Introduction

On January 6th, 2021, the Capitol building in Washington D.C. was stormed by a group of protestors motivated by the idea that their democratic election system had failed them. They intended to overturn what they believed was a fraudulent election by disrupting the democratic process of Congress’ counting of…

In this post, I will argue that, under certain conditions, it may be the case that civically, morally, or politically motivated lawbreakers should not be concerned to ensure their actions are compatible with or express respect for the laws of legitimate and just institutions. The argument breaks down as follows:

“…conscience can also be conceived as a moral sense giving us direct access to moral principles. Understood in this way, conscience is typically seen as intuitive and influenced by emotions, rather than a reason-based faculty” — Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

In chapter six of Michael Walzer’s Obligations: Essays on Disobedience…

In his piece Democratic Legitimacy, Public Justification, and Environmental Direct Action, Matthew Humphrey argues that public justification for environmental action is contingent upon what is being protected by direct action. He believes that if the policy or damage caused to the environment is irreversible, direct action may be justified under…

In The Distinctiveness of Satyagraha H.J.N. Horsburgh writes with the intent to cover two goals: the first is to explain how Gandhi uses satyagraha to turn all occasions of conflict into a creative rather than a destructive account. The second is to distinguish how satyagraha settles disputes more efficiently through…

Rawls, Reasonably Just Societies, and Civil Disobedience

In John Rawls A Theory of Justice, he argues for the circumstances that justify civil disobedience in just societies. These societies encompass just institutions governed by the principles of justice and founded in the principles of fairness from which obligations are derived. Compliance…

Balancing Democratic Values with Civil Disobedience

Deviations from society’s status quo have historically been ostracized, penalized, and often unable to generate the change desired when collective action is employed. The protest, a civil liberty guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, can take the form of civil disobedience and often finds itself the victim of critics for such…

Obligation, obedience, and what it all means.

Margret Gilbert’s A Theory of Political Obligation chapter one provides us with several provocative questions regarding what it is about a political society that creates obligations within its constituents to obey. Lots of individuals think that disobedience to the state is wrong but…

Michael Christian

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