Civil Disobedience Arguments

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Our society has a history of people bringing attention to a perceived unjust law or system through peaceful resistance and civil disobedience. The question is whether such resistance has value within our constantly changing environment and culture, and what kind of value would that be? This question has been floating through our society for a long time, brought to a head with recent events including election protests, Black Lives Matter protests, and similar events. One of the most famous and effective instances of civil disobedience was Rosa Parks and her peaceful bus protest. Civil disobedience can dangerously take a foul turn though. A case such as the Nazis, where people challenged society to make their own laws through mob violence, …show more content…
Leibman in an address to the American Bar Association in 1964 entitled “Civil Disobedience: A Threat to Our Society Under Law,” pointed out that civil disobedience is in essence a violation of law itself. He questioned whether or not there thus ever could be such a thing as “civil” disobedience, especially in light of the tendency of such law violations to devolve into mob rule. He argued that it is a “semantic trap to divide the discourse on civil disobedience into a stereotype of liberalism vs. conservatism.” Through civil disobedience is how groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and the Nazi party in Germany originated and gained power. People such as these generally believed that society was governing incorrectly and they should take the law into their own hands.
Once a line is crossed, civil disobedience which started as peaceful resistance can devolve into violence and sometimes anarchy. Civil disobedience such as engaged in by Rosa Parks can be a platform from which violent extremist action is launched. This clearly shows an extremely negative value of civil disobedience. Liebman points out that these groups over exaggerate our imperfections but no matter the cause of their anger, “[o]ur imperfections do not justify tearing down the structures which have given us our

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