Civil disobedience is a political action, expressed in deliberate violation of the law for the sake of initiating changes in legislation or government policy. Civil disobedience may be of a straight character (the failure to implement the protested the law) and indirect (non-fulfillment of other laws). The idea of civil disobedience was formulated Henry David Thoreau in his essay, where he showed that the refusal to pay taxes can be an important tool to counter unfair policy of the state. The effectiveness of civil disobedience has been demonstrated in numerous protest campaigns in the 20th century.
Philosophical and political justification for civil disobedience within a constitutional democracy theory was proposed by John Bordley Rawls, who considers civil disobedience as a form of democratic opposition to the public will, approved on the basis of the majority principle. Civil disobedience is possible only under the conditions of the social model, which is called the open society and according to which social institutions are seen as products of human creativity, and their conscious alteration is discussed in terms of fitness of human purposes and intentions.
The concept of civil disobedience is explicitly or implicitly based on the assumption that society is a system of cooperation between equals, and the damage done by some members of the community as a result of the existing order, which gives them a reason to demand a corresponding change of order and achieve this change using all eligible means under the order.
Civil disobedience is one of the ways of resolving the contradiction between the duty of the citizen to obey the laws adopted by the legislative majority, on the one hand, and his right to defend their freedom and moral duty to resist injustice, on the other.
Civil disobedience is an appeal to the sense of justice of the majority of community about the violation of accepted principles of social cooperation. As a political act, civil disobedience is addressed to the majority, holding the power, and is justified by the principles governing the constitution and other social institutions.
As a public act, civil disobedience is not only addressed to the public, but is also made publicly. As a non-violent action, it expresses acceptance of the political system and the recognition of the sense of justice of others. Civil disobedience should be distinguished from the refusal by conviction, by which only a person’s personal position is manifested, but not the protest against the existing order.
Civil disobedience is a political action, expressed in deliberate violation of the law for the sake of initiating changes in legislation or government policy. Civil disobedience may be of a straight character (the failure to implement the protested the law) and indirect (non-fulfillment of other laws).