Without any sort of resistance, people with power inevitably get carried away. In many cases, it is a governmental system that seems to have maintained obsessive control over citizens, so it appears that the citizens are the ones that need to initiate the balance necessary within society. Henry David Thoreau argues in his essay “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience,” that the “government is best which governs the least.” Thoreau believed that it is a citizen’s responsibility to oppose any law which is morally wrong even though it is law. He discusses the role of people in a very authoritative government and how they follow every single rule out of habit, like machines, only some people recognizing injustices and still not doing anything about
“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance” (Wendell Phillips), and requires every citizen to act as a watchdog for their government. As demonstrated in the past, sometimes morally abhorrent legislation is passed and action is taken in opposition to the will of the people. In these instances, civil disobedience positively impacts a free society, but should be used a “last resource” (qtd. in Mirkin “Rebellion, Revolution, and the Constitution”), less one endangers the rule of law.
People's justification to engage in civil disobedience rests on the unresponsiveness that their engagement to oppose an unjust law receives. People who yearn for a change in a policy might sometimes find themselves in a dead end because their “attempts to have the laws repealed have been ignored and legal protests and demonstrations have had no success” (Rawls 373). What Rawls says is that civil disobedience is a last option to oppose an unjust law; therefore, providing civil disobedients with a justification for their cause. Civil disobedience is the spark of light that people encountered at the dead end and they hope that this spark of light will illuminate to show that an unjust law should not exist at all. Martin Luther King, Jr, in his “Letter from
During the formation of a new nation, the government is founded upon one of four theories. The theory that most prominently influenced America's framers was the social contract theory, which can be described as a population in a state of nature giving up as much power to a government as needed to promote the wellbeing of all. To this end, the founding fathers endorsed Philosopher John Locke’s theory that since the government derives its power from its people, citizens are entitled to replace their government if their natural rights are violated. Therefore, during the American Revolution, American colonists were justified to utilize civil disobedience against British policies. Similarly, in modern times, citizens are still justified to practice their obligation explained in the Declaration of Independence that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation . . . as to them shall seem most likely to [affect]
Civil Disobedience Henry David Thoreau was an abolitionist who was a strong believer that the government was unjust. As a result, he did not pay some of his taxes, and was thrown in jail. Upon leaving prison, he wrote “Civil Disobedience,” as a means to educate readers on the corruption of the government. He believed that people should practice their right of refusal by using civil disobedience towards the government. Thoreau’s warrants are based on the fact that Americans have a right to revolt against a government in which they feel is unfit to govern.
Civil disobedience is the deliberate action against an unjust law to invoke a positive change in government and society. Civilians have the right to refute these types of unjust laws to eliminate inequality and government’s unjust nature by following conscience before laws for moral guidance. As demonstrated in Antigone, this is depicted by the daughter of Oedipus, who disobeys Creon’s law for the greater good because of the laws unjust nature. In Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, a naturalist, promotes this concept as well through his philosophical standpoint of the flaws of the government. Lastly, in Dr. King’s letter he qualifies the idea of civilians disobeying their government through non violent campaigns to stand up against
1. • Were the Colonists fighting for: It is important to establish that the colonists were a constituency of varied parties maintaining different interests. The colonial elite created a reconciliation and sustained a basic consensus regarding the general aims and concerns of the colonists. However, when met with friction, the elite’s alliance proved to be rather volatile; consequently, radical colonists emerged with much potency. For this reason it is unclear if there was a distinguished common goal amongst all of the groups within the colonies. I. Liberty – The initial revolt against the crown developed with the emersion of new British taxes on commerce.
Civil disobedience, also defined as peaceful resistance to laws, is the refusal to obey any laws without any violent acts. Civil disobedience positively impacts free society because these acts spread awareness on unjust laws, and cause the governments to double check laws and question if they are really necessary. People may say that all laws are meant to be followed because they protect us, but that does not mean that all laws are just. All laws have been challenged by someone at one point leading to jail time, and some people that have been imprisoned did time because they stood up to a law they broke that was unjust. Our lives have been deeply impacted my civil disobedience. If Gandhi never started The Salt March, if Rosa Parks did not stand her ground on that bus, If Martin Luther King Jr. never spoke what was on his mind, and if Cesar Chavez never started all of those strikes, the world we live in would not be the way it is today.
The greatest revolutionaries of the United States of America, both past and present, answer to values, principles of American culture and widely-accepted beliefs. They do not answer to laws. The belief that obedience to laws is a sign of patriotism is deeply flawed in the fact that the original patriots of the thirteen colonies were everything except obedient to their government. In the ideal democracy, the core values, moral justices, of the people will be reflected in the laws of the nation. When a split in laws and moral justice occurs, it is the right and obligation of the people of said nation to act as Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Thomas Jefferson; it is their duty to disobey.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” (Bailey). The US Constitution provides all Americans with the right to peacefully petition the laws made by the government in the First Amendment. Without the right to petition, American schools would still be segregated between African Americans and whites and most women would still mainly be housewives. Some of the everyday things experienced in America were once fought for tirelessly by protesters. Protests have changed the country and often have a ripple effect in society and in government.
Civil disobedience is a refusal to obey a law or non-payment of taxes. Many of them like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi has disobey the laws and changed the world. Although some may argue that civil disobedience cannot be justified as a democracy, I assert that it can be justified as a democracy because unjust laws are made by a democratic legislatures and also can be changed by a democratic legislatures.
The colonists refused to submit to a king that was only interested in their money, causing the colonists to become irate with the British once more. Since Great Britain thought that it was superior to the colonies, Great Britain did not give colonists the opportunity to speak up for what they wanted, which lead the colonists to rebel. The arrogance of Great Britain led to the rebellion of the colonists, which sparked the Revolutionary War through social, economic, and political actions. Furthermore, Great Britain caused a tremendous amount of irritation to develop inside of the colonists. The Revolutionary War showed that it is a necessity for Americans to have their opinions voiced.
Civil disobedience is the refusal of something in a friendly manner. Politically, America is in a rough situation. America as a whole is slowly separating as a nation. For instance, African-Americans believe they are experiencing prejudice from “white” people. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana there a revolt organized by the infamous “Black Lives Matter” organization. This Civil disobedient revolt quickly turned violent when African Americans began shooting leaving three fatalities. If this is how they get America’s attention, what’s next? Another example, is females wishing for equal pay wages. As the female community is being united it is separating us from males leaving their salaries questioned. This makes males have hatred toward females. America
Civil disobedience has been discerned in numerous time periods of American history. The definition of disobedience can be interpreted when one or a group prioritizes their conscience of their beliefs over the dictation of laws through rebellion. Notable historical events of slavery and independence has been marked with the disobedience of government laws. Even though the disobedience of societal laws can undermine the corruption of the government, disobedience has undeniably steer societal progress.
I consider civil disobedience to be an easily-ignored pillar upon which our democracy was founded. In fact we are only established as a nation now because our founding fathers engaged in civil disobedience themselves. We were in a “social contract” of sorts with Great Britain and when we felt that they had not upheld their part of the contract (they did not allow us to create courts to maintain order, or to create a navy to defend ourselves, or to sustain our economy due to an inability to trade with any other countries), Thomas Jefferson concluded that it was our not only our right, but also our duty to break away. And it was Thomas Jefferson that combined all of the works of the great thinkers before him such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke