🗽 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE- AN AMERICAN VIRTUE! 🗽


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Written By: Zach Champ

When the status quo is unacceptable, we the people must stand up and unite. The government has no right or moral justification for imposing insufferable conditions and terms on the people. The government must without exception act in accordance with the consent of the will of the people. When it fails to do so, the people are justified in protesting, dissenting, or rebelling.

These are not new ideas, and there is precedence throughout American History where the people unite and revolt against the system to create necessary change.

The American Revolution: A Country Born Out of Revolt

Following the events of the French and Indian War, the empire of Great Britain was severely in debt. In order to address this, the Crown passed a series of legislative acts including the Stamp Act and Tea Act, which heavily taxed colonial settlers for the costs of the war. The heavy taxation of the American colonies was broadly unpopular and created much objection. The colonial American’s response to the levying of these taxes would in time come to be historic and iconic.

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On the night of December 16th, 1773, American patriot leader Samuel Adams led a mob of angry men into Boston Harbor. Adams and his men sneaked on-board British cargo ships where they proceeded to dump barrels of valuable imported tea leaves into the harbor. Adams and his men threw overboard so much tea that the water in the harbor became murky brown, with their actions causing significant financial loss for the British.

This event would later become known as the Boston Tea Party and would represent the beginning of American civil disobedience towards the crown of Great Britain. For several years the colonist of colonial America had been finding themselves constantly at odds with the British government and Crown. Colonial Americans didn’t have representation in parliament and had no way to formally redress their grievances to the Crown. They were forced to obey the strict laws and duties imposed upon them by the British Government. It wasn’t long before there was rebellion. The argument for the colonists’ refusal to obey the Crown was summarized succinctly as “No taxation without representation!”

Shortly thereafter the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th, 1776 and formally introduced the United States of America to the world.

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One of the key defining features of the Declaration of Independence was the focus on the need for property rights and equality amongst the people of the nation. This was characterized in phrases such as the now-famous We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The founding fathers and leading patriots of colonial America were educated during the time of the enlightenment era and would have been familiar and well versed with the philosophical discourse of European writers like Voltaire, Spinoza, Diderot, Kant, Hume, and Rousseau. They believed in the power of scientific thinking and skepticism, reasoned and logical thinking, and the orderly and fair organization of society and government. This influence is easily represented in the Declaration of Independence and other foundational documents.

The American War for Independence represented the colonist’s demands to be represented by a government that reflected their unique character and enlightenment era ideals. The colonists argued that they needed to be governed by their fellow people and not by an authoritative monarch.

The Articles of Confederation were the first attempt by the newly independent colonist to define the new government of the now sovereign American nation.

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The Articles of the Confederation bound the original 13 colonies together through a shared code of law. The Articles of the Confederation framed a government that had a weak central authority within the executive branch. States were largely left to their own devices, and could create their own laws, currency, and could impose tariffs and taxes on imports from other countries. The government of the confederation was far from perfect and had several issues that led to its collapse after a brief eight years of operating.

Even though the Articles of Confederation were a failed experiment, it provided valuable insight for the founding fathers as they focused their efforts towards their next attempt at creating the new republic.

In 1787 the founding fathers convened a delegation of America’s leading lawyers, thinkers, business leaders, and patriots in the city of Philadelphia. This delegation would come to be known as the Constitutional Convention and would serve as the foundational event for the creation of the new American government. Their goal was to debate and come to a consensus on how the new government should function and operate. They spent months debating and coming to an agreement. Finally, on September 17, 1787, the framers of the Constitution of the United States of America had completed and signed their document, dedicating the new course of the American nation and people.

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With the drafting and signing of the Constitution of the United States of America, the founding fathers began a bold and visionary project that would change the course of world history and which continues to this day...

Is Violence Justified in Rebellion?

Rebellion is a complicated subject, and many philosophers have approached the topic with a variety of viewpoints.

We are fighting for the distinction between sacrifice and mysticism, between energy and violence, between strength and cruelty, for that even finer distinction between the true and the false, between the man of the future and the cowardly gods you revere.” - Albert Camus

Is violence ethical? When one party exerts unwarranted force upon another party, they are committing an act of violence. In political theory, the only entity which has the legal authority to use violence to enforce its will is the state or the government. For centuries, philosophers have argued this principle back and forth, developing a variety of opinions on whether the state’s use of violence justifies an ethical use of power.

As a result, there are many philosophical perspectives on violence. The majority consensus of philosophical opinion upholds the belief that any unwarranted use of force on another individual is unethical in most circumstances and situations.

Does violence actually achieve political, social, and economic goals? This is the real question we should ponder. Violence can easily make the core issues of rebellions, revolts, and revolutions invalid when it is excessive. It is my opinion that violence is detrimental to civilized society and that continued and repeated acts of violence, whether by the government or its citizens, can lead to the destabilization and even the potential collapse of a country.

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What can we do to affect change without resorting to violence? The answer lies in civil disobedience!

Civil disobedience by its very nature is non-violent and advocates for peaceful means of protest and revolt. There are several other peaceful and non-violent courses of action that activists and protesters can utilize to promote their causes and protest their grievances. These alternative options represent the extent of methods and practices of civil disobedience.

The non-violent and peaceful nature of civil disobedience is why it is the morally justified method for rebelling against the government and the system.

What exactly is Civil Disobedience? 

Civil Disobedience is an enlightened approach to revolt and rebellion. It represents an individual’s conscientious objection to unjust or unethical obligations or restrictions that are imposed upon them by an authority. Civil Disobedience reflects a refusal to conform to the rules as a means of protest.

Activists who engage in civil disobedience often will commit illegal acts in an effort to criticize unjust laws and appeal to the conscience of the public. This can include not paying taxes, to graffiti, to protesting on private property, to more extreme acts of dissent and demonstration.

In 1849, the American thinker and writer Henry David Thoreau published their now-famous book Civil Disobedience.

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In Civil Disobedience, Thoreau presented a philosophical and moral argument against obeying unjust laws and corrupt or overbearing governments.

Many activists and reformers argue that individuals when protesting the government have a right to non-cooperation. Non-cooperation represents the refusal to participate or oblige in the laws, rules, practices, and standards of the ruling government or society. An activist who is committed to non-cooperation completely disregards the authority of their government as a sign of protest, with the goal of their non-cooperation being to provoke a response where the potential for change or negotiations can occur.

Another important attribute of civil disobedience is the emphasis on the value of self-reliance. The only true and effective way to ensure that the government doesn’t impose upon your freedom and liberty is to maintain an ethos of self-reliance. Self-reliance means relying on yourself and your own abilities, skills, and resources to provide for yourself and to make a living. Self-reliance can empower oppressed communities by teaching them how to take care of their own needs and to distance themselves from the power structures dominating their lives.

Self-reliance is the key to liberty, independence, and freedom!

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE & AMERICAN PROGRESSIVISM


Civil Disobedience is as American as apple pie, baseball, and Coca-Cola!

There is a clear tradition of American Civil Disobedience that is intimately tied to some of our country’s greatest progressive achievements. In fact, American history at its core can be defined by our continued impulse to rebel against the status quo. American has constantly continued to grow and establish new standards of equality, liberty, and freedom while breaking down old barriers of race, religion, and politics. This is our defining characteristic trait amongst the other nations of the world.

The Labor Movement

Corporations throughout American History have constantly challenged the law and the worker’s rights of employees. In response, socio-political trends such as the American Labor Movement occurred during the late 19th century and early 20th century and were foundational parts of the American historical legacy. During the Labor Movement, several key trades and workers’ unions were organized and established, and important laws were enacted that benefit us even to this day. The labor movement follows these unions’ subsequent efforts to advocate for their worker’s benefits and interests against powerful and politically influential corrupt corporations.

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During the Industrial Age, the United States of America underwent great technological changes that would drastically impact our culture and society. The rise of railroads, factories, and mines created enormous wealth within the American economy, forming what would be known as the Gilded Age.

However, this wealth was mostly consolidated and controlled by monopolistic companies and individuals- the so-called ‘robber barons’ which were the powerful captains of industry like Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, J.P. Morgan, and John D. Rockefeller.

During this time in America, there was no middle-class. Instead, there was simply the minority of rich aristocratic Americans and the contrasting majority of poor and hard-working Americans.

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Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States of America, enacted several reforms and policies to combat the growing influence of these monopolistic companies which were often referred to as ‘trusts’. Roosevelt recognized the threat that concentrated wealth could pose to the economic prosperity of everyday working Americans and to a free market.

During this time journalists were also key to helping expose the excessive behavior of companies and their abuses. ‘Muckracking’ as it would later be called helped create public awareness about important issues related to the working class, such as urban poverty, unsafe and unsanitary working conditions, child labor, and prostitution all which would help spur social-reform during the progressive era in the late 19th century and early 20th century America.

In 1906 Upton Sinclair published The Jungle which would become a key piece of literature in creating change and public awareness during the labor era.

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The Jungle was an expose of the meatpacking industry and its practices, including the exploitation of the working-class poor. The Jungle revealed disturbing unsanitary and inhumane practices that were commonplace in the industry. The book provoked a public uproar and forced the government to regulate the food industry and to establish the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). When Sinclair wrote his book, his goal was to promote the socialist cause amongst the working class.

The American labor movement is intimately associated with the political values of social democracy. The goal of the movement was to organize and protect worker’s rights in an effort to curb the rampant exploitation characteristic of that time. Advocates for the labor movement believed in the idea that “If capital is concentrated, labor must be concentrated too!”.

Given the circumstances of the time, it is not surprising that the labor movement moved towards such radical and leftist anti-capitalist arguments.

The conditions of the average worker during the American industrial period were by no means pleasant. It wasn’t uncommon for the average American factory worker to work up to 14 hours a day and to work up to six days consecutively at a time. Working in the factory was harsh and physically demanding.  Factory workers routinely faced dangerous, unsanitary, and stressful conditions. There was no vacation time, nor were there promotions or minimum wage. Factory owners could pay workers as little as they wanted, and because of the demand for jobs, people would be willing to work for whatever amount they could get paid.

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It wasn’t just men who had to work and toil in the uncomfortable conditions of industrial factories. Child labor and sweatshops were commonplace, and it wasn’t unusual for kids from low-income families to spend more time working instead of learning in school. These conditions would keep generations of American families in poverty with no chance of living a more successful and prosperous life.

Something had to be done.

One of the responses to the state of affairs of labor in industrial America was the formation of advocacy groups and unions.

One of the first prominent labor advocacy groups was the Knights of Labor which was established and popularized in the late 19th century.

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The Knights of Labor was a national organization that advocated for an 8-hour workday, the end of child labor, as well as the end of convict labor. The group was notably progressive for their time and would accept members from all backgrounds including women and blacks.

On May 4th, 1886 a protest organized by working-class leaders, including individuals associated with the Knights of Labor, was held in Haymarket Square in Chicago. The protest was organized as a response to the police killing of three workers at a factory strike the day before.

Hundreds of working-class citizens assembled in the square to listen to speeches by leading labor leadership and to voice their discontent. However, during the protest, a group of anarchists committed a terrorist bombing attack by setting off a series of pipe bombs in the crowd which had gathered. Several people, including both police and protesters, were killed and riots ensued.

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As a result of the riots, the US federal government began to crack down on the labor movement, believing it to be a radical and dangerous influence on American society. Even the public’s approval of labor groups began to wane, including the popular support for the widely beloved Knights of Labor as many felt the group was somehow directly responsible for the chaos that came about from the event.

It would take a few more decades for the same kind of progress and momentum to be regained.

One of the key leaders of the labor movement was Eugene Debs. Eugene Debs was a lifelong advocate for worker’s rights and American socialism. Eugene Debs was wildly popular amongst American workers during the Labor Movement and was an eloquent public speaker. He at one point was a former presidential candidate who ran on the socialist party ticket and managed to earn 6% of the popular vote in the election of 1912.

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Debs faced all types of challenges from both the federal government and corporations because of his radical socialist views. Despite these odds, he still managed to make an impact and help focus the national debate on labor and worker’s rights.

With his influence, Debs was able to create an image of American socialism backed by the principles of a strong and united working class. Debs was not completely against capitalism and simply believed that workers simply had to come together to protect their interests against unfair and greedy corporate powers.

Just how exactly did workers protect their interests? During the labor movement, several tactics incorporating the use of civil disobedience were utilized to disrupt corporations and to allow workers to protest their issues to the public. Often the goal of these groups was to create enough trouble and headache so as to convince the leaders of the corporations to talk of negotiation and bargaining. These methods included strikes, boycotts, rallies, and picket-sign protests.

Through these efforts, American workers were able to achieve many of their goals and objectives. The successes and continued legacy of the labor movement are seen today in the employee’s rights and employment standards that we all take for granted and benefit from. Without the labor movement, we never would have seen an end to child labor, we wouldn’t have a fair minimum wage, we wouldn’t be paid overtime, and we wouldn’t have paid vacation or other employee benefits like health care.

Modern Americans owe a debt to the American workers of the past who against all odds continued to push and fight for their rights & fair compensation!

Woman's Suffrage: (1848-1920)

Today, women have a strong and active voice in our culture and society.

Women hold positions of power and importance in all major industries and within the government. They start and manage billion-dollar businesses. Several have even run for President, and in the near future, it is possible that we may have our very first female President.

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However, women have not always held equal status in our society. For close to a century after the founding of America, women were restricted from having their own property and having the right to vote. The role of women was primarily to be the caretakers of the home and to raise children. Women were not expected to have jobs, run businesses, hold elected offices, or engage in political activities. Young girls were only allowed to receive so much education before they were expected to marry a husband and have kids to start a family, often while they were still teenagers.

Women were by no means equal with men as citizens. It was an unfair and primitive time marked by the dominance of male masculinity and power. Women had no fair share in the political process of our supposed great ‘democratic’ nation nor were they considered as equals in society.

So how did women achieve their power and equality in such repressive and restrictive circumstances?

The answer lies in the Woman’s Suffrage movement, where women across the country banded together to fight for their civil rights during a time that was defined by the domination of white, male, land-owners. We may think some parts of America are conservative today, but only a hundred years ago our whole country was embedded in a much more old-fashioned, primitive, and oppressive socio-cultural hierarchy.

The roots of woman’s suffrage go back to the early beginnings of our country. The wives of our founding fathers, the founding mothers, if you will, all played significant roles in influencing their husband’s perspectives and opinions. Even though women were more restricted politically and legally during this time, women still and have always had the ability to persuade and influence using their natural feminine prowess and ability, especially the wives of aristocratic society.

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From Martha Washington to Abigail Adams, to Susan B. Anthony the founding mothers and First Ladies of America helped focus the direction on the discussion of equality and woman’s suffrage.

During the 19th century, women played a key role in promoting progressive changes in American society. Women during this period often supported causes ranging from the abolition of slavery, to the prohibition of alcohol.

The Seneca Falls Convention of July 1848 was organized and assembled by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott both who were prominent woman’s rights activist during that time. The Seneca Falls Convention was a meeting of influential and educated women who were dedicated to the cause of equal rights regardless of gender (or race). At the convention, the organizers drafted and signed the Declaration of Sentiments which was modeled after the American Declaration of Independence. In the Declaration of Sentiments, the women framers listed their grievances, including the rights denied to women regarding education, property rights, child custody, and finally the right to vote.

Temperance was always associated with the woman’s rights movement. American women constantly focused public attention on the issues of rampant alcoholism within communities across the nation. Proponents for temperance expressed their concern with alcohol’s negative effects on domestic life and community affairs. Their goal was to rid society from the evils of intoxicating liquors and alcohol. These efforts eventually led to the ratification of the 18th amendment which prohibited the sale, distribution, possession, and consumption of alcohol in America, creating the infamous Prohibition Era.

One of the most influential lobbies in the 19th century that helped lead the way for ratification of the 18th Amendment was the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). The Women’s Christian Temperance Union, while focusing on the issue of drinking and sobriety, proved to be a fertile breeding ground for advocates of women’s rights. The WCTU provided a model for future women’s rights advocacy organization to base themselves off of.

One such future organization would be the American Equal Rights Association. The American Equal Rights Association (AERA) fought for equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their gender or race.

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Founded by Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1866, the AERA was an extremely diverse and inclusive collective of prominent 19th-century reformers, including the likes of Frederick Douglas. As before with the WCTU, the AERA focused on a platform that included other civil rights issues. Collectively fighting for their shared equal rights made more sense.

Susan B. Anthony was a woman's rights activist and social reformer known for their inspirational public speeches and writings which helped lead the woman’s suffrage movement in the late 19th century.

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Their most famous publication was a weekly journal called The Revolution which began print in 1868. Because of Susan B Anthony’s accomplishments, we honor her today in American culture and history with the distinction of being the first woman on U.S Currency with the issue and circulation of the silver dollar.

Another famous and leading 19th-century reformer was Sojourner Truth who was a former slave turned abolitionist.

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Sojourner Truth was known for promoting equal civil rights for not just blacks but also for women as well, being one of the first leading figures to compare and contrast the struggle of Black Americans fight for equality with American woman’s push to achieve property rights and voting rights.

Sojourner Truth is a notable American icon whose impressive accomplishments include suing the courts to protest and fight her son having been sold into slavery and was successful!

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During the American Civil War, Sojourner Truth would continue to fight for America and equal rights by helping President Lincoln recruit freed blacks to fight for the Union against the Confederacy, the first time that black Americans would serve in the American military. Sojourner Truth is an inspiration to us all and a great role model for the impact an individual can have despite their circumstances.

The success and legacy of the Woman's Suffrage Movement

At the turn of the century, several states had passed laws and provisions that supported women’s property rights and granted them the ability to vote in local elections. However, it would ultimately take a constitutional amendment to grant women nationwide the right to vote. The 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920 and guaranteed the enfranchisement of more than 20 million American Woman*, giving the women of America a powerful new voice in the political process of our country.

*It should be noted that the 19th amendment only guaranteed the right to vote only to white American women, completely ignoring women of color.

It wouldn’t be until later with the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 when women of color would be able to vote in elections like their peers.

The Civil Rights Movement

The United States of America’s greatest sin was Slavery. Nothing is more evil and detestable than the forced imprisonment of another human being against their will and forcing them to do your bidding.

Yet, for many centuries the United States of America and many other white European countries built their economies around the integral use of slave labor, primarily enslaved black Africans.

The consequences of this decision by these countries has resulted in profound effects on world history. In the context of American History, slavery has been one of the most controversial and divisive subjects, preventing us as a country from becoming united as a now modern, diverse, and multi-ethnic nation.

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To understand the challenge that the Civil Rights Movement faced with demanding and achieving equal civil rights and to bring an end to racial discrimination you have to understand and realize the impact of centuries of slavery on black African-Americans.

It is very confusing that our founding fathers, who were men that supposedly espoused the beliefs of the enlightenment era, would condone and participate in such a horrific human crime as slavery. The tragic irony was apparent even to some radical philosophers of the time. However, the reality is that for close to two and a half centuries, America participated in the forced slavery of black Africans, forcing them to work in a plantation economy system that was brutal and downright evil.

Like most of the horrors of human history, human greed was the motivating factor, as the plantation system supported a wealthy aristocratic southern society and was essential to the American domestic economy.

During the Civil War, the issue of slavery drove a wedge between the nation. Several southern and western states seceded from the Union and formed a new Confederation that supported slavery and racist beliefs about the superiority of the white race. In response, the remaining northern states fought to preserve the Union and reunify the country.

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During the Civil War, slavery was still legal, even though in several states laws had been passed that abolished the practice, mainly in the Union-controlled north. The question about what to do with the remaining slaves in the Confederate controlled South was a lingering issue.

On January 1st, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln passed an executive order which is today known as the Emancipation Proclamation. The order stated that all estimated 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the Confederate states were now free if as soon as that territory came under Union control or if they were able to flee to Union-controlled territory. The Emancipation Proclamation marked the beginning of black American’s journey towards freedom and equality.

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After the Civil War, the next big step was the complete outlaw of slavery in the now reunified nation.

In December 1865 the 13th Amendment became ratified and made slavery and involuntary servitude illegal except as a punishment for a crime. After the 13th amendment, black Americans still were oppressed. Racists policies such as sharecropping kept black Americans economically restricted and incapable of owning their own property. They were not allowed to vote and would face serious harassment or harm if they tried. They also were segregated from White Americans.

The beginning of the modern Civil Rights Movement started in the 1950s with the racial segregation of public schools across America. Black children were forced to attend black-only schools that often were poorly funded, severely understaffed and under-resourced, and which at times could be located far from their neighborhoods.

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In 1954 this policy was finally challenged in the Brown vs the Board of Education U.S Supreme Court Case which ruled that racial segregation in public schools was a violation of the 14th Amendment of the U.S Constitution. It furthermore declared that the legal precedent of “Separate but equal” was, in reality, unfair and inherently flawed.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on an individual’s gender, race, ethnicity, country of origin or religious practice. The subsequent Voting Rights Act of 1965 helped enforce the rights of minorities to vote and prohibited racial discrimination in voting.

The Civil Rights Act of 1968 was another key landmark piece of legislation that addressed several aspects of the Civil Rights Movement, shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 was split into different, separate bills that were introduced as one comprehensive legislative reform. It included the Indian Civil Rights addressing the civil rights of indigenous Native Americans, the Fair Housing Act, which addressed housing rights for all Americans, and the Anti-Riot Act which made it a felony to commit riotous acts and damage.

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What caused the sudden passage of all these Civil Rights acts? By the 1960s the civil rights movement had gained enough popular support due to the influence of leaders like MLK and Malcolm X, who brought public awareness across racial lines to the plight of the black American. People from all backgrounds came together and used protests, strikes, boycotts, and other tactics to demand equality for all Americans. 

The most famous American civil rights leader was Martin Luther King Jr.

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Affectionately referred to as ‘MLK”, Martin Luther King Jr. was a black Christian minister who advocated for nonviolent means of protest to promote equality for all Americans. MLK was a firm believer in civil disobedience and was inspired by the writings and philosophy of previous social-reformers like Mahatma Gandhi who had helped achieve India’s independence from Great Britain.

Martin Luther King Jr. is today considered one of America’s greatest heroes and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal. We honor him and his sacrifice as a nation with a federal holiday on his birthday.

Another leading figure for the Civil Rights Movement was Malcolm X.

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Malcolm X was an activist and reformer known for being a Muslim minister even completing the sacred rite of the Hajj. Malcolm X was a member of the Nation of Islam, a black Muslim group with its origins here in America. The Nation of Islam based its beliefs and organizational purpose on improving the spiritual, social, and political conditions of black African Americans.

It is no coincidence that most of Malcolm’s views focused on the ideas of black nationalism and Pan-Africanism as well. He was widely popular with black Americans, but at the same time controversial with white Americans for his severe criticism of how white Americans had treated blacks. Because of his views and popularity, he was a target of surveillance and investigation by the FBI, which argued that Malcolm X through his role with the Nation of Islam had ties to Russian Communism. This was, of course, unsubstantiated and never proven to be true. Malcolm X himself would later distance himself from the group for his own reasons. Malcolm X would be later be assassinated on February 21st, 1965.

The success and legacy of the Civil Rights Movement 

It is truly remarkable and amazing that a generation of Black Americans, many who are still alive today, were able to resist against such vile and pure evil acts committed on them by fellow members of their community and the government.

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Not only did they resist, but they did so in a manner that was honorable and noble, refusing to react and reciprocate with the same violence that white Americans projected onto the black community. They used to love to conquer hate, which makes the Civil Rights Movement truly remarkable in the context of human history!

Black Americans have come very far from slavery, establishing themselves as a prominent and important part of American society and culture. We can never be forgiven for our past crimes as a Nation, but we can learn from them and create a brighter future for our prosperity!

Today we celebrate the achievement of Black Americans with accomplishments ranging from important contributions to science, medicine, music, art, and technology to even having elected the first African-American President of the United States.

Our enlightenment era founding fathers would be surprised and impressed!

 

THE ACTIVIST GOVERNMENT

Technically, the role of governments is to look out for the interest of the common good, meaning that the government will only focus its efforts on creating the most benefit and utility. It's not the government’s job to make everyone happy…

Remember that the only way to guarantee your individual freedom and independence is through self-reliance. Our goal as a society should be to use the government to help improve our lives but not to make us dependent or subservient to it.

How do you ensure that the government doesn’t fall susceptible to corruption or abuses of power?

How do you prevent large corporations from buying influence?

These are tough questions that in order for us to address and solve require us to become more involved as citizens.

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Change only happens when people make a stand. You can’t wait for someone else to solve your problems. The only person that has your best interest in mind is yourself!

When you are faced with injustice, you have a right to resist and revolt. If you are trying to do so in an ethical manner, then civil disobedience and non-cooperation are tools that will enable you to achieve your goal in a constructive and positive manner.

However, civil disobedience and non-cooperation can only accomplish so much. If you are truly trying to reform society and make lasting change, then you have to become an active participant in the political process.

The only way to safeguard against abuses of power by the government against the common person is for the people of the Republic to take control of the federal government.

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We must run for offices and positions at the local, state, and federal levels. We must form coalitions and local grassroots organizations. We need to apply for positions within the various departments of the Federal Government and staff these organizations with competent and skilled individuals that can efficiently run these agencies. In an age of climate change we can’t afford to have bureaucrats that refuse to believe scientific evidence, we need officials who use science and technology to solve problems and make decisions.

It is up to us and future generations to remove the damage caused by the harmful policies of today and the past. We can create a bright future if we focus our efforts toward constructive causes!

It is up to us to carry the torch of liberty and freedom forward into the future and to help save America!

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Progress only occurs when we demand it... so let us make it be!
 

CITATIONS & REFERENCES

  •  “Civil Disobedience”. By Kimberley Brownlee. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (2007).
  • Civil Disobedience”. By Peter Suber. Philosophy of Law: An Encyclopedia. (1999).
  • The Civil Rights Movement and the Second Reconstruction, 1945-1968”. United States House of Representatives- History, Art, and Archives. (2008).

URL: https://history.house.gov/Exhibitions-and-Publications/BAIC/Historical-Essays/Keeping-the-Faith/Civil-Rights-Movement/ 

  • The Haymarket Affair”. By William J. Adelman. Illinois Labor History Society

          URL: http://www.illinoislaborhistory.org/the-haymarket-affair

  • The Women’s Rights Movement, 1848-1920”. United States House of Representatives- History, Art, and Archives. (2007).

URL: https://history.house.gov/Exhibitions-and-Publications/WIC/Historical-Essays/No-Lady/Womens-Rights/

  • Woman Suffrage Timeline (1840-1920)”. National Women’s History Museum.

URL: http://www.crusadeforthevote.org/woman-suffrage-timeline-18401920

  • Women’s Suffrage: The Movement”. By J Hansen. Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries Social Welfare History Project. (2011).

URL: https://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/woman-suffrage/woman-suffrage-movement/

  • Woman Suffrage: History and Time Line”. Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries Social Welfare History Project. (2011).

URL: https://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/woman-suffrage/woman-suffrage-history/

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