Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Let Us Not Have a Machine


All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable. But almost all say that such is not the case now. But such was the case, they think, in the Revolution Of '75. If one were to tell me that this was a bad government because it taxed certain foreign commodities brought to its ports, it is most probable that I should not make an ado about it, for I can do without them. All machines have their friction; and possibly this does enough good to counterbalance the evil. At any rate, it is a great evil to make a stir about it. But when the friction comes to have its machine, and oppression and robbery are organized, I say, let us not have such a machine any longer. In other words, when a sixth of the population of a nation which has undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves, and a whole country is unjustly overrun and conquered by a foreign army, and subjected to military law, I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize. What makes this duty the more urgent is the fact that the country so overrun is not our own, but ours is the invading army. 

32 comments:

  1. I find here that Thoreau is trying to point out the irony of the civil war. In 1775 when we declared our independence, England fought but eventually lost and let us go. In the Civil War, the North would not let the south go. In this situation, the South is the US, trying to declare its independence from a tyrannical government with whom they dont agree with their views.

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  2. Thoreau believes that the industrial revolution is changing our lives negatively because they undertake cheap labor, or using slaves, which refuge the liberty of the lives. You can still tell that he criticizes the government and administration.

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  3. If Karl Marx had a morally correct brother, his name would be Thoreau. Marx wanted an economic overturn where blood would fall from the aristocracy. Thoreau wants a revolution if only and only if man has gone so far from nature that he becomes part of the machine.

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  4. Thoreau wrote against slavery, and that it was the ultimate violation of individuality. He also believes that although it is revolutionary to see a slave as an individual, you really need to have that individuality to each person living.

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  5. Thoreau stresses about how each individual needs to have the same revolutionary thoughts to have a revolution happen. He also criticizes society again by discussing the negative aspects of the industrial revolution, saying how we exploit cheap labor by using slaves. I agree with Thoreau to an extent, but I still think that society right now is very beneficial.

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  6. Revolutionary thoughts have created nations, countries, and the world itself.
    Even if the majority agrees on one decision, someone is always going to go against it.
    Yes, machines have their downfall and Thoreau is criticizing society again.
    But it is possible to give up something that seems useful and have so many benefits???
    "let us not have such a machine any longer" seems very unrealistic.

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  7. Thoreau's idea of needing a revolution is very similar to Karl Marx because Karl would say that we would need people angry in order to make an revolution, but he also says that people need to unite for the revolution to happen.

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    1. I agree with Karl Marx's principles, except revolutions can happen based on other emotions such as fear and pain, not just anger. Looking at this from a futuristic perspective, it reminds me of the Matrix. The rising of the machines upsetting society, and a rebellion or revolution standing up to the creation of mankind

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  8. Thoreau talks about the negatives of the industrial revolution and how technology affects our lives. I think that technology does not only affect us negatively, but is very useful in many aspects of our lives. I disagree with Thoreau saying that there should be no machines, because the industrial revolution is what lead the world to what we have today, and I like how technology is used in the world today.

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  9. Linking this text to one further down the list, Thoreau probably thinks that a government who does not interfere much with life is best; here, he shows his dissatisfaction with the government in place, and urges a rebellion or revolution. While I agree with his point about slavery, I'm a bit shakier in terms of my opinion about revolutions.

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  10. Thoreau's ideas of revolution is very similar to that of Karl Marx because they both believed that people needed to be enraged by something and have to live in harsh conditions in order to start a revolution.

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  11. Thoreau is talking about the negative affects that industrial revolution had provoked. I know that the revolution had brought us many disadvantages. However I think there are tons of advantages compared to negative affects.

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    1. I agree with Jinwoo in that there were a lot of positive effects stemming from the Industrial Revolution. However, Thoreau does have a point that we invade, take over, and bad things begin to happen.

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  12. While I see Thoreau's argument of how the Industrial Revolution is negative, I would like to see him balance his argument; the Industrial Revolution modernized the world as we know it, and also created many jobs among his peers.

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  13. I could easily connect this piece to the argument against guns that is happening today. "When a sixth of the population of a nation which has undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves, and a whole country is unjustly overrun and conquered by a foreign army, and subjected to military law..." he goes on and on with more examples, and the feeling of it is that enough is enough. Many do the same with plenty of examples of how the US needs gun control with the same tone.

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  14. I understand that the effects of machines have flaws, but do they outweigh the benefits? These benefits have become a vital part of our everyday lives, including Thoreau's. I think it is unreasonable and unrealistic for him to say, "let us not have such a machine any longer".

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  15. This excerpt relates to what we are learning in history, we always discuss whether industrialization was a good idea or a bad idea after studying each section of it. Though Thoreau may be making reasonable points on the negative aspects of industrialization (slavery, etc.), I believe the process of industrialization has done a lot of good to our society in the long run. Today... we are surrounded by spectacular technology we may have not been able to create if the revolution never happened.

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  16. Firstly, this paragraph confused me quite a bit. The way I understood this paragraph is: Men need to stand up for what they think is correct. What confuses me is, the third last line where he says " think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize", tells me that he was supporting rebellions(which makes sense, keeping in mind that he seemed to want to change the current society a lot). What I do not understand is, what is the significance of "machine" in this paragraph? What is the symbol of the "machine"?

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  17. In this paragraph Thoreau is conveying his ideas and thoughts against slavery and forced labor. He believes that everyone has the right to be an individual and does not owe the happiness of their life to anyone. He believes in the right for people to rebell and have a revolutions against what they believe is wrong. He relates ideas against machines to feelings against revolutions which makes for an interesting parallel.

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  18. EMMA TAKAHASHI

    Thoreau was a man who did anything he could do to prove that he was one hundred percent against slavery. The corrupt morals of the people who have followed the majority have taken away humans individuality and soul. A special talent is not present in some people but god has given it to everyone.

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  19. I think Thoreau's ideas are similar with Marx's, since they are both supportive of rebellions. The main difference between the two is that Thoreau only supports revolutions in extreme situations, when a large portion of a country is against a certain idea. In other words, Thoreau only approves of revolutions if they are caused because people become too far apart from nature. Thoreau also emphasizes the negative impacts of the technological advancements brought on by the industrial revolution.

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  20. As previously mentioned, Thoreau and Marx's ideas are similar as they are both supportive of rebellions. Thoreau thinks that in order for a rebellion to happen everyone must have revolutionary thoughts and that revolutions should happen only in extreme cases. (like if people are going too far away from nature.) He also mentions the negative impacts of the industrial revolution, and that it has had a negative affect on the non-conformity of the country.

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  21. I believe that thoreau's main point in this was about slavery. He was against slavery and hard labor, and that was shown by the detailed writing style that he used. The way he writes the civil disobedience is a little different from the way he wrote walden. I have noticed that in Walden he lists his observation in details, but in this case he is using a metaphor and twisting the words to tell what he thinks towards things.

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  22. Thoreau used many comparisons in this paragraph. He used the government as a machine, acknowledging that the government has faults. He says that America had a revolution about port taxes. If americans had a revolution about a pointless thing like tax, then why can't they have a revolution on issues that matter, such as slavery.

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  23. I believe that this is another one of Thoreau's paragraphs about his strong distaste for the way society functions. He does not like the way the modern industrialized world works today and desires for it to change.

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  24. This reminds me of Thoreau's belief of simplicity, where he believed living a straightforward and simple life was best. While I agree with him in saying that modern technology has its negative consequences, he should open his mind to the positive impacts as well.

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  25. From the title of this paragraph, readers can tell that Thoreau adapted ideas of a Romanticist. The way he negatively talks about conflicts which are caused modernization shows how he does not believe in men being overrun by something unnatural. In simpler terms, he still believes that men being run by a tyranny or a strong forceable government is not right.

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  26. Thoreau and Karl Marx both had very similar ideas of revolutions. Even if the majority of the people agree with something there will always be someone that goes against it. They both say that in order for a revolution to occur there has to be a group of angry people but they have to come together and unite for the revolution to actually take place

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  27. The Standing Army is an excerpt that explains to the reader that one should not simply do as told, that he should not mind his matters without his morals. He says those who do what they are told and nothing more are simply machines. They are no greater than straw or a lump of dirt. Put morals and integrity into what you do.

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  28. I believes that this a very good way to demonstrate Thoreau's harsh views on society. He really views what society has come to and speaks extremely harshly upon industrialisation especially.

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  29. Again, in this passage, you can see that Thoreau is very discontent with the way society is run, in this case, he seems to have a major problem with war and slavery. I agree with him in that slavery and war are both extremely detrimental to society and human beings as individuals.

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  30. Thoreau criticizes the use of machines and the revolution but what would he rather? How does he expect society to function without forward movement? Without the Industrial revolution, our lives would be incredibly different, and so would his. I think without it, his works could never have reached the acclaim that they have now.

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