“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.
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.
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.
Peaceful Disobedience Peaceful protest is something our founding fathers felt very strong about. There is a reason they included in the first amendment of our bill of rights. The key word, however, is peaceful. Recently in America, there have been several “protests,” mostly against the new president of the United States. These are not protests however, they are riots.
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.
It has been known throughout history that in order to make changes for one's benefit, one needs to disobey the standards of living at that time. Disobedience is often misrepresented as a damaging action, but it is one's way to fight for their beliefs. Disobedience has benefited one or many while shaping our world into what has become today's society. Therefore, Wilde's claim on disobedience is valid to a great extent. One of the most important social changes in America started from disobeying the social norms.
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.
“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
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.
Civil disobedience is the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest. Civil disobedience has been perform as an act of peaceful protest for plenty of years. I believe civil disobedience does indeed work. Civil disobedience opens the eyes of the civilians. It makes them aware of the treatment and their privileges as a citizen of the United States of America.
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 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. Civil disobedience in a democracy is justified as morally. It is refusal to obey government law and act as non-violent.
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.