What does Thoreau mean when he says "Let your life be the counter-friction to stop the machine"?
Thoreau says, in this paragraph,
If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth -- certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.
This means that if injustice is actually a part of government, necessary to its workings, then we must refuse to participate in that government, and it will eventually wear out. Further, if a government's laws require one to participate in the unjust...
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