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Lessons In Civil Disobedience Essay

1123 words - 5 pages

No one possesses the same morals or beliefs. Morality does not have a black and white answer because no one is exactly alike. Everyone has their own opinion and right to voice that opinion, and there are numerous ways of doing so. As a citizen with my own beliefs, I believe I have the right to violate laws if I feel morally obligated to. The amount of progress that America has made in such a short amount of time is astonishing. In some ways it seems as if the only way to make any headway is to speak up. If I was morally opposed to a policy or law I would go against it due to its effectiveness, individualism, and past history of the world that has made immense progress.
It is important to notice that if civil disobedience was not effective, then it would not be continually used to disobey the law. In "The Role of Civil Disobedience in Democracy” by Kayla Starr, she explains why we have the right to participate in civil disobedience. “The U.S. Bill of Rights asserts that the authority of a government is derived from the consent of the governed, and whenever any form of government becomes destructive, it is the right and duty of the people to alter or abolish it” (Starr 1). There are many examples of how effective this act of defiance could be. During the Boston Tea Party, the citizens of Massachusetts practiced civil disobedience by throwing Britain’s tea into the Boston harbor because they did not want to pay taxes on tea. Now, you can see that the Boston Tea Party played a major role in the United States becoming independent from Britain (Starr 1). Although violating the law has consequences, in this case the reward outweighed the risk. I think that by realizing the power that civil disobedience carries, we can stand up against any moral dilemma if we are fully committed to the cause. Starr mentions that the motive to go against the grain means to give up your freedom and sacrifice personal comfort (Starr 2). The only way that civil disobedience can be achieved is by fully committing to your actions and accepting the consequences of your actions. Progress cannot be made unless you provide ample support to your position along with being accountable for your actions when defying the government.
You cannot base your morals off of a group’s thought, because you disregard your own morals. Thoreau says that, “every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new” (Walden 1). Thoreau despised laziness and considered following the crowd as lazy and that as an individual, you could better the world by standing up for your own beliefs. Thoreau claimed that, “not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations,” (Walden 2). That quote signifies that the only way to find ourselves and our own beliefs is for there to be significant turmoil in the world. Thoreau states in “Civil Disobedience” that, “The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly,...

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