Signs of the Times

The Atlantic Monthly

Sidney Hook of New York University in The Atlantic Monthly,
February, 1969

It is a striking phenomenon that more has been written about civil disobedience in the last few years than in the entire period of American history which preceded it. But the nature of civil disobedience in the political democratic process has been radically misunderstood by many, and when these misunderstandings are applied to the academic world, the results border on the grotesque.

There [is a] fundamental misapprehension about civil disobedience in general which has seriously misled many; [namely,] the assumption that each law in a democratic community posits as a legitimate question to every citizen whether to obey that law or to disobey it.

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August 30, 1969

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