Tag Archives: Gandhi

A Different Philosophy of Civil Disobedience

thoreau
“My thought is that in a reasonably just (though not perfectly just) democratic regime, civil disobedience, when it is justified, is normally to be understood as a political action which addresses the sense of justice of the majority in order to urge reconsideration of the measures protested and to warn that in the firm opinion of the dissenters the conditions of social cooperation are not being honored.” – John Rawls

Conventional civil disobedience usually engages localized agencies and domestic government. Redress of grievances, constitutionally protected under law is a myth in practice. The courts operate as protectors of state authority, while crushing the safeguards of individual natural rights. Petition to elected officials for recourse resembles begging for sustenance. Allegiance to country is confused with deference to decadent dictates. Conscience and moral imperatives draw sincere and aware citizens to resort to necessary measures of dissent. The question is what kind of civil disobedience is appropriate and effective? The conventional interruption of the principle of civil disobedience usually cites Thoreau, Gandhi and King. Most students of history are familiar with their significance and writings. However, less well known are John Rawls and Howard Zinn. A review of their viewpoints is helpful to understand the nature of civil disobedience. However, in an age of globalism, the sovereign state has less importance because the transnational community of nations is implementing a tyrannical New World Order . . .

Continue reading