[pp.int.general] Fwd: [FC-discuss] Fwd: Urgent -- Aaron was just arrested

Richard Stallman rms at gnu.org
Sat Jul 23 12:36:38 CEST 2011

    > Violating an unjust law is not evil.

    No, it's stupid. Changing unjust law is the right way.

You have just made an extremely broad claim, which in many cases is
obviously wrong.  Where abortion is illegal, is it "stupid" to get an
abortion illegally?  Is it "smarter" to work to change the law, and be
offered your abortion 10 years later?

Where reading uncensored news is illegal, is it "stupid" to find a way
around the censorship and read anyway?

Where telling the public how their government has betrayed them is
illegal, does that make it "stupid"?  I am sure Bradley Manning would
say no.

If it is illegal for you to enter a restaurant, is it "stupid" to do
so?  Protesters did that in the US, and it worked -- they changed the
law.  So I don't think it was stupid.

The last example shows a questionable premise: that breaking unjust
laws and changing them are two separate and unrelated activities, and
you must choose one or the other.  In fact, blatantly breaking laws is
sometimes a very effective campaign for changing them.

This is a very visible act of civil disobedience and has the potential
to spotlight this unjust law.  Whether it will achieve victory, I
cannot know, but it has a chance.

Laws are a human institution that serves a human purpose.  We need to
have states, and we need to have laws, but we must not bow down and
worship them.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
www.fsf.org  www.gnu.org
Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
  Use free telephony http://directory.fsf.org/category/tel/

More information about the pp.international.general mailing list