25 March 2022
Riots and protests have been described as violent in certain circumstances and non-violent in others. Some philosophers advocate civil disobedience and opposing the government when your conscience tells you that you are being treated unfairly, while others disagree. The main character in the 2019 movie “The Joker,” also known as Arthur, informs us about the miseries and hardships he has had throughout his life, which have led to acts of civil disobedience and resistance against the government, society, and the law. While many people believe that the movie “The Joker” does not advocate violence against the society and the government, I argue that the movie promotes violent disobedience and resistance against the government, society, and law, and I will support and justify my arguments using the two philosopher’s views Rawls and Thoreau.
In the movie, the behavior and attitude of the citizens towards the society explains a lot.
In regards to government and authority
In regards to law
The author demonstrates Arthur’s sorrows at the beginning of the movie, as well as how society and the government viewed and mistreated him, and the distinction between a poor low-class citizen and a rich high-class member of society. Arthur has committed a number of crimes against his own mother, teenagers on the subway, his coworker, and the host of the last show at the end of the movie. Arthur was treated badly by society, and on the other hand, the government and the laws that did not treat him fairly or do him justice. His coworker offers him a gun and then blames him for having it, he gets fired from his job, the government cuts off the funds of the therapists who are assisting and helping him with medication. In the movie, the therapist explains to Arthur that “the government does not give a shit about people like you,” which basically summarizes my first argument. The government, the society, and the laws all neglect him and treat him as if he does not exist.
The movie ends with riots and violent protest all around the city, and this is all due to a failed government and a harsh society that does not care about minorities and low-class citizens. Rawls defines civil disobedience as a “public, nonviolent, conscientious yet political act contrary to law usually done with the aim of bringing about a change in the law or policies of the government.” (Rawls 104) On the other hand, Thoreau’s view on civil disobedience is that “why has every man a conscious, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterwards. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume, is to do at any time what I think is right” (Thoreau 29) The movie portrays a corrupted society and government and its influence on individuals, with citizens responding to injustices with violent resistance against authorities and those who are financially and socially better off. When there is a corrupt or evil society and a failing form of governance, there is no other option except to follow your conscience and do what feels right, as Thoreau states.
AuthorLastName, FirstName. Title of the Book Being Referenced. City Name: Name of Publisher, Year. Type of Medium (e.g. Print).
LastName, First, Middle. “Article Title.” Journal Title (Year): Pages From – To. Print.
Spoiler Alert: V for Vendetta (2006) follows the story of a vigilante who fights of a totalitarian authority that controls the media and actively placed the society under surveillance. V, wearing a mask, takes action against the regime. The movie showcases instances of civil disobedience (punishable by law) and mass resistance. To what extent do the practices of the citizens in the movie present us with a framework of understanding how resistance and disobedience should be understood in relation to the government, authority, society, and the law? Are V’s actions justified? (You may also use a different movie, such as Joker, Born on the 4th of July, etc.)