cite as: F. Bi. 2009. Civil disobedience is civil. Intl. J. Inact., 2:79–80
Civil disobedience is in the air! Michael Tobis writes:
In the typical congressional recess, American congressmen hold lightly attended town hall meetings to discuss issues with the more engaged fraction of their constituencies. This tradition has been badly disrupted by concerted efforts to disrupt these meetings with loudly and urgently repeated misrepresentations of the legislation.
There was an incident here in Austin, one among many, apparently centrally organized, apparently funded in part by Republicans and in part by insurance interests, although drawing upon genuine backwoods fear and paranoia, as well as whatever racism might be handy to the purpose.
This is what Republicans do with online organizing. They organize riots.
UPDATEx2 – A teabagger at the event suddenly realizes who she’s joined up with. […]
Freedom loving patriots celebrated liberty by knocking down a disabled woman and starting a fist fight with someone. I feel sorry for the people who went there to learn, whether it was to support or criticize. Too bad they weren’t allowed to speak.
Well, as Cicero (I think, as far as I know) famously said — and who dares to contradict Cicero? —
Extremism in defence (or is it pursuit) of liberty (or is it patriotism) is no vice!
And besides, the protesters were just following Henry David Thoreau’s tradition of nonviolent resistance! (That is, minus the “nonviolent” part.)
In contrast, if anyone even tries to pull off something similar at the Heartland “global warming is a scam and Obama is a secret Marxist” Institute’s upcoming Fourth International ‘Conference’ on Climate Change — nay, if anyone even utters a single phrase criticizing the ‘conference’ — now that, that’ll be crossing the line between civil disobedience and outright fascist Hitler-esque ad-hominem Inquisitional brownshirt-ism!
Let me explain. You see, even if you believe with all your heart and soul that global warming is an extremely serious, extremely dire planetary emergency that requires urgent action yesterday, the moral high ground says that you should still maintain the highest standard of decorum at all times! You must first insert “please”, “Sir”, “thank you” at the right places in your speech, before we’ll even begin to consider that there may be a planetary emergency.
This is wrong:
Someone: [sees a fire burning in the room] Fire!!! Fire!!! Fire!!!!
Even-handed impartial observer (i.e. me): Hmm, this guy is shrill and frantic, therefore I’ll ignore him.
This is right:
Someone: [sees a fire burning in the room] My dear Sirs, with all due respect, please be aware that there’s now a fire in the room.
Even-handed impartial observer (i.e. me): Hmm, this guy is civil and polite. However, if the fire’s so serious, then why’s he taking so long to warn us about it? I think I’ll ignore him.
And here, my friends, is the difference between small-government patriotism and big-government alarmism.