Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Civil Disobedience Homework

Future English majors, 

Tonight you are responsible for analyzing the whole of Henry David Thoreau's landmark essay, "Civil Disobedience." In this seminal piece of writing for Transcendentalism and all subsequent movements for nonviolent social change, Thoreau makes three main arguments. Overall, he states: that a government must be composed of individuals who each have a strong conscience (i.e. a sense of ethical truth and a willingness to work for it), that a government must respect every individual, and that citizens had the right to disobey a system whenever it came to operate against what was for the good of everyday people.  

He accomplishes his goals through exploring a number of examples and thought experiments. In your comment below, provide 10 bullet points that encapsulate his arguments throughout the whole of the essay. It would look like something as follows, but does not have to fit any specific order:

  • Argument 1
  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Argument 2
  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Example 3
  • Argument 3
  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Example 3
Secondly, you must respond to these questions in 2-3+ sentences: What is a contemporary parallel to Thoreau's act of civil disobedience? What is an issue that you care about that you would be willing to perform a similar act for, and what would your act of civil disobedience look like? 

Thanks y'all,

Mr. Healy

14 comments:

  1. Government officials must be moral
    -they should directly follow the morals in the constitution and the new testament
    -they must fully understand these texts and be more literate with them then any of the citizens they govern
    The government must respect every individual
    -the government cannot collect anything (i.e. taxes) that the citizens are not willing to give them
    -citizens are allowed to revolt at any time if they deem the government unfit
    -should a government not govern correctly it deserves to be overthrown
    The people should follow their morality even if it means going against the government
    -people should not vote as it will not change anything until the majority already deems that thing wrong
    -people should overthrow their government if it proves to be immoral
    -people should not listen to their government if they disagree with an aspect of it

    A modern example of civil disobedience is the black lives matter protestors. Largely nonviolent, they hold marches and rallies against police violence. They follow Thoreau's example of civil disobedience well.

    I don't think there is an issue that I would do the same for. I don't think one can find morality in protesting a government because they did not deem said government to be smarter than them.

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  2. 1. government officials must ethical and moral
    -they should abide by the laws stated in the constitution as well as the new testament
    -leaders must know the laws inside and out
    2.every individual must have the same respect
    -if a citizen does not agree to giving something up then the government cannot force them
    -citizens shall do what they seem fit; if the government is not doing what it should then they may revolt and possibly overturned
    3.people should follow their morals even if they do not match up with the government
    -if a citizen does not agree with something the government is doing or asking then they do not need to do it
    -if the government is immoral than overthrowing the government is allowed

    A contemporary parallel would be the LGBT protesters. Who peacefully marched on Washington, protesting Mr Vice President Pence's homophobic comments. At this time there is not an issue that I would do this for. However if there becomes an issue I do not agree with I would diffidently handle it in a good way; civilly. Possibly a march, protest or even going in and talking to representatives or senators.

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  3. The government should be moral:
    -He states that far too many public servants are working to help themselves or "serve the devil".
    -He says more people should be reformers who serve the state with their consciences.
    The government must respect the individuals:
    -"All men recognize the right to revolution... and to resist"
    -He believed the government must allow people to "judge for themselves"
    -He thinks the government should not force you to pay for something you don't believe in (priest shouldnt be taxed for schoolteacher and vise versa)
    The people have the right to disobey
    -People have the right to overthrow or revolt against their government if they do not serve correctly
    -We may disobey or try to amend any law that does not seem just or fair
    -Casting your vote to what you seem fair sends a message and can disobey the government

    A modern parallel to civil disobedience is the Women's March after Donald Trumps inauguration. Women came together and also protested without violence in order to inform their government they wanted to be respected as individuals and be treated morally.

    I think any instance where someone feels the government is treating them or something immorally is worth them protesting peacefully against in an act of civil disobedience, within reason. Protesting and speaking in a peaceful manner out for what you believe in is a right.

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  4. The government should be ethical and moral
    -he states that the mass of men serve the state as machines and "in most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgement or of the moral sense"
    -there are very few reformers that serve the state with their consciences
    The government should respect every individual
    -all men recognize the right of revolution, the right to refuse allegiance to, and the right to resist the government
    -"every man shall judge himself"
    -the government cannot force them to pay for something they do not believe in
    People should go against the government if it doesn't match with with the good of the people
    -people have the right to oppose and revolt against their government
    -people who oppose need to stand up instead of waiting for someone else to, a vote for what is right is still doing nothing because it is still up to chance
    -you can disobey or amend unjust laws

    A modern parallel to civil disobedience is the New Environmental Movement started from Standing Rock because of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Tribes and environmentalists have joined together to protest the DAPL through marches and art in order to inform the government that they are violating their land rights, their culture, and the environment.

    I would be willing to peacefully protest for any human rights or animal rights campaign. Marching, protesting, creating art, and informing the world through media in a peaceful way is how civil disobedience should be done.

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  5. The government should be moral
    -"mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines"
    -Should not have to pay for something you do not agree with, ex: poll tax
    -"we should be men first, subjects second"
    -"they force me to be like them"
    -"Thus the States never intentionally confronts a man's sense, intellectual or moral"
    Government should respect your rights
    -not make you pay for something you do not support
    -respect your right to disobey
    Allow you to disobey
    -not paying taxes
    -resist certain forces
    -not have to agree with everything the government says

    A modern parallel to civil disobedience was the Women's March shortly after Donald Trump's inauguration. Women peacefully came together to demand respect they deserve.
    I think it is important that these women stood up for what they believed in, in order to get the respect they have fought for, for hundreds of years

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  6. The government should be moral and ethical:
    -"men can be imposed on, even impose on themselves for their own advantage"
    -"consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil"
    The government should respect individuals:
    -"a hundred thousand merchants and farmers here, who are more interested in commerce and agriculture then the are in humanity"
    -"the mass of men are unprepared"
    -"I must get off him first, that he may pursue contemplations too."
    Individuals should have the right to disobey:
    -"let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect"
    -"how can a man be satisfied to entertain an opinion merely, and enjoy it?"
    -"a man has not everything to do, but something"

    It really bothers me that the self defense course during gym class is only offered for girls. Not only is this sexist, it is denying men the chance to learn something that could be crucial to their survival. My act of civil disobedience would be refusing to attend the course but that would not help me or the bigger picture as Thoreau demonstrated by not paying his taxes.

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  7. 1. The government should have a sense of being moral and ethnical:
    - more reformers should "serve the state with their consciences"
    -"I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward"
    -"a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience"
    -they should follow the laws in the constitution and the new testament
    2. The government must respect every individual:
    -all men recognize the right of revolution as well as the right to resist and refuse alliance
    -"every man shall judge for himself"
    -not force an individual to pay for something they do not support
    3. Citizens should have the right to disobey:
    -"How can a man be satisfied to entertain an opinion merely , and enjoy it?"
    -the right to disobey or amend unjust laws
    -being able to go against or resist something the government says because you do not believe in it

    A parallel to Thoreau's act of civil disobedience was the Salt March in 1930. This act involved the British putting salt laws on the production of Indian salt so that it would be taxed and the country ended up having to import British salt. Gandhi and his supports reacted to this by establishing a long, expanding march to produce salt and transport it without paying taxes.(theguardian.com) As of right know, there is nothing where I really feel the need to conduct an act of civil disobedience for. However, I would have loved to have gone to Washing D.C and be apart the Women's March. I agree 100% with what they were fighting for and it would have be so cool to be apart of it.

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  8. The government should be more moral and ethical:
    - "Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first and subjects afterward."
    - "It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with conscience."

    The government must respect should respect everyone:
    - "The mass of men serve the state, thus not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies."
    - "Every man shall judge himself."
    - One should not have to pay for something they do not support it

    People should be allowed to disobey:
    - "All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when it's tyranny or its inefficiency was great and unendurable."
    - One should be able to refuse something the government is doing if you don't believe in it
    - Disobey or amend any law that isn't fair


    An example of civil disobedience occurred when people protested against the travel ban. People marched and protested outside of Trump Tower. If it's something someone has strong feelings for then they should be able to express it. I would've marched with them if meant allowing people to have equal opportunities.

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  9. 1. Government should be more moral and ethical
    -"mass of men serve serve the state, thus not as men mainly, but as a state
    -"I think that we should be en first, and subjects second."
    2.the government must be more respectful towards individuals
    -"a hundred thousand merchants and farmers here, who are more interested in commerce and agriculture then there are in humanity
    -"every man shall judge himself"
    -citizens shall do what they seem fit; if the government is not doing what they should, then they may revolt and overturn
    3. Right to disobey
    -not paying taxes
    -"how can a man be satisfied to entertain an opinion merely, and enjoy it?"
    -"a man has not everything to do, but something"

    The social protests against Trump are a modern example of civil disobedience. Publicly they are nonviolent, but on social media the amount of protests are violently targeted.

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  10. 1. The government should be moral and ethical
    -"...we should be men first, and subjects afterward."
    -"mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines"
    -Not having to agree with everything the government says
    2. The government should respect individuals
    -"the mass of men are unprepared"
    -"every man shall judge himself"
    -"All men recognize the right to revolution... and to resist"
    3. Citizens should have the right to disobey
    -the right to disobey laws they find are unjust
    -"how can a man be satisfied to entertain an opinion merely, and enjoy it?"

    A parallel to Thoreau's act of civil disobedience would be the girls self defense class offered in gym class. That opportunity should be offered to the boys as well. They need to learn self defense as much as girls do because they also face situations that they need to defend themselves and can't. My act of civil disobedience would be refusing to take part in the event.

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  13. Government officials must ethical and moral
    -leaders must know the laws inside and out
    -"mass of men serve serve the state, thus not as men mainly, but as a state
    The government must respect should respect everyone:
    -He believed the government must allow people to "judge for themselves"
    -not force an individual to pay for something they do not support
    -"All men recognize the right to revolution... and to resist"
    Citizens should have the right to disobey
    -not paying taxes
    -resist certain forces
    -We may disobey or try to amend any law that does not seem just or fair

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  14. 1.) All government Officials must be ethical and moral
    The laws enforced shouldn't be unethical, or put people in danger
    Laws shouldn't be changed to benefit the government
    "One is constrained to respect the perfection of this world"

    2.) The Government should respect individuals
    Uses the history of Christianity to show compassion to others. Ex: Jesus
    "Drawn by its severe harmony, ravished with its beauty, he lived in it, and had his being there. Alone in all history, he estimated the greatness of man."

    3.) Citizens have the right to disobey
    People can disobey laws that they feel are unjust due
    "Whenever the pulpit is usurped by a formalist, then is the worshipper defrauded and disconsolate. We shrink as soon as the prayers begin, which do not uplift, but smite and offend us"

    An example of modern civil disobedience today was the Tea party against the Progressive agenda. It was largely a non-violent protest against big government, spending, and to bring in congressmen, senators and governors to counteract Obama's Progressive agenda. It was vilified by the liberal media, and targeted by the IRS to be disbanded. The goal was to disband a work-class movement

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