Summary: The Case Against Civil Disobedience

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People's justification to engage in civil disobedience rests on the unresponsiveness that their engagement to oppose an unjust law receives. People who yearn for a change in a policy might sometimes find themselves in a dead end because their “attempts to have the laws repealed have been ignored and legal protests and demonstrations have had no success” (Rawls 373). What Rawls says is that civil disobedience is a last option to oppose an unjust law; therefore, providing civil disobedients with a justification for their cause. Civil disobedience is the spark of light that people encountered at the dead end and they hope that this spark of light will illuminate to show that an unjust law should not exist at all. Martin Luther King, Jr, in his “Letter from …show more content…

Herbert J. Storing, an Associate Professor of Political Science, in “The Case Against Civil Disobedience,” writes, “One of the practical consequences of this institution [civil disobedience] is to divert disobedience and even revolution into the channel of law” (97). What Storing is saying is that civil disobedience will encourage people to break the laws and they will hide under civil disobedience to avoid the law. Also, civil disobedience might split society by creating disagreements with the people, and it could create a political instability. However, Storing fails to see that those who break an unjust law, as discussed above, do not avoid the law, in fact they show respect to the law as they willingly accept the consequences. By accepting the consequences, they show that they are not acting for their own interests but for society’s. These reasons will prevent anarchy because one has a conscience to determine which laws to follow and which ones do not; therefore, one shows loyalty to the authority of law and also loyalty to one’s

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