Re: Selective Disobedience
Anthony Mako (ajmako@NLS.NET)
Tue, 7 Jul 1998 14:13:57 -0400
<QUOTE from: Hal Dudley>In a larger view, where would this country be if
anyone could ignore rules and regulations as they choose? </QUOTE>
<QUOTE from: James H. Moss>Where this county would be is the United States
of America. The USA was founded on ignoring a rule. "No Taxation without
James, you may be correct in your statement, but the reason you may be
correct is not that the US was founded on ignoring a rule. The founders of
this country tried every legal means to correct a law the felt was wrong.
The fight didn't start until all of the legal avenues of change had been
exhausted and it was clear that the crown intended to enforce the law with
Yes, if everyone chose to ignore rules they don't agree with you would
probably be in the United States. Few drivers agree with speed limits, yield
signs, and common driving courtesy which are part of the rules. As a result
it is hard to find anyone obeying these rules on the highway. Contrary to
the belief of so many people in the US, a citizen does not have the right to
ignore a rule he does not agree with. He does have the right to try to get
the rule changed or removed as long as he does so within the laws.
I don't happen to agree with a local law that allows the city to charge
property owners a percentage of the cost of street repairs and improvements.
Does that give me the right to refuse to pay? No. Refusing to pay would
result in some form of punishment and wouldn't get the law changed. Even
Thoreau knew that selective disobedience involved punishment and should only
be used after all legal methods had failed.
In Scouting, there seems to be a wider acceptance of the policy of selective
disobedience. We often scim through the publications put out by National in
search of rules we don't like. The problem is that it is much easier to
ignore rules we don't like than it is to get them changed. It is easier
because we don't have to expend the energy to understand the reasons behind
the rules to ignore them. In order to change a rule, you have to understand
the purpose behind it.
AJ Mako, firstname.lastname@example.org, Scoutmaster Troop 381
http://members.aol.com/Scouts381/ "Home of the Unofficial Boy Scout Desktop
Great Trail Council - Old Portage District - Akron, Ohio
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City