Disobedience As A Social Revolution

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Change is inevitable. This knowledge is common however acknowledgement of the factors that push for change often go unrecognized. As stated in a quote by Oscar Wilde, “It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion”. No matter what the circumstances are, all change begins with disobedience. Disobedience, which Wilde names “man’s original virtue”, can be defined as an action of complete and utter defiance, whether against authority, the law, society, etc. It is through disobedience that movements have begun, revolutions have ignited, and the transformation of society has been made. Disobedience, which sets a plan in motion, can lead to such things as independence. This trend can be viewed throughout…show more content…
A prime example of this in American history would be that of the civil rights movements in the 1960s which were facilitated by challenging the social norms of the past. As referenced in an article titled “Small Change” by Malcolm Gladwell, on February 1, 1960 four African-American college students sat down at a lunch counter of a restaurant in Greensboro, North Carolina and asked politely for a cup of coffee. The waitress responded with “we don’t serve negroes here” and despite her refusing to serve them, the students didn’t move. Over the course of the next week the sit-in gained a remarkable amount of press and supporters and by the end of the month “there were sit-ins throughout the South, as far west as Texas”. The action of disregarding the prejudiced laws and social order, along with the racial insubordination of African-Americans across the nation, resulted in reform. People such as Rosa Parks, who simply said “no”, began a movement that transformed the nation and brought an end to bigotry in the United States, giving well deserved equal rights for all. A more modern example of influential civil disobedience would be the actions of Malala Yousafzai. The young Pakistani activist ignored the Taliban’s law that girls could no longer attend schools which resulted in her being shot in the head by authorities. Miraculously she survived and went on to be the youngest receiver of the…show more content…
This can be seen in the French Revolution, in which the aristocrats manipulated the lower classes, or Third Estate, and abused their power prompting social upheaval and political unrest. The Third Estate rebelled against the monarchy and the Catholic church who had exploited resources for soley their benefit leading to mass starvation among the lower classes. The Third Estate assembled, defying the law, and began to overthrow the political institutions of France. The revolution was inspired by Enlightenment ideals which pushed for the equal rights of men and for fair representation in government assemblies. Though the revolution itself was quite brutal and violent in its execution, the impacts it left on the nation are notable. The revolution came to an end by developing a constitution called the Declaration of the Rights of Man which guaranteed that there were be no absolute monarchy and ensured that there would be democratic rights within the parliament. In addition, in the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell describing the Russian Revolution the novel begins with the animals, the Russian people, congregating in order to revolt against the humans, the aristocrats. The novel opens with a clear and defined act of disobedience against those who had obtained too much power and the rest of the storyline develops
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