Paul G. Steffen
Civil disobedience, what a concept in America. With the god given right of dissidents against an authorities figurehead is natural in America. Protesting, demonstrations and radical movements have been a focal point in American history. The key is enough people with the single cause to represent the voice of the people. Political crap has to be addressed for the common good of the masses.
In 1965, I was 12 years old and witnessed my first demonstration, a civil rights movement in L.A. I saw peace, marching and talks from leaders of the march. I also saw some atrocities; the police (to protect and serve) with their dogs attack African Americans and beat them. I was a 12-year-old boy standing in the midst of this full-blown riot and a single cop came up to me and told me to go home. I told him to fuck off and he slapped me, I ran a little distance and sat down on the curb and watched the rest of the afternoon. This built up my foundation of civil disobedience for the rest of my life. I’ve never conformed to the establishment I have always been against it.
The right to dis-obey is so profound of a thought to change mankind, for better or even worse, that will be determined later in life. This is a standard on which I live by, I will not compromise and will not alter my beliefs for the sake of the herd mentality, and I walk my walk for my dignity of myself. Question everything.
The sole purpose to civil disobedience is to change things that are immoral for the good of the many and in some cases the good of the few. A theory of obligation or right of obligation is the question at this time, whether the judgments of personal advantage is at stake or the will of the authority is the doctrine of the times, must be evaluated or dismissed by those souls willing to take the risk. This will put oneself in great harm but will generate a great feeling within oneself that nothing else will obtain. We as a people have the right to disobey and to always to do so in our lives.
Guattari, Felix. Chaosophy, 2009 Semiotext
Zwiebach, Burton, Civility and Disobedience. 1975, Cambridge University Press.
Walsh, Sharon. Civil Disobedience, 2005, A Wadsworth Casebook in Argument Thomson Press.