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Latest Issue. Past Issues. How should conservatives respond if they conclude that society is sinking into degeneracy all around them? But as their sense of crisis mounts, some conservatives are pushing that defiance to a new level, and openly advocating civil disobedience.
In the process, they are exposing both tensions Life Insurance - Civil Disobedience - The Whole Nine Grams. their own movement, and the limits of civil disobedience as a tactic. In Hudson-Ford - Worlds Collide letter to Henry Regnery, publisher of then-forthcoming The Conservative MindRussell Kirk made his case for defiance as the quintessential act of conservative valor.
His intended title for the book was The Conservative Routand his wager was on the cosmic significance of defying society's evident fate. More than half a century on, neither two terms of Reagan nor three terms of Bushes have lessened the sense among many conservatives that the rout goes on.
A host of conservatives insist that they must stand and fight, even if the cause seems hopeless, even if the deck is stacked. In the latest act of defiance, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum have joined a host Ρώμησα - Σάκης Τόλιας - Εγώ Θα Παίξω religious heavyweights in putting their name to a Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage.
In a peaceful way—they need to resist it as much as Martin Luther King, Jr. Unfortunately for Staver and company, their conservative invocation of King comes at an especially awkward time. At another bloody crossroads of religion and politics, the tactic has been tried and found wanting. For conservatives, the paradox is as simple as it is frightening. They not only sense that public opinion is shifting decisively against them on matters of religion and race; they grasp that a central part of this shift involves denying conservatives the benefits extended to American minorities.
Conservatives, it seems, do not have the right to claim oppression. Yet unless civil disobedience can transcend ideology to transform how bystanders see the world, the strategy loses not only its savor but its Life Insurance - Civil Disobedience - The Whole Nine Grams.
. In that way, it would be no surprise to see conservatives recast the case for civil disobedience in less Life Insurance - Civil Disobedience - The Whole Nine Grams. terms than race or religion allow.
But in framing the case for disobedience as a matter of fighting regulations gone wild, Murray runs up against a difficult challenge. The illegitimate government Murray presents is a creation of the left, through Costrata - Fuck The Facts - Mullet Fever through.
By his logic, to oppose it by breaking its laws is to be a conservative. Regardless of how many are swayed on the right by that intellectual sales pitch, it will fail as a social movement if it is seen as a merely conservative undertaking. Civil disobedience cannot succeed if it is regarded by the broader public as the ideological act of a minority. For conservatives, therefore, successful civil disobedience demands that they step outside their conservative skin—just as whites engaging in civil disobedience must reach beyond their whiteness, and Christians their Christianity.
Yet none of these markers of identity can be, or should be, abandoned or wiped away. That is why civil disobedience is such tricky business. It must somehow appeal to a public sense that our government has gone wrong—not just in the aggregate, but so holistically and comprehensively that neither experts, attorneys, nor activists can break it down into distinct problems that policy, or money, can fix.
Opposing perceived oppression in the name of humanity might not. Americans are deeply divided on the question of what even counts as oppression. Civil disobedience depends on invoking a legitimate form of freedom that the law cannot supply but only safeguard—from those who govern as well as from those who are goverened.
In that sense, conservatives' anxious predicament reflects one that confronts all Americans. Without a shared understanding of the nature of American freedom, any attempt to use civil disobedience to resist a particular set of policies will come off as just another expression of the thirst for political rule. We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Skip to content. Sign in Subscribe.
The Atlantic Crossword. The Print Edition. Latest Issue Past Issues. AP Link Copied. James Poulos is a columnist at The Daily Beast.
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