The Real Meaning of Civil Disobedience

civil disobedience

Waking Times

“My thought is that in a reasonably just (though 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.”John Rawls

Conventional civil disobedience usually engages localized agencies and domestic government. Redress of grievances, constitutionally protected under law is a myth in practice. The courts operate as protectors of state authority, while crushing the safeguards of individual natural rights. Petition to elected officials for recourse resembles begging for sustenance. Allegiance to country is confused with deference to decadent dictates. Conscience and moral imperatives draw sincere and aware citizens to resort to necessary measures of dissent. The question is what kind of civil disobedience is appropriate and effective?

  • The conventional interruption of the principle of civil disobedience usually cites Thoreau, Gandhi and King. Most students of history are familiar with their significance and writings. However, less well known are John Rawls and Howard Zinn. A review of their viewpoints is helpful to understand the nature of civil disobedience. However, in an age of globalism, the sovereign state has less importance because the transnational community of nations is implementing a tyrannical New World Order.


    Stephen Grant argues that John Rawls identifies eight criteria for identifying an act as one of civil disobedience.

    1) There must be clear injustice.

    2) The law must be broken. A key factor which distinguishes civil disobedience from protest is the brute fact that the actions undertaken are illegal.

    3) The law which is to be overturned need not be the one which is broken.

    4) It must be a public act. One essential feature of civil disobedience is that it tries to communicate to the wider community the injustice of a particular law.

    5) It must be non-violent and non-threatening. The civil disobedient is attempting to appeal to the “sense of justice” of the majority.

    6) The perpetrator accepts the penalties for her illegal actions. Although civil disobedience involves breaking the law, it is done for moral rather than selfish reasons, and the willingness to accept arrest is proof of the integrity of the act.

    7) The actions must not threaten the stability of the state. Rawls emphasises that the context in which civil disobedience is morally permissible is one where there is a limited number of unjust laws which are the focus of opposition, but where there is a fundamentally just set of principles against which those laws can be deemed to be unjust.

    8) The actions are carried out within “fidelity to the law”. The civil disobedient does not object to the rule of law as such, and may well accept as just the great majority of laws to which she is subject.

    Dr. Jan Garrett claims that Rawls’ principles of justice are central to his viewpoint on the legitimacy to conducting civil disobedience. Rawls argues that self-interested rational persons behind the veil of ignorance would choose two general principles of justice to structure society in the real world:

    i) Principle of Equal Liberty: Each person has an equal right to the most extensive liberties compatible with similar liberties for all. (Egalitarian.)

    ii) Difference Principle: Social and economic inequalities should be arranged so that they are both (a) to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged persons, and (b) attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of equality of opportunity.

    The Civil Disobedience & Rawls YouTube presents a short summary. John Rawls is very limited and has a naive mindset of a world better suited to the intellectual salon of entrenched and tenured academics. The proposition that governments, much less covert masters of the universe, accept the precept that the powers of world domination respect the human rights of the populace is absurd. Accepting that elected officials can be elected that are willing to empower the people misses the primary point that no political hierarchy has the muscle or influence to remove the money elites from their position of control and submission.


    Contrast this “socially acceptable” framework to keep the masses playing a no win game of political musical chairs with the direct approach of Howard Zinn.

    Howard Zinn describes Seven guidelines for civil disobedience.

    1) Civil disobedience is the deliberate, discriminate, violation of law for a vital social purpose. It becomes not only justifiable but necessary when a fundamental human right is at stake, and when legal channels are inadequate for securing that right.

    2) There is no social value to a general obedience to the law, any more than there is value to a general disobedience to the law. Obedience to bad laws as a way of inculcating some abstract subservience to “the rule of law” can only encourage the already strong tendencies of citizens to bow to the power of authority, to desist from challenging the status quo.

    3) Civil disobedience may involve violation of laws which are not in themselves obnoxious, in order to protest on a very important issue.

    4) If a specific act of civil disobedience is a morally justifiable act of protest, then the jailing of those engaged in that act is immoral and should be opposed, contested to the very end.

    5) Those who engage in civil disobedience should choose tactics which are as nonviolent as possible, consonant with the effectiveness of their protest and the importance of the issue.

    6) The degree of disorder in civil disobedience should not be weighed against a false “peace” presumed to exist in the status quo, but against the real disorder and violence that are part of daily life, overtly expressed internationally in wars, but hidden locally under that facade of “order” which obscures the injustice of contemporary society.

    7) In our reasoning about civil disobedience, we must never forget that we and the state are separate in our interests, and we must not be lured into forgetting this by the agents of the state.

    The video Howard Zinn on Civil Disobedience adds to the discussion. However, the practical drawback of most proponents of civil disobedience is that they are labeled as progressives. Noncompliance has no limits of creed. Pragmatic resistance requires a union of competing political orientations to oppose the essential source of the monocracy. Zinn’s impact offers an opportunity for coalition synergy if his followers are able to advance beyond street theater and confront the NWO in affiliation with distressed and disenfranchised mainstream citizens.The error of limiting thinking to the functions of the state blinds most resistors to the true and real nature of the despotism that is engulfing the planet. Throughout ideological shortcomings and accepting the axiom that the ruling apparatus that rules over nations is a small cabal of financial controllers that indirectly select the political officials that garnish most of the public attention.

    The institutions and bureaucracies that serve the interests of the Mattoids that manipulate the perception of world events through media disinformation is the primary tool used to stop honest intellectual inquiry. The gatekeepers, who persecute any organized effort to overthrow the satanic debt created money banking, protecting the systems, enslave humanity.

    Civil disobedience is simply a natural response to illegitimate authority contrived to subjugate people to obey a top down despotic scheme to achieve total world domination. Consistently adopting resistant reactions are usually a defensive response. Proactive measures targeted at bringing down the established integrated global order; seem too radical for even most civil disobedient advocates.

    The narrow dissent of Rawls is an embarrassment to any rational proponent of human dignity and individual liberty. The Zinn approach favors action. Yet, it needs re-direction to focus on the essential element of worldwide injustice. Interpreting the term, INJUSTICE, as a social acceptance of some intrinsic Egalitarian component would be a deadly error. The entire supremacy of criminal government authority is based upon the false idea that the correct role of the state is to guarantee equality and welfare.

    The predacious matrix that routinely blinds the thinking of society that unconscionable taxation and debt obligations are the natural order is the key element that places the yoke of compliance in the minds of weak thinking people. Since the tyranny of individual freedom is the primary purpose of the international system of trained indoctrination, the enemy elite just grows in power and hatred for humanity.

    Creative methods of unifying a political struggle that challenges the rule of artificial edicts must be the focus and global. Civil disobedience is a permanent way of confronting vile power. The immorality of centralized absolutism disguised as lawful authority is the eternal force that plagues all self-respecting mortals.

    When globalists manage violence and repress human independence the true face of international totalitarianism reveals the nature of iniquity. Duping the average Plebian into believing that obedience is civil behavior, holds the slave system together. The intercontinental globalists seek total domination using their nefarious institutions to deceive and diminish expectations.

    Shutting off political escape valves inevitably makes civil disobedience the operative path. Think global and act local. Coordinate cooperation and zero in on the globalist agenda. Resistance is patriotic. Breaking all the rules is intellectually prudent.

    “Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient allover the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”  – Howard Zinn

    About the Author

    SARTRE is the mind behind (Breaking All The Rules), which documents the steady decline of American exceptionalism.

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    This article (The Real Meaning of Civil Disobedience) was originally created and published by and is re-posted here with permission. 

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