Essay on Civil Disobedience Is A Constitutional Right

Essay on Civil Disobedience Is A Constitutional Right

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“An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law” (King, Martin L., Jr.). When the African Americans were protesting oppression it was an act of civil disobedience. When the women’s suffrage movement happened thousands of women marched in the streets, they endured hunger strikes, and submitted to arrest to gain the right to vote (Starr).In other words, America has a long history of civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is nonviolent. It helps alleviate frivolous and harmful laws. Civil disobedience is morally justified in a democracy because it does not violate the social contract, it fosters respect for the law, it protests unjust laws, and it is a necessity for a civilized society. Civil disobedience is a constitutional right.
Civil disobedience does not violate the social contract. “Social contract theory, nearly as old as philosophy itself, is the view that persons ' moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society in which they live,” (“Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy”). If people are uphold the social contract they actually have the responsibility to participate in civil disobedience. In order for a social contract to be upheld, there needs a working government. If there were not peaceful protests there would be no changes in the law system and the government would not be able to function properly, the government would collapse and turn into anarchy. Also, people who thought differently would not be peacefully protesting outside of a building, but would be organ...


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... conclusion civil disobedience is needed in a democracy because it coexists well within the social contract, it is respectful for the law, it protests unjust laws, and civil disobedience a necessity of a civilized society. In the social contract a government upholds the people and the people uphold it. In a way civil disobedience is upholding the social contract because it keeps the government organized and running well. Civil disobedience is nonviolent and respectful towards the government. Without civil disobedience women would not be able to vote and African Americans would still be extremely oppressed. Civil disobedience is necessary for an organized civilization. To put it plainly Howard Zinn once said “to begin the process of change, to stop a war, to establish justice, it may be necessary to break the law, to commit acts of civil disobedience,” (Zinn, Howard).

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