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Rebelling For The Hell Of It In Order For A Rebellion To Take Place, Is There A Need For A Cause? Or Can A Rebellion Take Place Without A Cause?

1116 words - 4 pages

Rebelling for the Hell of itIn order to determine the reason for a rebellion, you must go into the mind of the rebels and find the cause. Yet, the question is, may you find that mind blank of reasons? Can rebels just be rebels because they feel like it? Many support the idea that you need a cause to rebel; however, there are some who believe you can rebel even without one.Thoreau believes that men have the "right to refuse allegiance to and to resist the government" (On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, 1565) when it becomes so unendurable that too much "friction" builds up and leads to oppression. According to Thoreau, immoral actions taken by the government is a legitimate cause for rebellion. Nevertheless, Thoreau also believes that "all machines have their friction" (1565) and if one can endure these 'frictions', then he should do so. In addition, one must first consider the welfare of the general public before rebelling, and must put the good of the public before his own convenience. For example, Thoreau did not pay poll-taxes because he recognized that by taking this action he wasn't bringing anyone any harm or putting them at risk. On the other hand, he "never declined paying the highway tax or school tax." He knew these taxes were for the common good and rebelling against them would cause inconvenience to many of his neighbors. Therefore, not only did Thoreau believe that there must be a cause for rebellion, but that cause must also be a worthwhile and should cause no impairment to the public.Furthermore, it should be noted that Thoreau believes when you rebel, you must act 100%. Rebellions are often very tough and can be quite time consuming, however, if you start the revolution, you must see it through and not give up on it. "Revolutions are painful," and there is no promise that you won't get hurt or need to make some sacrifices. If there is no cause for the rebellion and you are doing it just because you felt like it, then you won't be very attached to the idea of a rebellion. It is likely you will give up and go home, where it is safe. But the blood, or pain, that does come out of a rebellion shows a "man's real manhood and immortality." (1572) A rebellion without a cause has no potential to accomplish anything; it is also hard to fight for and is not worth taking up.However, Emerson feels differently on the matter of a rebellion without a cause. He reasons that "no law can be sacred to you but that of your nature." (Self-Reliance) If you feel you can have a rebellion without a cause, go ahead and believe it. You should not "concern yourself with what others think." You should "trust thyself" and you must remember that "today you can speak what you think in words as hard as cannonballs and tomorrow speak in hard words again, even if you contradict everything you said today." Emerson believes in trusting the emotions you have, as long as these emotions do not lead to you becoming a conformist. He supports the idea that "consistency is...

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