A few words about freedom on Constitution Day by Edward Abbey

In the ultimate democracy of time, Henry (Thoreau) has outlived his contemporaries.  Hawthorne and Emerson are still read, at least in University English departments, and it may be that in a few elementary schools in Maine and Minnesota children are being compelled to read Longfellow’s Hiawatha (I doubt it; doubt that they can, even under compulsion), but as for the others, they are forgotten by everyone but specialists in American literature.  Thoreau however, becomes more significant with each passing decade.  The deeper our United States sinks into industrialism, urbanism, militarism– with the rest of the world doing its best to emulate America– the more poignant, strong, and appealing becomes Thoreau’s demand for the right of every man, every woman, every child, every dog, every tree, every snail darter, every lousewort, every living thing to live its own life in its own way at its own pace in its own square mile of home. Or in its own stretch of river. ”                                         Edward Abbey, Down the River

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