on a life of its own as time passes. The term revising history for ones own purpose happens far too often today.  

How much of what is taught as history in schools today is the revised edition of history, history as today’s politically correct society would have the world believe? To this writer, the correct term for that is FICTION!

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