How Is Civil Disobedience Justified

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
…show more content…
Although legislation is enacted by a majority, it must be constantly validated to ensure that it is fair. There are two justifications for this. First, the majority possibly enacts an unfair law. Second, while a law may have been deemed fair initially, governments and viewpoints are ever-changing. Time and again, people will experience a difference in belief and want to restructure pieces of legislation (Olsen). In other cases, there needs to be a propulsion for a difference in belief. This propulsion is civil disobedience, which decreases the likelihood of unfair legislation. Since several laws are unfair as laws are biased, civil disobedience is a means of defense for minority groups. Minorities are suppressed, even in a democratic society. If there is any legislation that persecutes a minority group, in some instances, civil disobedience is the only method to prudently communicate a differing position. One well-known example is revealed in the event of Rosa Park’s refusal to relinquish her front seat to sit in the back of the bus. After Parks continued to sit in the front of the bus, she was penalized. Nevertheless, it compelled people to think. The American public ultimately recognized how unfairly black people were being treated. Without the practice of civil disobedience, minorities would have no defense against unfair …show more content…
The opinions of the minority are not always right; neither are the opinions of the majority always right. Therefore, both sides must receive an equal chance to express their ideas. The presence of legal systems for attending to matters of unfair legislations does not necessarily ensure that such matters would be attended. Undeniably, it would be illogical to believe that the government would be quick to improve its own disorder yet it neglected to identify the disorder to begin with; civil disobedience is essential. Additionally, civil disobedience may be set aside as the pis aller but this would defer justice and consequently form a bigger issue (Lefkowitz 212). Furthermore, although a person has a responsibility to follow state laws in exchange for experiencing the advantages of residing in that state, such a convention does not include unfair laws as they are proscribed. Lastly, civil disobedience may counteract the greater iniquity of repression thus it is a public benefit in such instances (Olsen 220). There is nothing to lose with civil disobedience because if the majority opinion is not changed by civil disobedience, justice and stability remains sustained. However, civil disobedience strengthens the possibility of improvement. If no one defies a law, then there will be no means to determine if the law is perhaps

Related Documents

Related Topics