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Resisting an Unjust Government

philosophy

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16 replies to this topic

#1

AramilTheElf
  • Location: USA
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Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:17 AM

All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.

~ Thoreau

“... That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”

~ US Declaration of Independence



What is the best way to resist a government that infringes on the rights of its people? When is violent revolution justified?

Thoreau says in Civil Disobedience that when a government becomes tyrannical, it is the duty of a virtuous man to actively attempt to change such government, not just in voting but in acting. He cautions that a relatively trivial matter such as an unjust tax is no reason to full out rebel, but an issue such as slavery where a large portion of the country is having their rights infringed on, that is the time to take large action. He goes on to say that whatever the law, if it unjust you should simply ignore it, whatever the costs. He reflects upon the day that he spent in jail for not paying a poll tax.

What do you think? Do you agree with the Thoreau's assessment?

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#2

Chicken
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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:31 AM

I'm gonna assume you're talking about America, since you mentioned the American Declaration of Independence. Well, if the US government is being unjust (which, I agree, they slightly, very slightly, are) then we should abolish them.

But that won't work. Say in 50 years, the government is practically tyrants. The American people try to abolish them by means of violence, then most likely, we'll all be put in prison, or, less likely, be lined up on our knees and shot.

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#3

TheEvanCat
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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:32 AM

> Corrupt government.
> Grab AK and drink some alcohol.
> Make a message.
> ???
> Revolution!

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#4

SunWukong
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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:36 AM

All forms of government and society, whether hierarchical or anarchical are all tyrannical in which they seek to restrict a person's rights and to use coercive force to elicit compliance. A tyranny is but tyranny by a few, a democracy a tyranny by the many.
Fui in Malaysiam natus, sed civis mundi sum et fillius terrae stabo.

#5

ConservativeParty

Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:54 AM

View PostSunWukong, on 29 November 2012 - 02:36 AM, said:

All forms of government and society, whether hierarchical or anarchical are all tyrannical in which they seek to restrict a person's rights and to use coercive force to elicit compliance. A tyranny is but tyranny by a few, a democracy a tyranny by the many.
So you would rather live in anarchy?
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#6

Rethical
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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:30 PM

View PostConservativeParty, on 29 November 2012 - 02:54 AM, said:

So you would rather live in anarchy?
I'll take a post-scarcity, anarchic utopia please. :)

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#7

TYTHERDGOON
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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:42 PM

View PostRethical, on 29 November 2012 - 02:30 PM, said:

I'll take a post-scarcity, anarchic utopia please. Posted Image
You wouldn't survive a week.

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#8

AramilTheElf
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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:17 PM

View PostChicken, on 29 November 2012 - 02:31 AM, said:

I'm gonna assume you're talking about America, since you mentioned the American Declaration of Independence. Well, if the US government is being unjust (which, I agree, they slightly, very slightly, are) then we should abolish them.

But that won't work. Say in 50 years, the government is practically tyrants. The American people try to abolish them by means of violence, then most likely, we'll all be put in prison, or, less likely, be lined up on our knees and shot.
I'm talking about all countries. I included the quote for context and information, not necessarily to preclude countries other than the US.

Is an abolishment necessary for the current crimes of the US government? Or simply reform, making changes to the system?

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#9

TheEvanCat
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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:44 PM

View PostRethical, on 29 November 2012 - 02:30 PM, said:

I'll take a post-scarcity, anarchic utopia please. Posted Image

Anarchy doesn't work with a utopia. Hell, if there were no laws I'm fairly sure I'd run my car through an abandoned building for the hell of it, or set aforementioned building on fire because I could.

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#10

CosmicSpore

Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

View PostRethical, on 29 November 2012 - 02:30 PM, said:

I'll take a post-scarcity, anarchic utopia please. Posted Image

View PostTYTHERDGOON, on 29 November 2012 - 05:42 PM, said:

You wouldn't survive a week.
lol...

On a serious note...

View PostAramilTheElf, on 29 November 2012 - 01:17 AM, said:

What is the best way to resist a government that infringes on the rights of its people?
Revolution! ...Obviously...
Is there any other answer?

View PostAramilTheElf, on 29 November 2012 - 01:17 AM, said:

When is violent revolution justified?
Whenever it's people are oppressed and that oppression can not be removed by any other means.

View PostAramilTheElf, on 29 November 2012 - 01:17 AM, said:

Thoreau says in Civil Disobedience that when a government becomes tyrannical, it is the duty of a virtuous man to actively attempt to change such government, not just in voting but in acting. He cautions that a relatively trivial matter such as an unjust tax is no reason to full out rebel, but an issue such as slavery where a large portion of the country is having their rights infringed on, that is the time to take large action. He goes on to say that whatever the law, if it unjust you should simply ignore it, whatever the costs. He reflects upon the day that he spent in jail for not paying a poll tax.

What do you think? Do you agree with the Thoreau's assessment?
Why would anyone not?

If we are pressured, what choice do we have but to resist?
If we are to be oppressed, what choice do we have but to revolt?
If we are to be enslaved, what choice do we have but to fight?

...Only cowards would ever give in to these things.
We do not have a choice in these matters... We only have courage or fear.

#11

Dairuka
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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:08 AM

View PostAramilTheElf, on 29 November 2012 - 01:17 AM, said:

What do you think? Do you agree with the Thoreau's assessment?

"One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" - Gerald Seymour

This can also be read vice versa.

There is no black and white. What is good and evil depends entirely on who you ask. Sometimes, by unflinchingly fighting for what you believe in, you are effectively destroying the lives and beliefs of others who are equally as innocent as you once were when you were slighted, thereby perpetuating a cycle.

I instead believe entirely on slow gradual change and non-violent protest. Violent protests often only work if you have political support of outside armies larger than the one you're protesting against.

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#12

odiedodi
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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:28 PM

View PostTheEvanCat, on 29 November 2012 - 08:44 PM, said:

Anarchy doesn't work with a utopia. Hell, if there were no laws I'm fairly sure I'd run my car through an abandoned building for the hell of it, or set aforementioned building on fire because I could.

He said post-scarcity. I think he be talkin bout dat dere fancy dancy zeitgeist theory. Assuming you haven't seen the zeitgeist videos, the theory is that through technological advancements, we can produce a society with a miniscule government, and a miniscule need for work, as nearly everything will be automated. There'd be no need for money anymore, which in theory should reduce crime to the point where a strong government isn't necessary.
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#13

NeO_Startrek_Craft

Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:54 PM

All governments are *Corrupt* its just a matter or degree, and in a sense we have let this happen without rising up and demanding change. We must defend freedom, because freedom cannot defend itself.
-NeO_Startrek_Craft-

#14

CosmicSpore

Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:41 PM

View PostNeO_Startrek_Craft, on 30 November 2012 - 04:54 PM, said:

We must defend freedom, because freedom cannot defend itself.
Bah, humbug.
We need to defend the people who can not defend themselves.

"Freedom" is an archaic ideology that should die.
The "Human Rights" ideology should entirely replace the concept of "Freedom".

#15

Abandon_Ships
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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:00 PM

You all are forgetting the fact that other countries exist. As powerful as the US is, other countries aren't going to stand and watch as the U.S government enslaves their people. There will most certainly be a war following in such an event in which many countries will intervene.

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#16

CosmicSpore

Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:04 PM

View Postrist_violin, on 30 November 2012 - 10:00 PM, said:

You all are forgetting the fact that other countries exist. As powerful as the US is, other countries aren't going to stand and watch as the U.S government enslaves their people. There will most certainly be a war following in such an event in which many countries will intervene.
The only reason they would intervene is to take over and enslave the people themselves... and that's assuming they had the power to do so.

It's already readily apparent that other countries don't care what the US does to it's own people... because pretty much all of them are powerless to stop it.

#17

Abandon_Ships
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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:43 PM

View PostCosmicSpore, on 30 November 2012 - 11:04 PM, said:

The only reason they would intervene is to take over and enslave the people themselves... and that's assuming they had the power to do so.

It's already readily apparent that other countries don't care what the US does to it's own people... because pretty much all of them are powerless to stop it.
Powerless? A few countries working together could easily completely obliterate the United States, even without nuclear weaponry. What's the U.S going to do, obliterate all other countries in existance? Not enough weaponry. Enslave the rest of the world? Ha! Not enough power/money. Nobody could accomplish that. You conspiracy theorists can dibble-dabble with your little plots, as I enjoy my life knowing that the Government aren't a bunch of power-hungry illuminati-thinking freaks.

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