"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so. "-Socrates. Peaceful resistance to laws positively impacts a free society because the society is not free unless it's able to check the government. As long as the protest of the law remains peaceful it is a good thing. It is the public telling the government that they will not let them gain to much power and crush their human rights.
Like Martin Luther King Jr once said “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” With these words in mind, I affirm the resolution resolved: Civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified. I offer the following definitions to help clarify the round: Civil disobedience is nonviolent refusal to follow the laws or demands of government to prove a point and the person participating in civil disobedience has to accept the consequences. A democracy is a government by the people, where the people elect representatives or the leader. Not everyone has to vote in a democracy but, the leaders or representatives have to be decided by the majority of eligible voters.
Civil Disobedience: Righting the Wrong The foundation of civil disobedience is rooted in the concept of moral principal. When existing laws or accepted social behavior are viewed as being unjust, discriminatory or otherwise considered to be morally unfair, many citizens are compelled to take action in an effort to affect change. In 1849 Thoreau wrote about civil disobedience in his work titled On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. Thoreau believed that a government with too much control minimizes the ability of the people to exercise their own judgment. He claims, “That government is best which governs least.”
Accounts of civil disobediences have made their way into the paper many times since the start of this country: the Boston Tea Party, Thoreau's refusal to pay a poll tax, and Rosa Park's decision to stay seated on the bus. All of these examples represent a time of distress when people responded in non-violence to prove a point. But many would ask if this is really proving a point or if it is simply disregarding the law and setting a bad example? Well let me ask you this: would it be better to sit back and to hope that someone will speak out about the problem, or to go forward in violence thinking that that is the only way to achieve something? It seems that an act of non-violence is a way of being heard without coming across as irrational or
John Locke asserted that government must come from the consent of the governed. The Declaration of Independence professed the right of all people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Constitution cemented the paramount prominence of general welfare for all United States citizens. Since our beginning, we the people have been a characteristically empathetic majority. But we have not always been a beacon of equality: the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, the Stonewall Riots, and even current conflicts between the police force and black Americans exemplify the occasional rift between the government and the governed.
One day in my Honors World History class sophomore year we began to learn about the start of rapid, aggressive imperialism along with the rise of fascism and totalitarian governments. As we delved deeper into this era of history, we began to cover the rise of Hitler and the extermination of the Jews. Like any other person, I could not begin to comprehend how the masses of people, a whole country, would approve of such hate and racist rhetoric. As I continued to try and realize how such actions could be justified, I looked at other examples in history of hate being the norm. I realized this was a pattern in history, exploring slavery, the rule of Stalin, the Armenian Genocide, and other injustices through time.
Humanity. It is what connects everyone together, and what drives us to continue to pursue justice and change, even if it is not accepted. Time has shown us that change is possible, if the voice we use to enact it, is strong and powerful. Changing a law, a state of mind, and a country comes as a long and arduous journey, but the reason to fight is much stronger than any challenge it may come with. The Bill of Rights entitles all American Citizens to specific freedoms, including Freedom of Speech, and we, as people may speak out, if we feel we are being deprived of any of our rights.
Personally, I believe that civil disobedience is a lot more than what is included in its definition. My definition of civil disobedience does not only include the peaceful resistance of public laws, but also the disagreement with laws that do not directly affect American life. Civil disobedience should not only be defined as peaceful protest, but as other actions where Americans can stand up for what they believe in, even if there are no consequences. Writing letters, emailing, or even posting on social media should also be considered as forms of disobedience. All citizens should stand up for what they believe in, even when it’s against government views, to protect their own freedom.
In a country as abstract and diverse as the United States, many decide to be unique individuals and go against the natural way of a citizen. We know these acts as Civil Disobedience. In the many acts of Civil Disobedience, people go against the basic laws of their country peacefully and accept the consequences for the actions that they commit. Civil Disobedience is strongly frowned upon and negatively impacts a free society because it tells people that they can deliberately break the laws that make us the United States of America, it gives a great hindrance to the many citizens trying to live freely by following the rules, and it could start a mini revolt on the country. Civil disobedience tells people that they can absentmindedly break the
Peaceful resistance is a necessity and an integral part of a society because without the ability to peacefully resist the society is not truly free. The use of peaceful resistance has been a common way of expressing a person or group of peoples ideals since Henry David Thoreau wrote his essay called Civil Disobedience in 1849. Thoreau was a famous American writer and philosopher, and the essay talks of how he believes people need to put one’s morals and ideas over laws they may find unjust (Saxby). This is the basis and definition of what peaceful resistance is. The United States Constitution puts emphasis on the individual and if an individual believes in an ideal that goes against a law, they should be able to peacefully resist, especially
If American people in the past had not participated in peaceful resistance, the United States would not be the same nation as it is today. Many people argue that because the United States took so long to be created, public defiance to laws should not be encouraged. However, civil disobedience to laws often positively affects the free society in many ways. Not only has this changed the United States in the past, but even now allows for people to peacefully protest for what they think is right. Civil disobedience encourages the voice of the people to be heard: for it to be acted upon.
"Civil Disobedience, I shall argue, is an unsuccessful attempt to combine, on the level of principle, revolutions and conventional political action" The anonymous author of "The Case Against Civil Disobedience" asserts that peaceful protesting does not play a significant role in reforming political norms. His words often ring true in protests. In many instances of Civil Disobedience, the "peaceful" protests become dangerously violent. They tend to cause more tension and discourse than they cause change. Protests lead to increased divisions between the two viewpoints, causing support for current implication to solidify out of fear of change.
Civil Disobedience is a term that is held in a very stereotypical manner. When I think of the term, I think of a peaceful protest that eventually will solve the everlasting issue of governmental control regarding the people's lives. This term to me insinuates that no matter how terrible the situation at hand can be, individuals in any community like setting can ultimately be the bigger person and do no harm to anyone or anything while demoralizing a law. However in current situations, my assumption of the term has unfortunately taken a turn for the worse. Though this may be the case, I still continue to proclaim that civil disobedience sheds a positive light on communal views and how a society should handle an issue.