Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Storing's Best Argument

Storing dedicates quite a bit of text to disputing King's civil disobedience. Which of his arguments against civil disobedience do you believe to be best? Why is it better than others?

The best argument Storing uses is the argument that there is no such thing as a peaceful revolution. All his other points seem to lead to this argument; and none are as convincing and thought out as this. The idea and image of a 'bloody revolution' is easy to conjure up, and justifiable, which can make it easier for people to understand and agree with this argument. He argues that although civil disobedience works in the way that it points out important political questions, it is obsolete, and just not practical in today's society. In the end of the day, your fundamental choice in whether or not you will make a change is between "ballots and bullets". You can either use the system in your favor or use violence in your favor. This all helps him reenforce the idea that there can't be a peaceful revolution if you are truly making a change. Also, he says that civil disobedience is different from testing the constitutionality of law. This can also be made to help the argument of bloody revolution.

If a law that is truly unjust is no law at all, then you can't practice civil disobedience, because you aren't breaking any laws or doing anything illegal. The true practice of civil disobedience must be through true breaking of the law; and that may contain violence. If the whole system is flawed, and gives the white people the advantage and power, then why use the system? Why not overthrow it? Radicalists also dislike the idea of peaceful revolution, because you can't truly make a change if you're not willing to go to war. You can upset and even overthrow the system without upsetting or hurting people, and thus, the argument that you should try to have a peaceful revolution isn't practical.

Also, ultimately, the black people are tired of being hurt and not fighting back. They have been taught to suffer peacefully, to be kept in check, to not be violent. The black people will relate so much to this sentiment, and this argument will feel like they're really fighting for something instead of asking to be "let back on the plantation", as Malcolm X put it. "This system that in 1964 still colonizes 22 million African-Americans, still enslaves 22 million Africo-Americans."

As something that could reach out and touch with the entire black population, and as something that is both true and reasonable, the argument that there is no such thing as peaceful revolution is Storing's best argument.


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