Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


The central question of this piece is how to strike a balance between radical civil disobedience and adherence to the laws put in place by government. Multiple schools of thought on how to obey and protest laws are discussed. Abe Fortas contends that peaceful, non-violent measures must be taken to protest and remedy laws that people support. Howard Zinn argues that more radical measures need to be taken in order to remedy unjust laws. Ultimately, Zinn’s concept of radical disobedience misses its mark because the concept of justice is too subjective. The breaking of laws requires a punishment which lends credence to Fortas’ claim of a more civil form of protest.