“That government is best which governs least” (Thoreau). Civil disobedience continues to be a controversial issue in America. Understanding the two viewpoints on the issue can give better insight into whether the act of breaking the law, when nonviolent, is correct or not. There are many examples of acts of civil disobedience throughout history that we can analyze to conclude whether or not their effects positively or negatively impact a free society.
Civil disobedience makes a statement. It is a tool that can be used to make a difference. Peaceful resistance to unjust laws helps a free society by allowing people to be heard without violence. Anyone can attack brutally, either verbally or physically, to get attention. But the best way to be noticed is to, “create such a crisis and establish such a creative tension...that it can no longer be ignored,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in his letter from a Birmingham jail.
“One Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” powerfully concludes the American pledge, an oath declaring to the globe our unique commitment to uphold these righteous ideals. Unfortunately, as a result of human error, even a government founded upon these righteous principles may waver from the administration of justice and require redirection by its citizens. Through amendment of the Constitution, the founders allowed for this avenue of change, but unfortunately, historical events reveal this process often remains inaccessible. Consequently, individuals express their legislative discontent through two methods: Violent Revolution or Civil Disobedience. To avoid both regression into barbaric anarchy and maintain the principles
Civil disobedience is a way for people to express themselves on issues that are problematic to society in a peaceful matter. In developed countries like the United States, people have the freedom and a right to be civil disobedience and do so for a better change. Some may see it as a disrespectful way to disrupt the peace and in many communities. It is a dispute between it being right or wrong. Some feel like the power is being taken away from them and they need to do something about it but not cause a scene or disrupt anyone in any way, I believe people have the right to do this because I don't see the problem in someone speaking up something wrong.
Peaceful or violent resistance? If one day you found a discriminating law you have to do something to change. To do that you have different types the violent and the nonviolent one. One type of peaceful resistance is the civil disobedience.
In my opinion, civil disobedience may be viewed as part good and also part bad. The certain view of this could possibly be altered by a racial or also by a cultural background, and it might even be based off of rural or urban life. Some people may think of it as being brave for standing up against all others and believing in him or herself. Although, some others might disagree because when they might be peacefully protesting and or disobeying the law, it will always have consequences in the long run. Which can be closely related to Isaac Newtons Three laws of motion which are; "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" - Isaac Newton.
The United States of America would be a different place without civil disobedience. Breaking the rules is usually considered wrong; however, sometimes there are exemptions to these rules, to fight for a good cause. Much of history was made through civil disobedience. Without it, we would still have slavery. We would have an overpowering government.
Throughout the history of society, civil disobedience has become a key tool in combating laws seen as unjust. It was used thoroughly in the civil rights movement and was integral to the advancement of equality. The reason that civil disobedience plays such an important role in the advancement of rights is because of how effective it has been. The best way to make people aware of and relate to a movement is to make it well known. Events such as Bloody Sunday and the Montgomery Bus Boycott helped the civil rights movement gain much of the momentum that guaranteed its success.
John Snowden travelled to Hong Kong and released secrets that the NSA had been holding from the American public. Ranging from details that concern phone sweeps and the NSA's ability to do so to the techniques used by NSA hackers, Snowden revealed information that some say violates the Constitution. When this man traveled to a different continent to reveal this information, he had already accepted the fate of what would happen. This is a very useful example when explaining civil disobedience. Snowden knew that he would have to face the consequences due to his actions but that did not stop him from doing what was right for himself and his country.
I believe peaceful resistance to laws positively impacts a free society. As citizens of the United States, we are born with certain natural rights. According to John Locke, an eighteenth century philosopher, natural rights are not bestowed by the government, but inherited by birth by virtue of the fact that we are human beings. These natural rights include life, liberty, and property. He theorized that the purpose of government was to protect those rights; and if it did not, it would lose its legitimacy and need not be obeyed.
The formal definition of civil disobedience is any act or process of public defiance of a law or policy enforced by established governmental authorities. The term disobedient generally means to defy, or for the "normal" to be disobeyed. The term "normal" from one person to the next may be different. I believe that Freedom of Speech intervenes to a point. When a law is set, it is understandable that that law must be obeyed.
Civil disobedience has been an enormous event throughout American history, but is currently increasing in our daily lives. I believe that protesting against the laws in a peaceful manner is an appropriate and a brilliant idea to get your opinions across to the American people. If certain causes or people are violent about their opinions, nobody would want to follow them because of the ignorance involved. When I see violence in a protest, I instantly disagree with their fight due to the forcefulness and viciousness of their cause. We need to conduct ourselves in a professional manner when expressing what we believe in, if you do not, people will not take you seriously.
Civil Disobedience Can breaking the law ever be justified? Yes, as long as it is for a cause. Civil disobedience is the disobeying of a law to improve a moral principal. We have the right to protest and speak out when there is an unjust law. This is our right of freedom of speech and expression.
“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. Civil disobedience —with varying civility— has been apart of the American tradition predating the War for Independence and starting with refusal to obey the Townshend and the Intolerable Acts.
Civil Disobedience and It’s Impact Many Americans believe Civil Disobedience negatively impacts a free society because of the destruction the rebellious Americans can cause. Most of humanity believes “the law is something that can protect us” when, in the past, following the law has killed many innocent people and made governments go to war (Zinn). Civil Disobedience is a positive way for people to get heard and make a change. Those that went against the government in the past made an enormous impact on society today.