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The Oppression of Democracy Exposed at Civil Disobedience, Slavery in Massachusetts, Benito Cereno and Bartleby the Scrivener America has long been recognized as a democratic state, a country working under the will of those people. The forefathers of America fought incessantly against British tyranny to begin anew in a land of freedom and opportunity. Because America revived the ancient Greek ideology of Christianity, the country had been set apart from the remainder of the planet and has been revered for the freedom and justice that it supplied its people. But not everybody believes that American democracy signifies freedom and liberty. To the contrary, authors such as Henry David Thoreau in "Civil Disobedience" and "Slavery in Massachusetts," along with Herman Melville in "Benito Cereno" and "Bartleby the Scrivener," suggest that democracy may actually oppress and confine the individual. In "Civil Disobedience," Thoreau criticizes the American government for its democratic nature, namely, the idea of majority ruling. Like earlier transcendentalists, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau believes in the significance of the person. In a society in which there are several individuals with conflicting perceptions and beliefs, Emerson selects passivity and isolation to prevent conflict with other folks. However, unlike Emerson, Thoreau rejects passivity and challenges his readers to stand up against the authorities that focuses on majorities over individuals. Thoreau argues that when electricity is at the hands of these people, the majority rules, "not because they are most likely to maintain the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, however, because they are physically the strongest" (Thoreau 64). Thoreau portrays this very fundamental element of democracy, w.. .