Tag «Henry David Thoreau»

Obedience at home

As if he could peer into the future, American author Henry David Thoreau is credited with the expression: “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.” I’ve written and spoken often about the requirements for maintaining an empire, particularly an empire in decline: obedience at home, oppression abroad, and wholesale destruction …

Into the heartland

I’m in the nation’s heartland deep freeze with my wife and ancient dog. We drove from the mud hut to eastern Nebraska for a brief familial visit. I’m reminded of a previous trip to America’s breadbasket. Thoreau’s classic words came to mind as I stood in a kitchen slightly larger than the house I occupy. …

Channeling Kurt Vonnegut

I presented at SUNY-Fredonia on 2 April 2012. The standing-room-only audience, in a room with 200 chairs, included about 30 students from a class on Kurt Vonnegut and similar number from a class on environmental chemistry. I was informed the Vonnegut students would be attending the day before the event, so I asked their instructor …

Defending agrarian anarchy

I can scarcely believe agrarian anarchy needs defending from anybody, much less me. After all, this close-to-nature, close-to-our-neighbors approach was the Jeffersonian ideal for the United States, as evidenced by Monticello and the occasional one-liner from Thomas Jefferson: The result of our experiment will be, that man may be trusted to govern themselves without a …