Democracy, Dissent, and Disorder: The Issues and the Law

Democracy, Dissent, and Disorder: The Issues and the Law

Democracy, Dissent, and Disorder: The Issues and the Law

Democracy, Dissent, and Disorder: The Issues and the Law

Excerpt

THERE EXISTS in many American minds a hitherto suppressed but now more and more unavoidable fear that the peaceful and proud America which everyone has known up to the present day may have lost its way. This fear reveals itself in a variety of ways--the most visible and vehement of which is the continued cry for a return to law and order.

More and more Americans are worried lest the proliferation of private moralities will bring about public anarchy. The open rebellions of students are one of the disturbing phenomena to those Americans who feel that a return to law and order is the only way to prevent our society from literally being torn asunder. The disorder is not caused solely by the hippies and the consumers of drugs among young people--surely a tiny minority--but by the widespread revolt of the majority of those under twenty-five against the presumably established order of things in the political, economic, and moral spheres of life.

On the fringes of all of the talk about a return to the established order of things is the seldom acknowledged but growing feeling that those who are radicals and revolutionaries may be more persuasive and more powerful than anyone cares to admit. These "revolutionaries," it is becoming clear, go beyond President John F. Kennedy's statement that "those who make peaceful revolution impossible make . . .

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