Violence, Morality and the Law

The Intercollegiate Review 9:2 (Spring 1974).


In Political Violence and Civil Disobedience, Ernest van den Haag argues that the problem underlying civil disobedience is the question whether there is ever a moral right to disobey a lawful authority.  Van den Haag argues that all governments must be obeyed as long as they do not command the violation of moral standards.  However, he draws a distinction between conscientious objectors and civil disobedience.  While the former disobey the law because it violates their own consciences, civil disobedience claim that all must disobey the law.  Van den Haag also discusses political violence and when it is justified.

ISI [pdf]