I can definately relate to Thoreau's opinion on the purpose of the government, "That government is best which governs least." In "Resistance to Civil Government," Thoreau reflects on his experiences with taxes, prison, and the government. I think he feels that the government is too involved with the individual's life, and I feel exactly the same way.
My roomates and I were just talking about this the other day... We have these "random" health inspections now in the SHU dorms. RA's come around and check "the outlets" to see if there are any fire hazards, and check for "general cleanliness." And if I am not in the room when they knock, they can key into my room. I personally think that this is just an excuse to look around students rooms. If they were really only checking for "overloaded outlets," is once a month really neccessary?? And how do they even know where the outlets are? If I am not in my room to show them, are they going to move my furniture, look under my bed, and neb through my room? I just don't feel like they have any right. What does it matter to them if my room is immaculate?
And there are other things that bother me. Like this new seatbelt law. Why should we be fined for not wearing our seatbelts? Yeah, seatbelts might be safer in crash testing, but if I don't want to wear a seatbelt, then it is my decision. I bought the car, I pay taxes on the car, I pay for insurance, and now the government is going to tell me how to act in my car?
Thoreau talks about how "we should be men first and, and subjects aftarward." He talks about soldiers, and how they are basically brain washed by the government, and that the can not think for them selves. That a soldier is "a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity, a man laid out alive and standing, already...buried under arms with funeral accompaniment." This still applies today, my boyfriend is in the military and he thinks everything the government does is right, he agrees with the war, and he wants to go and fight.
I really liked reading this essay because everything he talked about still applied to America today, even though this was written in the late 1800's.