Oscar Wilde, Irish writer, theatrically said in 1891 that “progress has been made” because of “disobedience and... rebellion.” Furthermore, Wilde argues that disobedience is man's original virtue. Disobedience of law led to the American Revolution, desegregation, and improved civil rights across the board, proving that Wilde is correct. However, Wilde's claim ignores disobedience or the law that is regressive and detrimental to the health of the public, such as the Confederacy seceding for slavery, school districts that refused to desegregate, shootings that kill dozens of people. Additionally, in early human life, obedience was important for survival, leading me to believe that disobedience is “man's original virtue” if motivated by greed,
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a perceptive view on civil disobedience concerning the South in the 1960s. He realized that because of the false, racist belief that African-Americans were naturally violent, any violent acts would solidify the southern white view of African-American communities. So, instead Dr. King organized peaceful sit-ins, and marches to help end the racist practice of segregation. It was the peaceful actions by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that resonate through
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.
Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” speaks to many political issues and how to handle them. He felt the government was corrupt for their continual use of slavery and that one “cannot without disgrace be associated with it” (150). On the point of the government enforcing laws, Thoreau calls for men to do nothing. By nothing, he means to not give the government power over them which would effectively be “peaceable revolution” (154). Americans complain about the way the government is run, yet they do nothing while allowing the government to do as they please. Thoreau argues that “a wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor with it to prevail through the power of the majority,” by which he means the power of voting (151). In today’s politics, people are called to make their voice heard but do it peacefully which are two strong premises in Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience”.
“Civil Disobedience" is an essay written by Henry David Thoreau who was an “American transcendentalist society in 1849” (“Give Me Liberty”, chap 9). In this essay Thoreau argued that people should not allow their government to override or weaken their consciences because they have a duty to avoid allowing any agreement to authorize the government to make them the proper workers of discrimination. An evidence that gives us this form of information is “The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it” (“Civil Disobedience”, par 1, pg 1). Thoreau meant that the government sometimes proves itself useful and that it
Civil disobedience is a peaceful, nonviolent, political protest and it has been used by many people across the world, specifically by Thomas Jefferson, Thoreau, and Gandhi in their essays “The Declaration of Independence,” “Civil Disobedience,” and “On Nonviolent Resistance.” All of their essays shows examples of how they used/described civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is one of the many way Jefferson, Gandhi, and Thoreau have went against unfair laws.
It's easy to get angry and/or violent protests confused with civil disobedience. Many overlook the effectiveness of civil disobedience and see it as just another way to protest the government but civil disobedience has a long history. A few examples of civil disobedience include Rosa Parks’ famous refusal to move from the back of the bus in 1955; the interracial marriage between Richard and Mildred Loving in 1958; and most recently, the protest against the Dakota Access pipeline construction. In each instance, people stood up for what they thought was just and right.
Throughout the entirety of the world’s history, civil disobedience can be viewed in many forms and styles. During the 1920’s leading to the Second Great War, which is also known as World War II, one country stood out above the rest in terms of doing what’s best for the nation. I adamantly believe Wilde’s claims of civil disobedience as a valuable human trait to be true.
Historian, Henry David Thoreau, in his essay, Civil Disobedience, exploits the influence that corrupt government has on Americans. Thoreau’s purpose is to point out the government’s flaws. He adopts a defiant tone in order to expose the wrongs of the government to the American people.
The thick, heavily construed, complex, confusing polysyllabic words that would never escape the tongues of any ordinary individual, are the rules and laws we find tucked away in libraries filled with dozens upon dozens of volumes. They are what we as a society have deemed morally wrong, and thus must be associated with consequences. These aren’t meaningless books that get locked in library for mere vanity, yet they are the symbolic representation of what we as a society wish to strive for; peace. So when one is asked with the question on whether, “When is civil disobedience is ever justified ?”, the answer is a resounding ‘never’. Civil Disobedience has become the glorified word for criminals, and delinquents to condone their disrespect to society, and criminal activity. Yet in a world where we live, it has become too often synonymous for activism. Simply put breaking the law, no matter reason spurs increased animosity towards the government, and places the entire social system and society in a state of panic.
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.
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. This civil disobedience precipitated a revolution of mind, a revolution
Without protests, walkouts, and sit ins there would be no change. Democracy is a beautiful idea that is designed to be fluid to accommodate the people’s needs. Without resistance, the oppressed would never rise above the chains that bind them. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who advocated for peace, also advocated for disobedience. One of the most famous works to come from the Civil Rights Era was his Letter from Birmingham Jail. That letter has become a symbol for taking action against an unjust system that “degrades human personality”. As a result of his call to arms, a sociopolitical revolution occurred that ultimately resulted in the ratification of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Without the courage that it took to go to jail for his cause, the rights movement would not have been as successful. King’s actions lead the way for other equally important rights movements. Women’s rights was spearheaded by women influenced by The Feminist Mystique by Betty Friedan. Stretching into today, modern disobedience strives for reproduction rights as well as equal pay in the new age feminist movement. LGBTQ protests have been an evolving movement spanning from the riots at Stonewall, to the latest success with Obergefell v. Hodges. Protests extended beyond physical ones, including electric works of art by artists such as Keith Haring. Without the brave individuals peacefully advocating for the happiness of all Americans,
Civil disobedience has been around for ages and it is still going on to this day.An example of old civil disobedience is the boston tea party where a group of colonists dressed as mohawks went aboard a ship full of tea and threw the tea overboard because of the tax on tea.Hence causing one of the first events of civil disobedience and the Revolutionary War.Meaning Civil disobedience is a way to make political and social change because it can create real change,It draws attention to the situation,And because you can create change without breaking the law.
A free society will allow its inhabitants the possibility of challenging a law through civil disobedience. For example, the sit-ins of the civil rights movement was an exercise of this possibility created by the free society of the United States. Protesters would voluntarily go to lunch counters, where they were not allowed, and wait quietly to be served, or until they were arrested. The resistors would be cursed, have food thrown on them, and threatened. However, they remained peaceful because, “Any violent reprisal would undermine the spirit of the sit-in” (IHA). Out of this civil disobedience brought great heros, leaders, and inspiration from the minority classes of America. Those of which still have an immense amount of relevance in today’s culture and politics. The work of peaceful protest brought positive change to America, ending segregation and leading the path for an increase in human civil rights globally. Peaceful resistance was a useful tactic in the civil rights movement because it demonstrated, “that nonviolent direct action and youth could be very useful weapons in the war against segregation (Cozzens). The thousands who purposely broke the laws placed upon them, did it in an orderly fashion which told a clear message to remove segregation. Peaceful resistance is not only an