Thursday, September 17, 2015


The Gregariousness of Men

Henry David Thoreau, Journal (April 3, 1858):
The gregariousness of men is their most contemptible and discouraging aspect. See how they follow each other like sheep, not knowing why. Day & Martin's blacking was preferred by the last generation, and also is by this. They have not so good a reason for preferring this or that religion as in this case even. Apparently in ancient times several parties were nearly equally matched. They appointed a committee and made a compromise, agreeing to vote or believe so and so, and they still helplessly abide by that. Men are the inveterate foes of all improvement. Generally speaking, they think more of their hen-houses than of any desirable heaven. If you aspire to anything better than politics, expect no cooperation from men. They will not further anything good. You must prevail of your own force, as a plant springs and grows by its own vitality.

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