This month’s Philosophy Think & Drink — facilitated by Ryan Aikin & 2019 Merlin Student Scholar Fellow, Henry Kramer — was attended by a wonderful group of individuals from a Communist discussion group. Our conversation revolved around questions about justice, resistance, civil disobedience, violence, and oppression. Here are some of the specific things that we explored.
The Question We Chose As a Group
What does it mean to resist injustice?
Additional Questions We Explored
Can true resistance take place within the bounds of the law? If your actions are sanctioned by the power you are trying to resist, are you really resisting? Does resistance require personal risk and/or sacrifice?
What is the difference between resistance, civil disobedience, and revolution? Are they distinguishable by their ends, by their means, or both?
Is oppression always predicated on violence or the threat of violence? Is it justifiable to use violence to resist violence? How do we define violence, anyway? Must violence always be physical, or can it take other forms?
Is it ethically permissible for a small minority of people to act on behalf of the majority if the majority does not sanction the actions of the minority?
Thank you to the Philosophy Learning & Teaching Organization (PLATO) and Montana Internet for supporting philosophy in the community and helping us bring activities like these to the Missoula community!