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Sat Jul 6, 2013, 12:59 AM

MLK and Gandhi on Breaking Unjust Laws

“There are just laws and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all… One who breaks an unjust law must do it openly, lovingly…I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.”
Letters from the Birmingham Jail

“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.”
Non-violence in Peace and War 1942-49

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Reply MLK and Gandhi on Breaking Unjust Laws (Original post)
arely staircase Jul 2013 OP
Scootaloo Jul 2013 #1
arely staircase Jul 2013 #2
ForeignandDomestic Jul 2013 #3
arely staircase Jul 2013 #4
ForeignandDomestic Jul 2013 #7
ZombieHorde Jul 2013 #5
arely staircase Jul 2013 #6
Number23 Jul 2013 #8
arely staircase Jul 2013 #10
Fearless Jul 2013 #9

Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 01:09 AM

1. There's one flaw...

 

What if the society just does not give a damn? You have to remember that the biggest social movement in the United States is complete and utter apathy. Indifference is cool, involvement is lame. Ethics seem to shift and flop around depending on who's in charge, and most people just happy accept the law is good because it's the law and laws are good because it's the law.

It's sort of a less extreme problem of the problem with applying Gandhi's philosophy to certain problems... Sometimes hte people you're facing honestly and completely do not care about the suffering you undergo. Or worse, perhaps they actively enjoy it. "Take their abuse until they get sick of it" is becoming less and less applicable in the modern world.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #1)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 01:14 AM

2. MLK and Gandhi had supporters who told them the same thing.

nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 01:16 AM

3. Everything has a context...

 

The founding fathers should have just turned themselves in after they dumped all that tea in the harbor!

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Response to ForeignandDomestic (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 01:19 AM

4. the american revolution was not a non-violent protest nt

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #4)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 01:39 AM

7. ....

 

Almost all revolutions and protest start off as non-violent, they rarely ever stay that way..

Both Gandhi and King were ultimately willing to sacrifice themselves to a unjust systems. The selflessness they shown is beyond admirable!

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 01:22 AM

5. This doesn't apply.

Snowden was not protesting US whistleblower laws, but whistleblowing is his crime.

On a side note:
Do you think those who illegally download music and movies should turn themselves in as a protest against an unjust law.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #5)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 01:29 AM

6. Someone breaking copyright laws is doing it, not to make a political point,

but to get free music. In other words, not for a higher good but for self-serving reasons.

So you may be on to something.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 03:49 AM

8. I want to get rid of the Patriot Act terribly but I think I disagree with what Snowden did

I had an interesting chat with a British colleague of mine who is absolutely baffled that Snowden fled to Russia. He fully 100% supports what he did and said that if Snowden had stayed in the States, he would be leading the marches to protest his freedom.

He also felt that the only real issue was what the surveillance programs are doing and that was by far the only interesting and relevant part of the story. But again, he felt that Snowden fleeing the scene made the story about him instead of these "insidious programs" to use his language.

I agreed with him in large part. I disapprove of what Snowden did but I completely disapprove of the Patriot Act and think the surveillance is and should have always been the story.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #8)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 09:49 AM

10. I think he would enjoy quite a bit of support if he hadn't run off to China then Russia.

nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 04:02 AM

9. None of this addresses the real issue of illegal spying on Americans.

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