In Defence Of Civil Disobedience Essay

1086 words - 5 pages

The inherent right of a citizen to be civil is civil disobedience as this implies a great amount of individual discipline and sacrifice. To be civil means to be passive in form of protest, where refusal to obey the law is needed when the law goes against humanity and basic civil rights and freedoms. Civil disobedience in certain cases is a very effective tool for rejecting the unjust demands, laws and commands of a coercive power, and in many cases a strong method of peaceful protest. This concept is crucial when the people en mass form unity against their oppressors. Such resistance is usually for the greater good of society as it represents the discontent of a general population. Civilians must profess discontent since it is necessary to understand current and ongoing issues that harm society as a whole. Justification of disobedience comes when the state does not have the moral, attentive, and supportive capacity to rule well among its citizens, which can lead to excessive coercion, ignorance, and support for small ruling elites. People have every right to defend themselves, even if sacrifice and consequences are at hand. This paper will argue the justification of civil disobedience so long as it remains non-violent and is used to defy the powers of the state and government when the rule of law is in need change for the greater good.
The state must support the interest of its people or else it has nothing to govern. The legitimacy of laws has to be questioned and challenged peacefully. As an informal and non-violent form of protest, civil disobedience is implemented with the intention of engaging the formal institutions of the state in order to seek a sense of justice for the political community as a whole. (2). Understanding the concept of disobedience in this sense improves the legitimacy for any constitution. Law is there to serve justice based on truth, and truth cannot be erased but only violated. Violations of the truth come by maximizing the voice of some participants, while minimizing the voice of others, hence creating an imbalance in terms of influence. (3). Mohandas Gandhi is one of the most iconic examples in this case. In India, he implemented civil disobedience in a nonviolent manner to challenge the oppressive rule of the British Empire and expel it from the land. “An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. Now the law of nonviolence says that violence should be resisted not by counter-violence but by nonviolence. This I do by breaking the law and by peacefully submitting to arrest and imprisonment.” (Gandhi 1972). His statement speaks directly to the fact that unfair laws must be dealt with civil disobedience in a peaceful way, and regardless of the severe consequences that might come in hand. Gandhi successfully implemented his ideas throughout India, and ultimately expelled British rule. Overall, the act of disobedience can make governments more accountable by criticizing its...

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