Similarities Between Civil Disobedience And Dissent
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The two articles of “Civil disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau and “Silencing Dissent” by the Australia Institute identify two key terms of civil disobedience and dissent, although defined as different terms they are of great importance to the fundamental aspects of democracy. This essay with reference to the two articles will attempt to define the two differentiating terms of civil disobedience and dissent and continue to identify some of the similarities and differences between them. With the acknowledgment of the definitions and comparison and contrasting cases this essay will finally discuss their fundamental roles within democracy.
Civil disobedience is defined as the refusal or rejection to government applied laws in which is believed…show more content… Civil disobedience as Thoreau puts it, is to follow the conscience to be just which involves breaking unjust laws and quotes “Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison” (Thoreau H.D:1849). Dissent, however described by the Australia Institute is the democratic means of politically engaging in debate, this is done without the breaking of laws. What also can be a significant difference is that in emphasizing the concept of dissent there is a likeliness to be represented by organizations within legal guidelines as identified in the Australia Institute the use of NGO’s comes to…show more content… Some acknowledge that there are democratic processes that can be influenced to change laws without civil disobedience taking place. Others maintain that higher authorities such as legislators cannot or will not listen to people’s views. Thoreau’s essay provides examples of historical events where civil disobedience has been essential to democratic freedoms, he discusses the Massachusetts issue where citizens overthrew British tea in protest to pay taxes, and Thoreau also uses his defiance to the American Mexican war. All these events have influenced the contemporary democracy in which we live. Civil disobedience still has its essential role in the development to what democracy can be defined as today and that is the freedom to express and demonstrate views to just causes and place a certain distance to