I strongly believe in the principle of civil disobedience. It is one way that the impulse to liberty checks the powerful. I have not participated in it—except by refusing to participate in the usual congressional vote-trading games—but I support those who have, from both the left and the right of the political spectrum. Many War resisters have been arrested and imprisoned all the way back to the Civil War and even all the way back to the Whiskey Rebellion. Protests against slavery and segregation have prompted many to peacefully demonstrate and challenge the law. Protests against the tax code and the unconstitutional monetary system are growing more frequent.
Ron Paul brings up his admiration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s actions, and even quotes Muhammad Ali's reason for not serving in Viet Nam:
Simply, [Muhammad Ali] said: "I ain't got no quarrel with the Viet Cong." No other American did either!"
He makes a very important distinction on the individual reward of civil disobedience, aside from the publicity and education it can generate:
The real reward comes from the inner satisfaction of pursuing the truth as they see it—not from a sense of sacrificing for the greater good.
Though he strongly advocates peaceful action, he reminds us to be wary of violent provocateurs: individuals who associate with groups seeking to give them a falsely violent appearance, a problem compounded by a news media that doesn't always seek facts before filming.
People must understand that we can't use violence to have our own way over others—nor should the agents of our government have that power. Even a majority vote should never be accepted as legitimatizing government's use of violence against the people.
As always, many more points in the chapter; worth a read.
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