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Unformatted text preview: ENT AGAINST CONDITIONS John Rawls, The Justification of Civil Disobedience, COLLECTED PAPERS BY JOHN RAWLS, 1969, pg 176 I shall limit my remarks to the conditions under which we may, by civil disobedience, properly oppose legally established democratic authority; I am not concerned with the situation under other kinds of government nor, except incidentally, with other forms of resistance. My thought is that in a reasonably just (though of course not perfectly just) democratic regime, civil disobedience, when it is justified, is normally to be understood as a political action which addresses the sense of justice' of the majority in order to urge reconsideration of the measures protested and to warn that in the firm opinion of the dissenters the conditions of social cooperation are not being honored. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE JUSTICE Bruce Ledewitz Professor of Law, Duquesne University School of Law ,B.S.F.S. Georgetown ,Yale School of Law ,CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, INJUNCTIONS, AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT ,Hofstra Law Review ,FALL, 1990,80-81 The prior section suggests the venerable aspect of civil disobedience. But one may then ask: What does it mean if civil disobedience is an established part of American political life? Age, by itself, does not make civil disobedience a positive phenomenon. After all, racism and sexism are also well established in American political life. Thus, civil disobedience must be justified on grounds other than mere wide-spread occurrence. Nevertheless, the existence of a tradition of civil disobedience is definitely an argument in its favor. The acceptance of nonviolent, illegal political protest is an expression of a true American political genius. Civil disobedience represents a compromise between mere argument and revolution. By channeling even illegal protest into the stylized pattern of civil disobedience, Americans have brought the energy and ideas of those extremely dissatisfied with the status quo into the political process. The idea that this compromise, the...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
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