Disobedience is Humanity's Original Virtue says Oscar Wilde

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'Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue' - Oscar Wilde.

However, there is a prevalent perception counter to Wilde's view which considers conformity and compliance to be virtuous traits. This perception is quite clearly held by most of those at the top our society's hierarchies - be they politicians, top business people, or religious leaders - or at least they want us to embody these passive 'virtues'.

But as Wilde points out, a reading of history clearly shows that it has been disobedience, rebellion, and heresy, which have driven progress over the millennia. It seems almost too obvious to say, because the absence of resistance will obviously lead to nothing changing for the better.
 


From slave revolts, to illegal strikes, LGBT riots, to mass sit-ins, disobedience is the engine of progressive social change. Appeals to the abstract condition of 'order' have been used for thousands of years to control the populace.

In the case of the present water charges campaign, this is plain to see: that the strength of the campaign is rooted in our will to determine our futures ourselves, and the government and media attacks on this idea of disobedience. You have the right to protest, but don't rock the boat sonny.

Of course being disobedient doesn't mean being reckless or unethical. It means thinking for oneself and resisting authority. In the majority of cases it is actually required to be disobedient in order to do the right thing.

So we should be proud to be disobedient, proud to disobey unjust laws, proud to question, proud to stand up to people who tell us 'just do as I say so'. We should not be ashamed to look around us and declare 'this isn't good enough!'.

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