When the law does not seem just it should give us citizens a right to break the law. When breaking the law one should know the punishment. Civil disobedience is an act of intentionally breaking a law or refusing to cooperate with the government. If the Law is based on an unjust opinion then I think most would agree that it is okay to go against the law. To what extent you would like to oppose the law is more of a question of how much do you have on the line and what your approach would be. Whether you manage to get a case to the supreme court or you hold protests. You will still have to pay the price for your breaking of the law but that is also how someone sometimes starts a change in the law.
All throughout world history, human beings have participated in acts of civil disobedience. However, in the last two centuries the belief and practice of it has been in full swing and has even brought on major historical events, especially concerning equal rights and just laws. Three major firm believers and activists in civil disobedience were Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King Jr., and Gandhi. All three of these men participated in acts of civil disobedience but each in his own way and for different reasons. Henry David Thoreau did not pay his taxes. Martin Luther King Jr and others were protesting the treatment of blacks in Birmingham, Alabama. Gandhi fought for Indian independence from British rule and for the rights of the Indian poor.
Thoreau encourages citizens to follow their own beliefs, express their freedom of speech, and don’t let the government disturbs the citizens practices. Bringing a strong individualist view, not every person in the society will follow them, Thoreau questions the citizens of how they should react towards the government actions of the Mexican American war, slavery, and many other principles the government carries. The social issues carry into voting, voting for the government actions to change, and to have justice in the society, but Thoreau doesn’t believe that voting for a change from the government isn’t acting on the big picture.
This passage relates to Thoreau’s method of civil disobedience the most. The reason for this is because Thoreau believed that he had a moral obligation to himself to do what he thought was right, instead of a government who does what they believe is right for its people and themselves. Thoreau stated this best when he said that the only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think is right This is going along with your own conscience, you can see the right or wrong.
In all societies both modern day and past, there has been some sort of government. In history many of these governments have abused their power and have become too powerful. In these cases it was the right of the people to protest. All past societies have agreed the less power a government has the better. In an essay Civil Disobedience, written by Henry David Thoreau the text states[That government is best which governs least]. If the people of a society feels that the government is inexpedient. Governments should be for the people by the people. Those who work for the government will rarely make moral decisions and that is when calm opposition must take place. All citizens have the right to assemble and protest, but cannot cause violent sparks of outrage.
I strongly agree with the assertion that laws can be classified as just and unjust. Yet, a far more important issue to talk about later is what people should do in the face of just or unjust laws. Unjust law is no law at all. In the face of unjust laws, merely tolerance and obeying could be detrimental not only to personal rights but also to the well-being of the society. Therefore, it is indeed every person’s responsibility to disobey or even resist them.