Civil Disobedience

While having a perfect law enforcement sounds great, who keeps government in check? It is true that governments do not reform themselves. It requires the people, activism and organizing to preserve our rights. And damn the American people if we ever forget it.

When we look back on history, the progress of Western civilization and human rights is actually founded on the violation of law. America was of course born out of a violent revolution that was an outrageous treason against the crown and established order of the day. History shows that the righting of historical wrongs is often born from acts of unrepentant criminality. Slavery. The protection of persecuted Jews.

But even on less extremist topics, we can find similar examples. How about the prohibition of alcohol? Gay marriage? Marijuana? Traffic and parking tickets?

“Where would we be today if the government, enjoying powers of perfect surveillance and enforcement, had—entirely within the law—rounded up, imprisoned, and shamed all of these lawbreakers?

Civil Disobedience!

Ultimately, if people lose their willingness to recognize that there are times in our history when legality becomes distinct from morality, we aren’t just giving up power and control of our rights to government, but our agency in determining their futures.

Governments today are power hungry machines and they ignore their citizens’ problems and instead control their citizens’ behavior. How do we combat this? We need to remove any interference in our elected leaders enforcement our rights and liberties.

You can see this dynamic today in the statements of government officials complaining about the adoption of encryption by major technology providers. The idea here isn’t to fling ourselves into anarchy and do away with government, but to remind the government that there must always be a balance of power between the governing and the governed, and that as the progress of science increasingly empowers communities and individuals, there will be more and more areas of our lives where—if government insists on behaving poorly and with a callous disregard for the citizen—we can find ways to reduce or remove their powers on a new—and permanent—basis.

Our rights are not granted by governments. They are inherent to our nature. But it’s entirely the opposite for governments: their privileges are precisely equal to only those which we suffer them to enjoy.

We haven’t had to think about that much in the last few decades because quality of life has been increasing across almost all measures in a significant way, and that has led to a comfortable complacency. But here and there throughout history, we’ll occasionally come across these periods where governments think more about what they ‘can’ do rather than what they ‘should’ do, and what is lawful will become increasingly distinct from what is moral.

In such times, we’d do well to remember that at the end of the day, the law doesn’t defend us; we defend the law. And when it becomes contrary to our morals, we have both the right and the responsibility to rebalance it toward just ends.

“Those who profess to favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

Civil disobedience is about standing up… peacefully.

Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, or commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is being part of a nonviolent resistance.

Take traffic tickets for example. Did you know all traffic courts are administrative courts? They are not real courts. You are not getting due process of law in these courts.

Seventh Amendment of the Constitution states: In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

That means anytime you are served a ticket that is valued at more than $20 dollars, you should get a jury trial. Are you ever given this type of trial? NEVER!

If fact, you are charged with a made up law (state infraction) by an officer who works for the state. Then you are trying to fight your ticket in a state court and arguing before a judge who…. you guessed it, works for the state.

Do you see the problem? Huge conflict of interest going on here.

That is just one example. We could go on for a long time. Ever lost a home or a car? Was there any due process in that matter or did they just come take it fro you? You’re not alone, it happens every single day. And we do nothing about it.

Is it not time for America to stand up? Continue to educate yourself. Know who you are and soon we can take back the power we once had.

Willful ignorance and comfortable complacency will be the downfall of America if we don’t wake up to what is happening right before our eyes.

Are you awake Yet?

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