Civil Disobedience And A Democratic Society Essay

1009 Words Dec 12th, 2016 5 Pages
Civil Disobedience
Thoreau declares, “The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think is right” (Ogunye). He ostensibly acknowledges no authority other than that of his own moral sense. In this essay, civil disobedience will be defined as the unwillingness to obey civil laws in an attempt to prompt change in governmental law or procedure, demonstrated by the use of nonviolent methods. The matter in question, then, is whether such civil disobedience is justified in a democratic society. The value of this essay’s argument is fairness; that is, defending human rights and granting each his or her due. The most appropriate way to grant each his or her due is by means of democratic government. Therefore, civil disobedience is morally justified in a democratic system in certain situations due to the ethical obligation of fairness.
Civil disobedience was initially established as a resolute approach by Gandhi, who developed his methods of non-violent activity in South Africa and later British India. Comparable approaches were successively implemented by proponents of Nuclear Disarmament in the 1950s, by Martin Luther King and the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and by large crowds insisting reorganization in Czechoslovakia and other nations in the weeks prior to the collapse of communism in 1989 (Kosek 1278). There are three grounds that justify the act of civil disobedience. First, each individual has the same basic civil liberties…

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