Thoreau's essay on civil disobedience been a major influence in the development of Gandhi's ideas about using nonviolent mass action to force social and political change. During the 20th century, Gandhi and many others throughout the world used nonviolent mass action to overturn oppressive governments and promote social reform.
A concept in which has been utilized by millions of people in hundreds of different situations, is the concept of civil disobedience. ... In 1845, Thoreau published an essay outlining the concept of civil disobedience. ... The effect of Thoreau's essay on civil disobedience can be related to my life in particular, as well as to American life in ...
essay on Civil Disobedience in "Cool Hand Luke"
Thoreau makes one interesting comment about taxes in his essay on civil disobedience. He wrote that he wished to never "rely on the protection of the State," and refused to tend it his allegiance. Despite this, he "never declined paying the highway tax, because I am as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject; ." While he wins points for wanting to be a good neighbor, as voluntaryists we need to call the of his reasoning in to question. A tax is a tax, regardless of why it is levied or how it is spent. Good neighbors need to point out the dangers of setting precedents: if the state can collect a highway tax it can institute a poll tax, an income tax, a sales tax, an excess profits tax, a value-added tax. A hundred and fifty years after Thoreau's confrontation with the state gives us adequate proof of the importance of taking a consistent and principled stand: ALL taxes are theft. Even Charles Lane had noted in his letters on "A Voluntary Political Government" (March 27, 1843) that there was no requirement for highway taxes: "the common road, like the railroad, [might] be made into a shop keeping business, and paid for by every one who used it."