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 is the deliberate action against an unjust law to invoke a positive change in government and society. Civilians have the right to refute these types of unjust laws to eliminate inequality and government’s unjust nature by following conscience before laws for moral guidance. As demonstrated in Antigone, this is depicted by the daughter of Oedipus, who disobeys Creon’s law for the greater good because of the laws unjust nature. In Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, a naturalist, promotes this concept as well through his philosophical standpoint of the flaws of the government. Lastly, in Dr. King’s letter he qualifies the idea of civilians disobeying their government through non violent campaigns to stand up against
“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 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.
Martin Luther King Jr once stated, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” in his Letter from Birmingham Jail in 1963. He was invoking the principle of civil disobedience. He wasn't justifying breaking laws just because, but instead, meant that you break the law and accept your punishment, in hopes that people will come to see that the law is unethical. Civil disobedience plays an important role in how our society has been shaped up until this point.
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. Morally is doing the right thing based on the morals of the people
Even if such laws could be legitimate, because they fall within the scope of democratic political authority, the democratic deficits that they suffer deprive them of actual authority. Civil disobedience functions, in such cases, not to limit but rather to enhance democracy. The argument presents an account of democratic politics that highlights the possibility of democratic deficits as a necessary side effect of the basic mechanisms of democratic political authority, which democratic disobedience might correct. Martin Luther King Jr. and other African American protesters used civil disobedience, and they were effective and became heroes, and the method of civil disobedience proved effective. With civil disobedience, there is more communication between the government and people, and to be a democracy there must be an open avenue to the people.
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.
Civil disobedience, also defined as peaceful resistance to laws, is the refusal to obey any laws without any violent acts. Civil disobedience positively impacts free society because these acts spread awareness on unjust laws, and cause the governments to double check laws and question if they are really necessary. People may say that all laws are meant to be followed because they protect us, but that does not mean that all laws are just. All laws have been challenged by someone at one point leading to jail time, and some people that have been imprisoned did time because they stood up to a law they broke that was unjust. Our lives have been deeply impacted my civil disobedience.
Civil disobedience makes a statement. It is a tool that can be used to make a difference. Peaceful resistance to unjust laws helps a free society by allowing people to be heard without violence. Anyone can attack brutally, either verbally or physically, to get attention. But the best way to be noticed is to, “create such a crisis and establish such a creative tension...that it can no longer be ignored,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in his letter from a Birmingham jail.
King once said in a speech about civil disobedience and unjust laws that people have moral obligations to disobey unjust laws but that they must do it civilly and be willing to accept the punishment (King). If disobedience is done differently, such as dangerously and destructively, then the disobedience is no longer civil. But if disobedience is done peacefully and civilly, and can still get the job done and not be destructive to society. Also, if people are peacefully resisting, they are surely aware they do not have the “right” to break the law, but do just morally believe that breaking the law should be done for the better of the society they live in and for the people around them, no matter the punishment. No matter how you put it, if believe in and crave a free society where every individual is important, you can not have that kind of society without civil
Civil disobedience has been discerned in numerous time periods of American history. The definition of disobedience can be interpreted when one or a group prioritizes their conscience of their beliefs over the dictation of laws through rebellion. Notable historical events of slavery and independence has been marked with the disobedience of government laws. Even though the disobedience of societal laws can undermine the corruption of the government, disobedience has undeniably steer societal progress.
I consider civil disobedience to be an easily-ignored pillar upon which our democracy was founded. In fact we are only established as a nation now because our founding fathers engaged in civil disobedience themselves. We were in a “social contract” of sorts with Great Britain and when we felt that they had not upheld their part of the contract (they did not allow us to create courts to maintain order, or to create a navy to defend ourselves, or to sustain our economy due to an inability to trade with any other countries), Thomas Jefferson concluded that it was our not only our right, but also our duty to break away. And it was Thomas Jefferson that combined all of the works of the great thinkers before him such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke
Civil Disobedience In the dictionary civil disobedience is the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest, but Thoreau and Martin Luther King have their own beliefs to civil disobedience. In Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” he writes about the need to prioritize one’s conscience over the dictates of laws. Martin Luther King uses civil disobedience as something that effectuates change in the government. Both Thoreau and Martin Luther King has similar yet different perspectives on civil disobedience.
Because in a true democracy, it is the responsibility of the citizens to disobey the laws that aren’t truly aiding in the progressive nature of society. A democracy can’t be effective without active participation. With that, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail is a cornerstone in how we should approach the discussion of whether it is or isn’t reasonable to disobey a law. King agrees with St. Augustine in that “an unjust law is no law at all.” This enforces the idea that an unjust law is virtually not present because it is inevitably meant to be broken.