"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.
Although laws are put in place to protect the citizens on which it is enforced, no system of government is perfect. There are times in which laws are passed that have a controversial effect on society, be it the segregation of race or religion, or the NSA spying on US citizens. Based on this, it can be concluded that civil disobedience is a peaceful way to express the unjustness of a law in hopes of change. Rosa Parks is an excellent example of civil disobedience having a positive impact on society. After peacefully violating the Jim Crow law that enforced segregation, Parks was arrested in order to raise discourse on the treatment of African Americans in American society.
The question of whether or not peaceful resistance toward the law impacts society in a positive way is really a question of circumstance. If I were to refer back to the historical aspects of the subject, then my immediate answer would be yes, it does; peaceful resistance has often prevailed in situations that required immediate attention, yet were simply overlooked by the general public, despite their importance. One extremely important example of this would be the many boycotts during the civil rights movements of the 60's. Civil disobedience was a way to communicate the true inequality represented by the phrase, ''separate but equal'' by peacefully marching for their beliefs. For example, many white officials used various schemes to prevent
In the Crito by Plato, Socrates argues against civil disobedience, seeing it as an unjust act. Contrasting this view, Martin Luther King argues for civil disobedience against unjust laws, and seeing it as a responsibility of citizens. Civil disobedience is the active refusal to obey certain law, commands or requests of the government. I will argue that the view of Socrates is superior to the view of Martin Luther King on the justness of civil disobedience. Using the argument against harm, I will show that even if a law is viewed as unjust, you must not repay an evil with another evil, as evident in the Crito while contrary to ideas presented by MLK.
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.
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.
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.
The United States Declaration of Independence states that "when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government" Our nation was a phoenix that rose from the ashes of a monarchy through a resistance that had grown into a revolution. The result of our founding fathers resistance was a nation, a nation that held promises of freedom and equality for all of it’s citizens yet bitterly was not at all close to equality and justice for all. The gruesome and haunting past of America's oppressive history lingers in the socio-political infrastructures which control and drive our government and society. Our nation, horrifically and
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.
A peaceful resistance to law does impact free society in a positive way. If it weren't were random acts of rebellion, many of the civil rights we have today wouldn't have come into being. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Daniel Ells berg have all committed acts of civil disobedience that have reached the history books and impacted our society for the better. However misunderstandings of the definition of civil disobedience and the actions that can be taken can lead to a bad ending. Some people can confuse peaceful resistance to going against the law for everything they disagree on, resulting in charges and eventually police arrest.
When a law can be resisted without bringing harm to anyone, then that law should not exist. There are, currently on the books, sodomy bans and legislation against atheists taking political office: These laws are insane. Further, it is the state's job to ensure not only that civil disobedience is possible, but that it works. When civil protest fails to achieve results, violence follows. If a people realize that their peaceful voices will not be heard, such as what occurred in France in 1789, then they shall instead use violent methods.
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
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.”
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