Comparison of Thoreau and Nietzsche’s Differences of Philosophies Regarding Nonviolence

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Comparison of Thoreau and Nietzsche’s differences of philosophies regarding nonviolence In King’s lecture, Thoreau and Nietzsche were regarded as representatives from different positions. King considered Thoreau as a supporter of the standpoint that the internal value should have transcended the external, or the technological improvements of human would benefit nothing. On the other hand, he took Nietzsche as an opponent to “all-embracing and unconditional love for all men”. More than King’s evaluation to them, their philosophies with regard to nonviolence also differ a lot. Their basic altitudes towards the democracy and nonviolence conflict with each other. King’s own account of his philosophy of nonviolence indicated the extent to which he was influenced by Thoreau’s theoretical framework for thinking about civil disobedience and political obligation. Thoreau has confidence in democracy and the belief of unifying individuals of the society to realize it. However, Nietzsche overtly objected to democratic politics, with thinking that love, freedom and democracy are all the results of recognizing the right. Although democratic practices were on the way in the capitalist countries, he asserted that democratic politics possessed no advancement. Their destinations are totally different. Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience was the first great declaration of the right and duty to commit civil disobedience, which intended to set the demands of conscience above the demands of the law and the ruling authorities, to keep human’s moral obligation which was to resist evil, to make the democracy and justice come true. Nietzsche, on the other side, aimed to rebuild the deposed hierarchy system of the society, to realize elite politics that only a small group of people manage the society. From this perspective, their reasons for nonviolence are also divergent for their

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