February 28, 1998

So in English class we’ve been reading Henry David Thoreau. What an idiot this guy was. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like going outside and getting my literature book out of my car/locker and giving you direct quotes; so you can either take my word for the following or look it up yourself.

Thoreau refused to pay his taxes, which resulted in his being thrown in jail, which resulted in his writing a work which tells his feelings about the government and humans in general. His reasons for not paying his taxes are sound enough, if he would have only stopped there, but instead he decided to explain his reasons for doing so. First, he felt the United States was taking part in a criminal war (President Polk had not conferred with Congress before putting troops into the Mexican-American War). He felt that by paying his taxes, that would be the same as murdering a Mexican. Financing the bullet that pierced the Mexican’s chest. Second, he felt that he should be able to choose what taxes he wanted to pay, what he thought was essential. I’m sure there were many other reasons, but lets look at these first.

First, tax money goes to more than fighting a war. It goes to education and other things that I’m sure Thoreau would agree are essential parts of a civilization. Second, Thoreau felt that he and everyone else should get to choose what taxes they would pay. He also believed that people are “basically good.” What kind of stupid statement is that? Yeah, Hitler was basically good. How many people would truly pay any taxes if the IRS put a list of taxes (education tax, transportation tax, etc.) on their 1040 along side a row of boxes in which you could check off which taxes you wanted to pay and leave blank the ones you didn’t? I sure as hell wouldn’t. I’d leave all the boxes blank. I know many other people who would do the same. I think some people are so smart, who believe so deeply that utopia does in fact exist on Earth, that they never really confront reality. I’ve met people in my own lifetime who believe there is no need for a military. They believe everything can be talked out and solved peacefully.

As long as there are people who want a little more than the rest. People who want more power, more money, more food, there will always be need for a military.

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