Civil Disobedience is Not Our Problem | What is Our Problem?

Civil Disobedience is Not Our Problem | What is Our Problem?
Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience… Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.” ~Howard Zinn
civil disobedience

When is civil disobedience justified and morally defensible?

Particularly in our own country when we can plainly see our own liberation was begotten through numerous acts of civil disobedience. Think of the Boston Tea Party. Think, also, of the Suffragettes and of the Civil Rights Movement as led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Students protested across many college campuses in protest of a war they did not believe in in the 1960’2 and 70’s.

In South Africa, Nelson Mandela and in India, Gandhi each led their countries to radical change.

In 1848, Henry David Thoreau penned an essay describing why he would refuse to pay a tax that was to fund a war against Mexico. It is the first known literary reference to define and describe what we now refer to as civil disobedience. Its essence is that Thoreau insists for citizens to not allow their government to overrule their consciences.

In its tenet, civil disobedience is sincere, and although is an act in breach of a law of the land, is deep in moral conviction.

What is the threat lawmakers see to be so inherent in civil disobedience?

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