There is a subtle difference upon which most historians could better elaborate, and this was one of the quarrels Emerson had with Thoreau. In his day, our government was controlled by forces even less democratic than our own; dictated to in such a way that, in many cases, it worked against the best interests of the people. Today, the people are riven by forces both within themselves and within the government, a different matter entirely, creating what appear to be similar difficulties. It’s a Hobson’s Choice at times, leaving us apparently no better off even when we are.