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2H06 15 November 2012 Thoreau.docx

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Joseph Adamson

2H06 15 November 2012 Thoreau On the Duty of Civil Disobedience - Thoreau refused to pay taxes - Objecting against slavery and the invasion of Mexico - New Englander, humanist, moralist - Two titles, each one is a thread that he carries through the entire essay - Resistance used both in the literal sense and as a machine produces resistance that you must reduce friction to create a solid machine - Talks about friction a few times – every machine will have its friction but you can try to reduce it 831 - Alright for a machine to have friction but when friction hatha machine, it becomes an issue - Recurring metaphor for society in writing in the 19 century - When do you decide that the evil of resisting society is the only way? - If injustice is part of the machine, let it go – perhaps it will disappear - If it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, break the law to break the machine - “I am not the son of the engineer” – not directly involved in creating the machinery - “your money or your life” – the government as a highway robber - “the government does not have the force of one single person” – not alive, not part of nature, binary opposition of government to something that grows and lives, a human being - “when an acorn and a chestnut fall… both obey their own laws until one gets in the way of the other - William Hale writing on duty of civil obedience – Thoreau writes that the duty to disobey is greater - “the only obligation I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think is right” - Puts onus on individual – need conscientious men in corporations - Voting is gaming with a moral tinge – gambling - The only direct democracy is individual - Dehumanization in
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